Review: Stars Collide and Hello, Hollywood by Janice Thompson

I have had the privilege of getting to know Janice Thompson just a bit through her Facebook fan pages and a couple of conversations at the recent ACFW Conference. She has a wonderful heart and a great sense of humor – and it shows in all of her books. These are the 5th and 6th books of hers I’ve read and most certainly won’t be the last! She’s over on Pentalk today – be sure to check it out!

Stars Collide

From the Back Cover:

Her future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades

Kat Jennings and Scott Murphy don’t just play two people who are secretly in love on a television sitcom–they are actually 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 eccentric star from Hollywood’s golden age, mistakes their on-screen wedding proposal for the real deal, things begin to spiral out of control. Will their secret be front-page news in the tabloids? And can their budding romance survive the onslaught of paparazzi, wedding preparations, and misinformed family members?

From the soundstage to a Beverly Hills mansion to the gleaming Pacific Ocean, Stars Collide takes you on a roller-coaster tour of Hollywood, packing both comedic punch and tender emotion.

Stars Collide is a fun-filled romp into Tinseltown with all its quirks and characters. I hope you enjoy this romantic getaway as much as I did.”–Kristin Billerbeck, bestselling author of Perfectly Dateless and What a Girl Wants

“A sweet, funny, fun look at Hollywood behind the scenes, from a talented author. Janice Thompson knows her characters inside and out.”–Lisa Wingate, bestselling author of Larkspur Cove and Beyond Summer

My Review

I received a copy of Hello, Hollywood and was a couple of pages in when I realized that… ACK!!!! IT’S BOOK TWO! But never fear! I knew there Ms. Thompson had several fans in my area [from chatter on one of her Facebook fan pages] so I emailed one of them to see if she might have a copy of Stars Collide I could borrow. To my surprise [and delight!] she mailed me her copy! For keeps!

I’d already read Ms. Thompson’s Weddings by Bella series and loved them, but was a bit wary. You know how it is. You love one series but the next is sometimes a let down.

I should have known better!

Stars Collide is exactly what I would have expected and more. Though I don’t know what specific shows Ms. Thompson might have been alluding to, it was quite fun to “see” my favorite shows in there. Could I have been reading into it? Of course. But it was quite fun anyway.

I loved the way she worked in the backstory, particularly as it relates to Kat’s wonderful grandmother, Lenora Worth. A star in her own right, but slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s, she is treated with dignity and respect by those who love her – even if she does exasperate them from time to time.

I can unreservedly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, clean romantic comedy with a bit of a serious side.

8.5 of 10 stars

Hello, Hollywood

From the Back Cover:

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.

“Romance, drama, fun–Hello, Hollywood! has it all.”–Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and A Charmed Life series

“Thoroughly delightful! A blend of contemporary life and romance with nostalgic snapshots of Hollywood’s golden age. Thompson writes with warmth and humor, creating a world we can all escape to for a little while.”–Rachel Hauck, bestselling and award-winning author of Dining with Joy

My Review

Hello, Hollywood  picks up where Stars Collide leaves off. Athena is the head writer for the show Kat and Scott star in. When the powers that be bring in a new guy, Athena worries her job might be on the line. Stephen has reasons of his own for wanting a steady gig on one of the highest rated TV shows, reasons that aren’t immediately apparent.

Both characters have insecurities that often plague many of us. They work to overcome them with Athena’s big Greek family [think My Big Fat Greek Wedding, among others] and Stephen’s smaller, but still lovable, family, helping in the background.

Plus she scatters Dick Van Dyke references in all over the place! What isn’t to love?!

Be sure to check this one out! Laughs galore with a message of truth built right in.

8.5 of 10 stars

I’m looking forward to book three in this series! I’ve heard it’s about a favorite returning character – but I don’t know what’s official information and what’s not so I’ll stay mum for now ;). But I can’t wait!!!!!