Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: No Ordinary Life, by Suzanne Redfearn {ends 3/1}

"A Spwrinkles cupcake?" Molly asks between sobs.

Sprinkles cupcakes are the Rolls-Royce of confectionary delights and cost accordingly, outrageously priced little cakes that I could bake at home for pennies.

"Yes, a Sprinkles cupcake. Any flavor you want."

She nods sleepily.


Her makeup streaked with her tears, she stands, and when I lift her into my arms, I feel our audience suppress their desire to applaud. She slumps against me, worn out, completely unhappy and done but resolved to having no choice but to continue on. And as I carry her to the car, I wonder what I'll negotiate with when cupcakes aren't enough, and then wonder, as Molly gets older, how she'll feel about it, whether she'll resent the idea of having traded her childhood for a few ounces of sugar, an iPhone, a car, or a pony.

This novel is only the author's second book, but it was really good. Faye Martin and her three kids live day-to-day, and are currently living with her mother in her condo; when Molly gets "discovered" after a YouTube video of her dancing goes viral, their money problems are temporarily solved, but Faye soon finds out that Hollywood isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Official synopsis:
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 her 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. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know who 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.

The writing in this book was really good, and it's very easy to quickly become engrossed in the story. Because I'm also a movie blogger, I'm very interested in Hollywood and that "world," and this gave its readers an inside look into the business of making TV shows.

At first, Faye thinks that Molly's rise to stardom is their salvation, but she soon comes to find out that it might actually tear apart their family. Tom, the younger brother, has always been shy, but ends up also getting a role on the TV show and blossoming there; however, Emily, Molly's older sister, ends up feeling left out and makes some bad life decisions. Her should-be-ex-husband, Sean, wants to cash in as well, and even though he left the family recently, he soon comes back into their lives.

I'd recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good story, or who is curious about how stars become "born," so to speak. In a weird way, it reminded me of Movie Star, By Lizzie Pepper, which I read recently, even though that was more of a faux-memoir; in that book, Lizzie feels trapped by the Hollywood lifestyle, and wants to get out, which is eventually what happens to Faye in this novel, in order to try and save her kids from that lifestyle.

4 stars out of 5.
{click here to purchase}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions listed here, however, are my own.


I have a paperback copy of this novel for one of my lucky readers to win!

Giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 1st, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

Paperback copy of No Ordinary Life


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