I’m 44K words into the draft of my next novel (Take Two), in which the hero and heroine are a Hollywood actor and director. It’s a Hollywood romance novel … with a twist.
When I stumbled across Stars Collide, in which the heroine is a famous TV-show actress in love with her co-star, I couldn’t very well ignore it, could I? Right! So here goes…
I found the start of Stars Collide to be a little rough. Three chapters in, I was wondering who the novel was really about, the young heroine (Kat) and her man … or her grandmother. And when the “big kiss” happens that early in a book, it makes you wonder where the author is going!
Luckily I stuck with it, because it was a fun read.
And the answer to the above question is: both. The author created some touching circumstances, especially for the eccentric ex-Hollywood starlet. The characters were well done, the personality quirks different and interesting (the author obviously knows her old movies!), and the “life imitates art” plot line was a refreshingly funny way to approach the story.
Stars Collide is a light (I’d call it “sunny”) read. There’s never a time when the younger actors’ relationship comes into question; in fact, they seemed to have it a bit too good to be true. Even the grandmother’s painful past isn’t a heavy topic.
In Take Two, the characters have some baggage, some bias, some assumptions about each other. They fight their attraction. The actor (Zac) struggles with his own past and his conflicting desire for F-A-M-E and a stable relationship/family. The director (Gina) uses her teenage daughters as an excuse to opt out of life’s challenges. Oh, and there’s a “bad guy” (well, actually a girl) and my signature medical emergency.
In sum, Take Two is decidedly heftier (how’s that for a word?). It’s fascinating to see how different authors take an idea like “Hollywood romance” and do such different things with it.