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September 17, 2013

STARLET'S WEB by Carla J. Hanna


The Starlet's Series 

Book One
Carla J. Hanna

January 21, 2013 Winner of the IBD Award!  

 Starlet's Web (The Starlet, #1)
Published November 2nd 2012 by Createspace

(from Amazon)

A-list actress, 17-year-old Liana Marie Michael struggles to find herself when Hollywood's obsession with youth and power threatens to destroy her future. Used to talking and thinking in scripts, can Lia find her own voice? Can she and a Tim Tebow overcome Hollywood's web of lies?

Liana is dating Hollywood's hottest heartthrob while filming her seventh motion picture with sexy co-star Byron. Surrounded by a culture of casual sex and adult responsibilities, Lia feels lost and confused. With her film soon to wrap, her acting contracts up for renewal, her high school graduation looming and growing tension between her and smart student athlete, Manuel, life feels overwhelming. Will Lia find the courage to share her love for Manuel, a guy unimpressed with Hollywood? In the eternal quest for youth, what life-shattering secrets has Lia's mom been keeping from her? Can Manuel accept Lia's role?

STARLET'S WEB is not only a love story. With fast-paced narrative that reflects Hollywood's hyper-drive lifestyle, Ms. Hanna transports the reader into an actor's daily life and demonstrates how difficult it is for young adults to break free from a path created by someone else - even when it is a successful one.
I read the second book, which was out of sequence and I should have read the first one first.  That said.  The book is written for the YA section of readers.  Liana Marie,  who has been part of the Hollywood all of her life since both her parents were actors. She has many nominations and awards  to her credit, but she seemed so clueless and immature.  I thought, she is in Hollywood, not a place to be so unknowing of the evil that lurks around the corner.  She is sick a lot and I wished the author had brought more of her illness out before the end of the book.She has inner demons, morality and when or not to have sex. She's very young, just a teenager wanting a normal life with a boyfriend.  She has to think of all the people who depend on her.  The ones she pays a salary to, the other actors, her management and her fans.  What if she just quit?  To me, she should.  Being young and faced with those kind of responsibilities can make you hard real quick.
She does have another life, teenage friends, whose parents are very wealthy and not in the Hollywood web. Most of her friends are just as young and clueless as she is.  There is one though. I felt this was just a teenager who was going down a path that she is way to young to take.  Her parents evidently didn't see it or want to see it. I wasn't captured in the storyline.  Normal teenage, not really knowing what she wants, just what she thinks she wants.  There just didn't appear to me to be much depth to the story.  Now, this is coming from someone older than the YA group.  I do believe maybe 13, 14 year olds would relate to the Liana Marie.  I would suggest this book for the YA group and if you're into YA, try it.  You may see things differently than I did. I might suggest you read Book One first before Book Two. 

  I would give this book 3 STARS.

I was given a complimentary copy of STARLET'S WEB from the author, Carla J. Hanna for this unbiased review.

Carla J. Hanna is the author of the STARLET SERIES of young adult romance and coming of age fiction novels. A former housewife of Santa Monica, marketing communications executive, and graduate of Colorado State University with a Master of Arts, she lives in Colorado with her family.
I'm a mother of two awesome kids and a very happily married woman. Four years ago, we moved to Colorado, close to family and those amazing mountains. I train for triathlons and walk my golden retrievers. My life is complete.

The Starlet Series is about a child star / daughter of an a-list actress. It is very realistic, capturing how the children of stars talk in scripts. In real life, they cuss in every sentence as they "run lines" and it's really jarring to hear. I had to remove the cussing to be YA but I think the reader can still get the feeling that Lia and Evan are absolutely unique. The Starlet series is not like any other book about teen stars you've read because it is not paparazzi-driven - that's just not 'real'. I know because I lived in the house that I describe in the book in Santa Monica. I was not an actress but all my friends were industry people. I'm in the second book (Can you guess who?).

I wrote the series after holding my dad's hand through all his cancer treatments (chemo and radiation) for palate cancer and lymphoma at the same time that my daughter was diagnosed with a pituitary gland problem and precocious puberty.

My series started with two simple questions: What if we stayed in Santa Monica, California? What if my kids continued to play with the sweet, isolated children of celebrities?

My tall, beautiful daughter would have wanted to become a swimsuit model and my charming son would have dated Violet Affleck. I would have begged them not to become actors.

Starlet's Web - Can a teen actress and a Tim Tebow stand up to Hollywood's web of lies? A fast read with plot twists.

Starlet's Run - In a world where an actress is a product and everyone is a critic, can their love survive? Should it? A slower, deeper read with character development.

Starlet's Light - Young Hollywood actress, Liana Marie Michael, is 'so done' with acting. She gives up the fight until she sees the light. A sad but triumphant read.

Starlet's End - The Hollywood elite are pointing fingers at those responsible for anti-aging drugs. Can justice be served? An exciting man-hunt adventure with a chilling ending. TBR 2014

The Starlet Series is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.

Starlet's Light (The Starlet, #3)
Starlet's Run (The Starlet, #2)

Starlet's Light                    Starlet's End                        Starlet's Run
Bk 3                             Bk 4                                   Bk 2
TBR 2014

1 comment:

Carla Hanna said...

Thank you for review of Starlet's Web. Your reaction to the actress's immaturity is common and one of the reasons why I wrote the series. I want to show that actors are people and people make films that reflect their values. Kids of celebs are both protected, immature teens (far more isolated than a typical teen) and an important part of an influential business, caught between emotional immaturity and cut-throat competitive branding. As Ashton Kutcher explained in his Teen Choice speech, celebrities are people, too, and shouldn't be put on a pedestal. My question is: why are we readers and viewers so eager to let the Mommy Dearests and Woody Allens influence our lives with their films and their unhealthy views about beauty?

As a correction to the Goodreads error, Loved in Pieces and Starlet's Web are not the same stories. A librarian misclassified but I am helpless to change the error. Sorry for the confusion.