Monday, February 8, 2016

Julie's Review: No Ordinary Life

Author: Suzanne Redfearn
Series: None
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 455
Obtained: Publicist
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Behind the scenes look at behind the camera of Hollywood and the perils of it
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood. Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and their three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. In a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know whom to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family. Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.

Review: No Ordinary Life is a peek behind the curtain into how Hollywood works behind the scenes. Even more so about the perils on child actors. Not only for themselves but for their families. It doesn't always end horribly but it doesn't always end well either. Faye is pretty much at the end of her rope. Her no good husband left for a job and hasn't returned in 5 months. She's got 3 kids to support and is finding it difficult. She leaves the only life her kids have known and moves to LA to live with her mom in a condo. It isn't long before her youngest daughter is discovered because of a YouTube video. At first it all seems spectacular and the answer to a lot of their problems but what Faye finds out is "more money, more problems". The long hours on set, even with the breaks, makes it hard on the other 2 kids, especially the oldest, Emily. Molly is adorable and precocious. She's not sure what to think when she lands the part on a hit tv show, The Foster Band, but she does what is asked for the most part. She's 4, some days are better than others. At first Faye is a bit wide-eyed when it comes to the glamours of being on a tv set but when she realizes that things aren't always what they seem, she begins to doubt her decision to have Molly in the business. Since Faye's never done this, she doesn't know how to assert her authority.

Frankly, Faye is a bit of a pushover. She's let her husband, Sean push her around for years and is letting the Producer/Director of the show doe the same since he's making googly eyes at her. He's a pretty good catch but she hasn't quite learned that someone always wants something from you in this business. I can understand why it would be hard to separate real-life from the fiction they create on a show but Faye has to buck up pretty quick in order to protect Molly. Molly is adorable and while she might be the catalyst for the novel, I wouldn't say she's the focus.

The story is mainly Faye's but it really does effect everyone in the family. Especially when her loose cannon husband decides to show back up. Her mom, whom I loved and saw as the voice of reason most of the time, warned her that he was only back for one thing. Fortunately, Faye learns this very quickly and tries to protect the kids as much as possible. Sean being back in the picture allows Emily, who at 12 is already wise to game playing, pit her parents against each other. Emily can't see that her dad really doesn't have her best interest at heart because she idolizes him and she's pissed off at her mom. If she was honest with herself with the self-realization a 12 year old doesn't have, she'd realize it's because she's not the center of the world anymore, Molly is at the moment.

Ms. Redfearn does a great job of showing what it's like to work on a successful TV show and the demands not only on the actor or actress in the show but the entire family. The stress of being famous isn't easy either, especially in this day and age of paparazzi. She makes Faye sympathetic and aggravating at the same time because let's be honest, you can see a little of yourself in her.

If you've ever been interested in Hollywood and enjoy a good family drama, then you will want to pick up No Ordinary Life.



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