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Ratings and Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Charming, Heart-tugging Contemporary Romance

    I fell in love with Susannah Nix’s work when I read REMEDIAL ROCKET SCIENCE, and her book of short stories, I & LOVE & YOU, sealed the deal for me. Nix’s latest book, RISING STAR, is another winner, and everything I hoped. Her characters are so deeply human. They struggle things most people have been consumed by at one point or another in their lives: with money or finding a place to live before their lease is up; they worry about jobs, and if they measure up. One of the most appealing things about the gorgeous, movie star hero, Griffin Beach, (whose last name is not actually Beach) was the miserable diet he’s stuck on, and the way he internalizes his anxiety about his career and the things he’s given up to keep it afloat. It reminded me, in a way of reading a biography of Cary Grant and that incredible quote: “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. I want to be Cary Grant.” The hero comes in a pretty package, and sure that’s helps, but it’s the pain and the longing of a real human being underneath that you fall in love with. It’s a brilliant book, with some truly fresh moments. Both Alice and Griffin face significant choices and challenges in their careers, and I loved the way Nix handled these without resorting to flashy, implausible sacrifices and victories. Unexpectedly, one of my favorite parts of the book (besides the delicious, swoon-inducing love scenes) turned out to be Alice’s Ph.D. advisor, and the advice she gives Alice about handling a sexual harassment complaint. I think her wise, compassionate words may be the part I remember longest. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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    So real that it hurts (in a good way)

    Susannah Nix specializes in realism within her novels. There is no way for me to accurately state the nuanced complexity of her writing. Her characters are always believable, realistically vulnerable, and express sentiments that often hit dangerously close to home. "Rising Star" is another literary bop that made my heart beat fast, then slow, then fast again, until I almost died. I get silly with words, but I'm serious! Without spoiling anything, the story provides a grim perspective on some subject matter readers might be familiar with. At times it made me feel hollow and upset to read this, until I realized I wasn't even reading about a real person. The narration and characterization are so concise that it feels like real events. The imagery in some of the more romantic scenes is vivid too, for anyone wondering. I had to take a break because the vapors proved too strong for my weak constitution. If you want to feel something, read this book. If you want to experience a solid romance tale, give this book a go. If you don't like reading, you would've stopped reading this review by now, so read "Rising Star" you liar. I am always excited for a new entry in Susannah Nix's library, and this might be my favorite one yet. Great work! [Who has two thumbs and received an advance copy of "Rising Star"? This guy.]
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    I’m not even sure where to start with this book

    I’m not even sure where to start with this book. There are so many amazing things going on in it – some good, some unpleasant, all of them highly emotional. Alice and Griffin are so adorably awkward with each other. As painful as it sometimes is to watch, it’s also a thing of beauty. Alice is every girl who’s ever been caught in a situation she didn’t know how to get out of. One she had a hand in creating but wasn’t entirely of her own making. Griffin is sweet and charming, but oh so bumbling. He occasionally behaves like a butt-head, but, well, he’s human. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us with the next book in the series. I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the author.
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    ...awkward can be beautiful.

    The appeal of Rising Star for me hinged heavily on Alice. Alice is a character that readers can see pieces of themselves in. Nix created a character that was fascinating not because she lost her heart to a movie star, but because she stayed true to herself while doing it. Susannah Nix dared to show how awkward can be beautiful. Rising Star is right at the head of class when it comes to empowerment and that's a message that never gets old.
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    I liked this so much!

    I was given an ARC for an honest review of Rising Star. What can I say? Susannah Nix has done it again! She somehow manages to address prominent social issues with a very true-to-life approach, whether it's the challenges faced by women in STEM careers or sexual harassment. I like Griffin - a lot! He is beautiful but insecure, shallow but still caring, thoughtless but still thoughtful. You know, like a REAL guy, with real issues, not the typical alpha book hero. I REALLY like Alice - her personal/professional dilemma is a reality for many women. She is funny, heartwarming and REAL. Their romance was a slow burner, (my favorite kind!), but very sweet and realistic. I re-read this and loved it even more the 2nd time through.
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