Review: Map to the Stars by Jen Malone

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Map to the Stars by Jen MaloneMap to the Stars by Jen Malone
Published by Epic Reads Impulse on July 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 241
Format: eBook
Source: Edelweiss

Author Jen Malone draws on her real-life experiences as a movie studio publicist to bring you an insider peek at love, Hollywood-style. 

The California dream was supposed to give seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton a fresh start far removed from her dad’s unusual betrayal. But when things don’t go according to plan in La La Land, Annie’s mom snags a last-minute gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for her daughter on his European promotional tour.

Down-to-earth Annie would rather fangirl architectural sights than an arrogant A-lister. That is, until behind-the-scenes Graham Cabot turns out to be more sweetly vulnerable than she could have imagined. 

Too bad falling for a poster boy isn’t all red carpets and star treatment, especially when you factor in obnoxious fans, an overprotective assistant, a stage mom/manager, and a beefy bodyguard.

But it isn’t until the paparazzi make an appearance that things get really sticky…

If you’ve been following along with this blog, you probably won’t be surprised by my obsession with romances where ordinary people get to hook up with hot movie stars. They can seriously betray me (*cough* Famous in Love *cough*), but I always come back to them. When Map to the Stars showed up on Edelweiss, I was powerless to resist it. After Song of Summer turned out to be so good, I was ready to give Epic Reads Impulse a shot because why not. I’m very glad I did, because my life can always use more shippy books in it. Map to the Stars may not revolutionize the trope, but it’s adorable and bantery and ship ship ship.

Annie and her mom move to LA following an issue with Annie’s father which you should not expect to be dealt with until about three-quarters into the book. After working with Joe, a producer, on a Hollywood shoot in Georgia, he offered to help her find a job in LA, and she took it. Out for the summer, Annie gets a job too, working as an assistant. They promptly get fired by the first top douchebag star who hired them. Joe, however, manges to hook them up with a way better gig: managing makeup for teen heartthrob Graham Cabot.

gif hi annie hunger games

Predictably, Graham and Annie get off on the wrong foot when she accidentally falls asleep on his hotel room bed and he assumes that she’s a creepy stalker. Annie is pissed, but everyone else thinks the mix up is hilarious. The next day, Annie’s determined to maintain her grudge and dreaming of revenge, but Graham quickly wins her over. Their first day of interaction is so freaking cute I can’t even. She was helping out in his interview room and the guys doing the filming were totally shipping them, and omg I am so weak against such things. Also, these interactions spawn his horribly embarrassing nickname for her, which I actually love because at least it’s personal.

Map to the Stars is short but manages to do a really convincing job with the first love thing. For all that Graham would have had access to plenty of girls, he came off as fairly believable to me. Sure, it’s a fantasy, and I don’t really think odds are high of a child star growing up to be like Graham but he’s well-drawn enough I was willing to roll with it. His mixed-up phrases were super adorable. What balances his adorable perfection is his determination to live as his publicists demand. That made the whole thing feel way more real. He’s a good guy, but he also hurts Annie in his efforts to maintain his brand. His concern for all the people who work for him is sweet too, but it’s definitely a major flaw.

gif finnick hunger games
Graham’s even on publicity for a movie called Triton. This is so perfect.

Problems and believability aside, I shipped it. They are one hundred percent cute together all of the time. I mean, it’s totally instalovey but once again I think it’s in the good way. They’re young and they’re having romantic feelings for the first time and EMOTIONS. I believe that they think they’re in love and whether that lasts will all depend on whatever I choose to do in my headcanon unless there’s some sort of follow up, which I doubt. Also, it was so cheesy but Graham’s big speech at the end was totally squeedorable.

gif my love finnick hunger games

The friends and family are also a delight in Map to the Stars. Annie’s best friend Wynn could have had more development but I do love the fact that, despite always having had a huge crush on Graham, she was never once jealous because she knew that her celebrity crush was something different. A lot of YA would not have played it that way and seriously bless Malone.

Annie’s mom totally has a her back and it’s great. She gets mad at Annie sometimes or disappointed, but there’s so much love there. Also, she’s a total shipper, which is damn cute. I really love when characters ship other characters, okay. Annie’s Dad I would have liked to see a bit more of but that was done fairly well too, I think. It’s nice that the drama wasn’t any of the more typical parent drama from YA. Then there’s Joe who I adore endlessly.

Map to the Stars is a bit cheesy and predictable but honestly what else did I want from a Hollywood romance like this? Map to the Stars is so cute and so fun and, if you’re also into these celebrity romances, you most definitely do not want to miss it.

Favorite Quote:

“Wait, so what would Graham and I be? Theoretically, I mean?”

Wynn looked down at her keyboard. “Right. Well, okay, so it’s not exactly super-sexy or anything, but, uh, I think it’s way cute.”

“Wynn,” I threatened.

“So, um, the only one I could get to approximate a real word is, uh . . . well. Grannie. But that’s so cuuuuuute, right?”

I groaned. Great. Not only was my boyfriend on a date with a size-two model but our couple name had all the sizzle of orthopedic shoes. Just stab me with some knitting needles.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif she crept up on me hunger games
Sorry not sorry for what I’ve done to your feels.

3 responses to “Review: Map to the Stars by Jen Malone”

  1. Hannah says:

    I’m not normally a fan of the hollywood-romance vibe, but I trust your recommendations! This sounded really cute and bantery – and I’m in the mood for a feel-good read!
    Hannah recently posted…Review: Jackaby – William RitterMy Profile

  2. I have this on my wishlist but might need to buy it sooner! It sounded adorable and I love the trope too so I’m really glad that you thought it was cute and shippy! I don’t mind some cheesiness and predictability. I almost prefer it for my fluffy reads because for me it’s all about the characters and swoon. This sounds so fun!
    Morgan @ Gone with the Words recently posted…Review: Ana of California by Andi TeranMy Profile

  3. Krys says:

    I’m going to say this first: I did not read the review, just in casae I decide to read this book and I would not want my opinion to seem altered by somebody else’s perspective – it’s how I roll…
    This is why I’m here: What’s with ‘The Fault in Our Stars” cover-theme?
    That is all,
    – Krys
    Krys recently posted…Review: Girl in Dior by Annie GoetzingerMy Profile

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