Release Date: 28th February 2012
Synopsis: Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.
Review: This book was nothing like I expected, it was so much more. I was expecting to read a cute short read aimed at younger teens which centred on forbidden love. What I got was so much more. This book is about real problems people go through and how far a person would go to get what they want. Each of these themes are explored in great detail in the novel making it a great read. Despite the cover which I personally think makes this book look less mature than it really is, Jo is a mature character who we can't help rooting for all the way.
Zo Jo, is a paparazzo, who has a big advantage over her fellow photographers. She's incredibly short making it easy to sneak into places unnoticed, allowing her to take the best shots. Making her one of the best in the biz with her advantage, she's asked to go on a special assignment. Join Ned Hartnett and secretly take photos of him while he's away at a retreat. It's a dirty task, the lowest one Jo has ever faced but the money's too good to decline. She accepts but she can't shake the fact that this is wrong. Once she arrives things get even more complicated.
I loved the character of Jo, she's very down to earth after all she spends most of her life watching celebs making fools out of themselves. She's clever and strong but underneath it all she's vulnerable. While away at the retreat listening to others spill their secrets, we see that Jo is affected by her own secret. A secret that's having more of an effect on her then she lets on. It shows no matter how good appearances are things can always be shimmering under the surface. We see Jo getting more confused each day trying to make the right decisions, just like a normal teenager choices are hard to make. I liked the reality of Jo's character, how she suffers but puts on a brave face so she can work towards her own goal. It's the future that she wants that pushes her on and motivates her and we see that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve what you always wanted.
Ned is another main character who is also suffering but nobody knows why. He keeps to himself and tries to stay out of the limelight despite his singing career. We learn that the only thing he wants is to get better and my heart goes out to him, he has some real courage. Jake was just plain awesome, I didn't see his particular story line coming at all, it completely blew my mind! It was so great, I wasn't expecting it and bam there it was, throwing the story in a whole new direction.
Shooting Stars is a great novel aimed at Teens. It contains many life lessons and reflects the reality of life and how difficult it can be. It shows that even if you are suffering, you're not alone and you never will be. There will always be people there who you can talk to and slowly things will get better. I loved the world building in this book especially the retreat was done very well. The best thing about this book though is the main character Jo, which I think many people will be able to relate too. Shooting Stars was a brilliant novel. When you read it you will definitely come out of reading it slightly wiser, it's full of wisdom and advice. It was great!