Book Review: "Stars Collide" by Janice Thompson

Summary from Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy don't just play two people who are secretly in love on a television sitcom—they are also head over heels for each other in real life. When the lines between reality and TV land blur, they hope they can keep their relationship under wraps. But when Kat's grandmother, an aging Hollywood starlet with a penchant for wearing elaborate evening gowns from Golden Age movies, mistakes their on-screen wedding proposal for the real deal, things begin to spiral out of their control. Will their secret be front-page news in the tabloids tomorrow? And can their budding romance survive the onslaught of paparazzi, wedding preparations, and misinformed in-laws?

Due to my love of movies and certain TV shows, I am always interested in books that take place in Hollywood. While I understand that in a fiction book, there has to be certain elements that need to be created, I really enjoy seeing how the fictional world and the actual world blend together. I don't like seeing an entirely created world because then the author starts inserting events and situations that I know would be impossible to actually happen. But I do like seeing the created characters meet up or at least reference the real world. It gives off a sense of authenticity for me. That's what this book does as it brings back both old and new Hollywood experiences for the reader.

Kat and Scott's relationship is interesting because the romantic tension that is happening on screen with their characters is happening off screen as well. Unlike most Hollywood stars however, the two are both Christians so they keep things pretty clean between them. It's more fun to read about romance rather than just sex. I liked seeing the two discover more about each other as their relationship progressed. Even though they had been working together for a while, it was just surface talk between the two of them until now.

While the book and premise were interesting, I didn't really enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I've read better stories about behind the scenes in Hollywood and I didn't feel as if this story captured it as well as other books. The show that Kat and Scott work on sounded very boring to me. From the description and plots that were mentioned in the book, I honestly can't believe that it would be a top show in the real world. I'm not saying that a family oriented show can't be popular but the plot of the TV show Stars Collide sounded a bit weak to me. Also I know that Kat's grandmother is suffering some memory issues, but I felt that Kat was too lax with her. I'm not saying that she did anything wrong, but I felt that certain situations could have been avoided if they had been better handled by Kat. I just couldn't buy it that the only reason why she feel into her own engagement was simply to placate her grandmother and not confuse her even more. It seems a poor way to start a marriage if it's based partly on deceit. I just felt that Kat seemed to be either ignoring or just not wanting to deal with her grandmother's failing health as she wasn't looking for any help for her. One more very minor quibble: the quotes that were used in the game by Kat and her grandmother were quite easy ones. I would have been a bit more impressed if obscure or even lesser known movies had been used.

Overall, though this is was a rather nice romantic comedy mixed in with Hollywood glamor. It's a fun read and gives off a nice look at behind the scenes of all the glitz of show business. This is the first book in the Backstage Pass series and I look forward to more behind the scenes action in the future.

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson is published by Revell (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. I have got to get this one finished - I'm enjoying it. Pretty fun "fluffy" read.

  2. Finished this one Saturday night. Didn't like it quite as much as the Weddings by Bella series, but I enjoyed it enough to want to check out the two books coming next - especially since they focus on different characters.


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