By Sarah Skilton
Published April 2019 by Grand Central
The child star that was left behind is about to get her moment to shine in this swoony romantic comedy inspired by a unique, beloved facet of pop culture history: The Mickey Mouse Club.
Holly Danner has a complicated relationship with fame. It’s not easy being the only cast member of a 1990s song-and-dance show who didn’t become famous. When she was eleven, she used to do anything for a laugh (or at least a laugh-track) on “Diego and the Lion’s Den.” If she talked about it–which she almost never does–Holly might explain how her childhood best friends came to dominate the worlds of pop music, film, and TV while she was relegated to a few near-misses and a nanny gig for her niece. She’d even be telling the truth about making peace with the whole thing years ago.
But when she finds out there’s a 25th anniversary for the show planned–a televised reunion, clip show, and panel–and she wasn’t invited, it’s time for an impromptu road trip to crash the event and set the record straight. Three problems: she’s currently in Internet Rehab (perhaps she’s not quite as well-adjusted as she believes…), she has no cash, and the only person who can get her across the country in time is Thom Parker, a handsome, infuriatingly level-headed patient who doesn’t think she should confront her famous ex-friends.
FAME ADJACENT is a contemporary, realistic, and humorous look at love, friendship, and fame, as seen through the eyes of a girl who lived it–from the sidelines.
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Holly Danner is one of those characters who just sticks with you. She’s witty and smart and she is just real. And as a reader who was never in the starlight, I found Holly incredibly relatable.
As a childhood star, Holly is no longer in the spotlight and is the only one of her group to leave fame behind. Or maybe it left her behind. As the story starts, Holly is in Internet rehab, and she’s trying to navigate her life while dealing with the fact that there’s a 25th anniversary of her show coming up and she hasn’t been invited.
Thom is also a patient at Internet rehab, and his story just….ok basically I just loved him. He had a lot of depth and his story made me simultaneously sad yet happy. I loved how he pushed Holly to stop underestimating herself.
I found myself completely swept up in this story and learning more about Holly’s background (and Thom’s too, honestly). By the time the other childhood stars appear in the story, I really felt like they truly were larger than life, they were described so well.
There were a lot of points that I laughed out loud, because honestly they got themselves into some pretty bizarre situations. Basically, their road trip was just a hot mess and I loved it.
I love a light-hearted romance and this book delivered. But don’t be fooled, this book has a lot more layers than just a light romance. And that’s what makes it so great.