American Girls by Alison Umminger (287 pages)
Overview: Anna needs to get out of Atlanta after a downward spiral of her home and social life, so she takes her mother's new wife's credit card number and buys a plane ticket to LA where her twenty-six year old hopeful actress sister, Delia lives. She manages to make it to LA in one piece and convince everyone to let her stay the summer. The only catch is she'll have to find a way to pay Lynette back and finance her own plane ticket home. Through a job researching the Manson girls for her sister's sleazy ex-boyfriend and current director, Rodger, Anna starts to make money and discover things she never knew about the past of LA. At the same time, Delia's boyfriend, Dex, takes her to set with him where he's a writer on the cheesy kids show, Chips Ahoy!, staring Josh and Jeremy Taylor. After connecting with someone on set, her summer seems to take a turn for the better, but how long can she hold it together when even from afar her mother and best friend find ways to rock her life and her sister seems to be set on sabotaging any good relationships in her life sometimes putting herself and others in danger? Overall: 5
Characters: 5 The complexity behind these characters is amazing. Anna has so many weights that have been put on her with her insane family dynamics, past mistakes spearheaded by her best friend, Doon, and dealing with her sister's destructive nature. This is all on her shoulders while she deals with her own problems with finding how she fits into the world and discovers new relationships.
Delia struggles with accepting that good things can happen in her life leading to plenty of self sabotaging and sometimes dangerous behaviors like going back to her crazy ex-boyfriend, Roger after he repeatedly wrongs her and she finds the perfect boyfriend, not to mention her dangerous fling with a producer that spawn a stalker situation.
Finally, there's Jeremy, one half of Josh and Jeremy Taylor. Even though his fame is from a laughably bad kids show (that sounds like Suite Life on Deck), Jeremy still has to deal with the issues of fame. He stands to humanize fame and the LA life to Anna, showing that fame doesn't get rid of your problems, and, if anything, makes people think you can't have problems.
Plot: 5 I could not put this book down once I started it. I finished it in one day. The plot is fast moving yet not entirely focused on action. There are many tense moments as well as periods of discovery and growth for the characters.
Writing: 5 I honesty cannot adequately do this book justice with my review I loved it that much. The writing takes all these complex plots and subplots and makes them easy to read. The words form an instant picture in your brain making you forget that your reading. I really have to applaud Umminger for her ability to present such tangled family dynamics in a way that was never confusing. Beyond that, the book just gave me that feeling that amazing books do that's simply indescribable.
Click Here For: This is where I'm linking my summary of the awesome book launch I attended on Thursday. Click to hear about the event and discover the other books I ended up buying! (There's also a picture of the coolest book cookies you'll ever see) http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/09/author-event-katharine-mcgee.html