Monday, February 4, 2019

ARC Review: How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2) by T.J. Klune

How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2)
Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert. 

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing. 

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

Todd's rating:

Stoners! Stoners as far as the eye can see!

I knew going in that, more than likely, I was going to end up LOVING this book, which I totally did. Maybe even more so than Gustavo's book. Maybe.

But this story's main character was a stoner, so be prepared to feel slightly lost more than a few times, as Josy loses the plot time and time again, going off on some marijuana-induced tangent, ending with:
Dude, what were we talking about again?
It was pretty hilarious and left me shaking my head and laughing on many, many occasions.

TJ has written many amazing characters over the course of his writing career, but Josy is for sure one of my all-time favorites. He came across as a bit simple, especially when high, but also lovable, utterly adorable, and surprisingly insightful (but only sometimes).

The other MC, Quincy, was also written with great care and thoughtfulness in regards to his anxiety and depression, but what hit my heart the hardest with Quincy was how he outright refused to let those dark parts of his life take it over completely. Yes, he had very bad days, but showed a lot of strength in picking himself up and carrying on, going so far as to create an online community where he could help others with their similar issues.

Heavy topics aside, one of my very favorite parts of this story was Josy's BFF status with Gustavo. Although, Gus would never ever admit it, his (reluctant?) friendship with Josy was very important to him, caring greatly about Josy, in spite of (or possibly due to) Josy constantly reaching out to Gus for help and advice.

I died when, every Tuesday, Casey would lie to Gus about who was calling, Gus would take the call, Gus would get pissed, then Josy and Gus would catch up for the week, all while Gus pretended to be a grumpy, "Why do you keep bothering me?" bastard. I'm telling you, PRICELESS!
“Josy, I am hanging up now.”

“But you haven’t told me how to fix this!”

“[D]on’t call me about this again. Until next Tuesday.”
I also loved, Loved, LOVED getting more on-page time with Gustavo and Casey and seeing Gus' soft, yet still prickly, underbelly.

“Man,” Casey said as he pulled away, “you are just… I don’t even know. I love you. You’re such a dweeb, and I love you more than anything. You dork.”

Gustavo blushed as he scowled. “Oh my god. I’m not a dweeb. Or a dork. What the hell.” He glanced at Josy, then looked back at Casey. He leaned forward and kissed Casey on the cheek. “I love you too. Shut up.”
ALL the *snort*, folks.

But "The ONE Thing" that I'd specifically hoped and prayed for going into this story was that we'd see Gustavo Tiberius tangle with the evil, all-knowing Interwebs again.

And guess what? WE DID! And the infamous support rep. Mitzi was even there.

I. Was. One. Happy. Bitch.
Gustavo stared off into the distance, a look of pain crossing his face. “I’m going to have to do something I swore I’d never do again.”

Josy felt goose bumps prickle along his arms and the back of his neck. “What’s that?”

Gustavo Tiberius squared his shoulders. “I have to ask the Internet for help. To the laptop!”
On the surface, this low-key, funny story came across as light and fluffy, but it was actually much more than that.
“Wow,” Quincy whispered.

Josy laughed.

“No. Seriously. Wow. That was--”
Yes, it really was.

5 stars and oh so highly recommended! Another great job, TJ. : )

** PS -- And speaking of "wow...", I can't believe I wrote that entire review without ever using the words "MONSTER PORN!" heh

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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