Friday, October 7, 2011

Hello Hollywood! by Janice Thompson

Great blend of life, romance, and family

From the Publisher

Athena Pappas is the head writer on 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 scripting 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 the characters discover that not being in control of the plot of their lives might just be the best thing that ever happened to them. 

My Take

I’m definitely a Janice Thompson fan—her Weddings by Bella series was great and I enjoyed each and every book.  I even read and reviewed her first Backstage Pass book, Stars Collide, and enjoyed that one.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as enamored with her latest book in the Backstage Pass series, Hello Hollywood! (sorry Ms Thompson!).

Although I enjoyed the scenes where the writers brainstormed and the antics that went with it, so many of the ideas came from the old Dick Van Dyke (which I still watch!) and I Love Lucy shows. It just seemed a little too much repetition and recycling of ideas.  As Hollywood writers, there should have been more original ideas. There was also quite a bit of repetition of the “great stories are built on conflict” and the plotline discussions. I actually grew kind of bored with those sections.

Each of the characters had their own “moments” and I enjoyed their stories of how they came to be at this point in their lives. It’s also a treat to see such a family oriented environment. The way the family interacted at home and at “Super Gyros” really touched me.  And I loved how the writers included the older “former starts” in the show—the older generation still has a lot to give. I think my favorite character in Hello Hollywood! had to be Leona. Her failing memory and illusions is so typical of Alzheimer’s  and I’m glad Ms Thompson brings that awareness to her readers.

The romance between some of the characters (don’t want to spoil it!) is always part of Ms Thompson’s books and I enjoy that part. Who doesn’t love some romance??   And, as usual, the inclusion of faith is one of the reasons I read her books. I like seeing the characters living their faith and not just talking about it.

All in all, Hello Hollywood! was an okay read. It was easy to get through but I was disappointed that it wasn’t up to Ms Thompson’s usual standards. I still look forward to not only the next book in the Backstage Pass series, I look forward to all of Janice Thompson’s books.  I give Hello Hollywood! 3 out of 5 stars as just an average read.

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

I received this book free from Revell  as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

About the Author

Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson affords an inside look at TV land, drawing on her experiences as a screenwriter. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and Stars Collide. She lives in Texas.

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