Book Review: "Hello Hollywood!" by Janice Thompson

Summary from When it comes to love, one thing's for sure--it doesn't follow a script! Athena Pappas is the head writer on Stars Collide, one of the most popular sitcoms in television history. But when Vegas comedian Stephen Cosse is brought in to beef up the show's suddenly sagging ratings, she starts to worry about her job. Sparks fly as the competition--and attraction--between the two writers heats up. Athena has never had a problem writing the romances of her characters. So why is her own love life so hard to script? With humor and a Hollywood-insider viewpoint, Hello, Hollywood! delivers lots of laughs as Athena and Stephen discover that not being in control of the plot of their lives might just be the best thing that ever happened to them.

As a fan of all things entertainment, I have fun reading stories that take place in Hollywood. I also enjoy reading stories that deal with a lot of food. Thirdly, I appreciate seeing a story where a woman is working in a field that is predominately male and is able to come up on top. This story features all these as we follow Athena, head writer for a major popular show who also happens to come from restaurant owning Greek family.

While I enjoyed this story, there were just some things in it that didn't make me buy it completely. Stars Collide seems like an incredibly clean and family oriented show. In this day and age, I cannot see that being one of the top shows on network TV. Also, I'm really sorry but almost all the ideas they were throwing around sounded really lame to me. Maybe someone else might enjoy it but I found them extremely tame and boring.

Also it's said that Stephen had a comedy special on HBO. I don't know about you but every comedy special I've seen on HBO is filled with cursing and potentially offensive jokes. I have NEVER seen one that wasn't. It's not brought up at all in the book what type of comedian he is. For it to be mentioned and to sound realistic, having a show on HBO puts Stephen in the same category as all those other comedians. Also, while I was very pleased that it's mentioned that Golden Globe nominations are announced in December (good research), there is no way that Stephen's HBO special would have been nominate for any awards. There is no category that it would fit. The average reader probably would not notice this but being the obsessed geek that I am, it stood out to me.

I did enjoy reading about Athena's family. They were very much like the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding though not as huge and crazy. There were times when I was afraid that someone was going to be unreasonable but then went against what I thought they were going to do. I really loved reading about all the food. I love Greek food and everything that was mentioned in the story sounded delicious. Since I stopped eating beef a few years ago, I had to give up eating gyros. Athena's family's Super Gyro though sounds absolutely delicious. Having some recipes included in the book would have been fantastic.

Overall, it's an enjoyable story. I did like much better than the first book in the series. Thompson has a fun style of writing that is very inviting to the reader. The romance between Athena and Stephen is better than most I read (though I was a little perturbed about her lying about fishing at the end) and I could believe their relationship. I have a feeling I know who the third book is going to be about (the director seems like an obvious choice). Even if I'm wrong, I know I'll be looking forward to it.

Hello Hollywood! by
Janice Thompson is published by Revell (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

Other books in the Backstage Pass series that I have reviewed:

Stars Collide (Book 1)


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