Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Random Review: How To Be A Movie Star by TJ Klune #Review #Giveaway

Author: TJ Klune
Title: How To Be A Movie Star
Series How To Be #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Length: 342 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

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Like any tried and true TJ Klune fan, when he announced he was writing the sequel to How to Be a Normal Person—you know the one he swore up, and down, and sideways he would NEVER write—I was as excited as anyone else at the news. Anytime TJ writes a new book is cause for celebration, right? And when I found out the book was going to be about Josiah, one of the Three Ironic Amigos we were introduced to in Normal Person, well, my excitement got even more and my anticipation even higher. I mean just look at the blurb! A book about a wannabe movie star who spends most of his time stoned and a writer of monster porn, I mean come on, how could I NOT want to read this book?!  Yes, the book is as ridiculous as it sounds ... but in the VERY best way and in a way nobody but TJ could pull off. It was silly and sweet and swoony—omg SO swoony—and I swear you will not stop smiling throughout the entire book. Your face will hurt by the end from smiling so much, I'm not even joking. 

Josiah, or Josy to his friends, Erickson is the biggest ball of sunshine you have ever come across, I kid you not. This dude, and I mean dude in the sweetest way, is like puppies and rainbows and cotton candy in a walking, talking hipster gay. He's not the brightest light bulb, something he readily admits with no hint of shame whatsoever, and his heart is as big as the sky. His friends adore him just the way he is, demisexual af, a lover of marijuana, and an inexplicable ability to win things at radio trivia. It's this particular gift that allows him to cross paths with Quincy Moore, a la Q-bert, writer of the before-mentioned monster porn.

Their meeting was ... well, you'll just have to read the book to find out exactly what. From there it doesn't take long for our beloved wannabe actor to be starring in his first movie ... one that Quincy just happens to have written and will be directing. I'm sure y'all can guess pretty clearly where this is all going to go from here. *hint, you might be right about some of it, but this is TJ Klune we're talking about here. You know he's going to surprise you! 

I loved this book so much! Like SO, so much. I'll admit, it took me a little bit to get into it, I think because Josy is kind of all over the place, but once I found my groove, I couldn't put the book down. The characters are all so fabulous. From Josy and Quincy to seeing Xander and Serge again. And omg, let's not forget the awesomeness of Casey and the unforgettable and lovable Gustavo Tiberius who is every bit as amazing as I remember him being in How to Be a Normal Person. Afterall, he has to be someone super special to be Josy's BFF for life. What the hell, indeed. The We Three Queens make an appearance and the addition of Roger and Dee just added to zaniness. But lest you think this book is all about the ridiculous, stop right there. In true TJ fashion, How to Be a Movie Star is definitely laugh out loud til your stomach hurts funny, but it has a depth and heart that sneaks up on you. 

"I get that," Josy said seriously. "Sometimes I like to lay on my bed in the dark and stare at the ceiling and think about things, like how I'm happy I got my big break and why to taquitos taste so good, even the frozen kind."


"Yeah, man. Like, I know frozen food isn't healthy or anything but you put some of those taquitos in the oven and holy crap, I could eat an entire box if it didn't give me the shits--"

"No. That's not what I was asking. I meant about this being your big break. That's what you think this is."

""Yeah, man," Josy said easily. "I'm in a movie. A real movie, you know? It's all I ever wanted, and now it's happened. How cool is that? My life is pretty great."

"It's that simple for you."

"Why wouldn't it be?"

Quincy slowly shook his head. "I--I wish I could see things like you do."

"But then you wouldn't see things like you do," Josy said. "And then there would be two of me and none of you, and that wouldn't be so good."

"It wouldn't?"

"Nope. Because I like you just the way you are."

And that right there is what How to Be a Movie Star is REALLY about. It's about finding your people, the ones who love you for who you are, just as you are. Josy is demisexual and it's caused problems for him in the past, but his friends, his chosen family, accept that part of him just like they accept he loves weed and knows random facts that win him prizes on the radio. Quincy has dealt with his mental health his whole life and sometimes he wins and others ... he loses. I love how open Quincy is through the whole book about what he deals with and that sometimes his depression and anxiety get the best of him, but the important thing is to keep going, keep trying. This open and honest look at how people learn to deal with their mental health is one of the best things about the book. 

Really, How to Be a Movie Star is excellent from beginning to end. It’s a happy book, one that will leave your heart full and with a smile on your face that will last long after you finish the last page. That Epilogue?! Truly wonderful. The book is a perfect mix of sweet and fluffy and heart and you should pick it up ASAP! You’ll be so happy you did, I promise.


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