Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: Blame it on the Fame

By Gail Allison

The road to the Oscars: a red carpet littered with couture gowns, killer heels, and enough paparazzi energy to power an entire city for a week. But what comes before all the lights and the swagger? What are the lives of the nominees like leading up to the big day? And what if each of the five glamorous nominees for best actress is completely different from the other, and each woman has her own special (if, in some cases, dysfunctional) way of dealing with the pressures of a nomination from the Academy? Blame it on the Fame by Tracie Banister was so much fun to read. In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, she lets us follow each of the five nominees for the coveted Best Actress award and observe how they’re dealing with the pressure of wanting that golden statue so badly, and exactly what each one of them is willing to sacrifice to get it.

Anaya Reynolds is an ex-model who has her sights set on being the next big thing on the silver screen, but the sex, drugs, and booze seem to be getting in the way. Or is it the acting that’s getting in the way of her partying? Can she rein in her wild child ways or will her career implode with a spectacular crash and burn like so many wannabes in Hollywood?

Laurel Hastings appears to have it all, until her personal life disintegrates in front of her very eyes, and then her scheming best friend splatters the gory details all over the entertainment news. Can she get it together in time to walk the red carpet with grace and style or will she end up running from the spotlight, just like she did last time she was thrust into the public eye?

In the press, Danielle Jamison is perfectly balancing motherhood and a skyrocketing acting career...but behind closed doors her life is a totally different story. The children she’s so devoted to in front of the cameras are nothing but an inconvenience, and the husband she’s so committed to is nothing but a dead weight who is riding her coattails to the top and not pulling his weight in the household, according to her. Now if Danielle can just keep the two worlds from colliding and maintain the picture-perfect facade that she’s created for the press, everything will be ideal. But what if someone spots a crack in her veneer?

Jordan Schaeffer is trying to build an acting career on her own name and her own talent: not an easy thing to do when you’re the child of a movie star mother and a powerhouse producer father. She knows the road that she wants to be on isn’t easy but she’s willing to put in the time and effort for it. Now she needs to convince her mother that she’s doing what’s right for her. But can she live her own life and be happy with it when her mother, one of the biggest names in show biz, is intent on creating the right path for her?

Philippa Sutcliffe is choosy about the roles she’s in and even choosier about the men she’s with. When an off-screen romance between her and her leading man ends in betrayal and tears she vows never to work with him again. So what will she do when that same picture receives a number of nominations from the Academy, and they’re pushed back together for a nonstop run of press engagements? Will she get pulled back in by his charm and charisma, or is she really over him now?

Blame it on the Fame was a really fun read, especially if you enjoy awards shows. It was a look behind the curtain at the way five very different actresses dealt with the pressures and stresses of being acknowledged for their talents. It was never too heavy, even though it touched on some fairly weighty topics (mental health, infidelity, and substance abuse to name a few). The ending was just perfect too. Very well written, and easy to enjoy, I’d recommend Blame it on the Fame to anyone who enjoys awards shows (and the catty commentary before and after). There was definitely some colorful language as well as some steamy love scenes, so if that’s not your thing, maybe steer clear. In my opinion, though, Ms. Banister has come up with a winner here, and I’ll be putting this in my re-read pile for sure. This book managed to take me off the couch and on to the red carpet every time I picked it up...and I didn’t have to get cinched into spanx and a strapless gown to attend!!

Thanks to Tracie Banister for the book in exchange for an honest review. Come back tomorrow to hear Tracie's thoughts about celebrities and enter to win this book! (Worldwide giveaway.)

1 comment:

Janine said...

Great review. This is one of my favorite books. I loved it.