Die-hard Karen Kingsbury fans are going to be thrilled with this newest offering. Karen is such a prolific and talented writer. It is hard to imagine how one could write so many stories without becoming formula driven. So far Karen has managed to escape that trap.
The true costs to obtaining and maintaining fame are addressed in this well-written book. The stories of Kelly and Chandra give us a glimpse of the price of fame. It takes a toll on every aspect of their lives. The voice of God has become silent, their families are destroyed, and the contentment they thought they would find with having it all is elusive.
Fifteen Minutes gives a great fictionalized account of reality TV and those unsuspecting individuals who clamor to become a part of it. It will make you think differently as you watch your favorite show each week. I think you will begin to picture the contestants as real people with real lives. For that we can all benefit from the reading of this book.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a dramatic story about fame, true love, and the cost of having it all.
Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family's horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won't change him.
Overnight, Zack is the nation's most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also something more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he's on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.
At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a therapeutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reeseâ€”one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.
Then Chandra Olsonâ€”reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judgesâ€”intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and private agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.
Can Chandra's private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?
I would rather be a nobody loved by somebody, than a somebody that nobody loves. Fame comes at a price, and the price of admission may be higher than you're willing to pay. Zack discovers that having it all doesn't mean happiness, and that the dreams in life mean nothing when you no longer have anyone to share it with. Zack is driven to win, but when the pressure mounts, can he stay strong against all the temptations the world has to offer?
Something that struck me about this novel, is that Kingsbury manages to write a story about a hometown boy turned famous that pulled at my heartstrings. She made me see Zack's side of the tale; his struggles, his triumphs, his sorrows and his victories. Every chapter brought me closer an closer to the climax, and I stayed up all night anticipating the final throes of the death of either the old Zack or the new. A must read that demands to be noticed, Kingsbury gives us the picture of the price of fame, and the cost of standing up and for what is right.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
This story of Fifteen Minutes begins on a stately yet struggling Southern farm where Zach Dylan was raised. This was a place where fine Arabian horses ran in lush pastures, where God was praised every day even when money was tight, and where the loving family knew its share of trouble and heartache yet still knew how to enjoy a sunrise on the front porch.
This is the world Zach wants to leave and wants to keep all at the same time. In an attempt to rescue this place and help his family by becoming a famous singer, he will risk losing it all to the powerful vortex of fame and its influences.
As Glen Campbell sang in the '60s, a country boy has his feet in L.A. and his mind on Tennessee.
Zach is that country boy, with a heart full of love for God and lips that speak the name of Jesus as his Savior. He has full intentions of changing the world, not letting it change him.
Unfaithfulness to his convictions or to his girlfriend never even entered his mind as a possibility.
Yet being a celebrity changes things, at the speed of fame.
How do you tone down your faith on demand and pretend love on stage for the cameras without it messing up your head and busting you up inside?
Like my review buddy said, Fifteen Minutes is a story of Relentless Grace and second chances.
I can warn you that you will probably be on pins and needles as you read... concerned for Zach just like his Grandpa Dan was, wondering if Zach can undo what he's done when he isn't even sure how all this madness happened. It is thoughtful, suspenseful reading.
Rest assured, Karen Kingsbury has crafted a very fine ending to this tale. I can't say more than that.
For anyone with a music talent, all they are longing for is just their 15 minutes of fame. A chance to prove to the world and themselves that they truly possess a talent that could possibly launch them into being the next big thing. That is just what Zack Dylan, a talented country music singer with the looks of Elvis, hopes to prove by auditioning for Fifteen Minutes, a music show much like The Voice or American Idol that could offer Zack the brass ring to fame. Believing that he does have what it takes to rise to the top of the music charts, Zack believes that God is leading him to this path, a way to provide for his family financially if he makes it to the final round and wins the competition. But his grandfather and his girlfriend, Reese Weatherly believe that this isn't the way God wants him to go. Nonetheless they will both keep him in prayer and if God wants Zack to continue, then they will support whatever doors God opens for him.
Struggling to keep his family's horse farm afloat as well as provide for the ongoing medical care his sister A.J. requires, Zack believes God wouldn't let him move forward in the music competition unless that is what He is calling him to do. And at first, Zack remains committed to keeping his faith intact and praying for God to use him as a tool in this industry. But soon the scenes behind the television series show that the things people see on the show aren't really what's going on and what sells ratings and increased viewers are where they will go despite the reservations of the competitors, one of which is to prohibit Zack from openly sharing his faith in God and instead show a seedier side of romance blossoming between him and fellow competitor Zoey.
Reese Weatherly has been given an opportunity to teach her equine therapeutic skills to a facility in London for the next year, and while despite having some reservations about the limited conversations she is having with Zack while he is going through the auditions, she believes he still loves her.
"She prayed for him. Not that he'd be the best singer or that this would be his brightest stage moment ever. She prayed for something else, something that mattered more. For God's will, whatever it was. That above all else."
When the season opener of Fifteen Minutes airing an episode that shows Zack and Zoey in a dark hallway and kissing, Reese doesn't know what God's plans are for her and Zack. Taking all the clues together paints a far different picture than the one Zack is leading her to believe. Will she be willing to wait for Zack or will she accept the fact that God has different plans for them than becoming man and wife despite their heartfelt prayers?
I received Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are my own. This takes readers behind the scenes at what might possibly go on in the music competition shows that are becoming the latest rage and once again showing that what we see on television isn't necessarily what is really happening. It teaches us through the story that there is a price for everything in life and the one for fame and fortune might just cost us everything we hold dear including our faith. "She, more than anyone, understood the depth of the dream, the impossibility of it. The cost."
What I took away from this novel is that our perceptions of what television shows us is a tainted one. One that puts ratings about anything else. That there is a cost associated with anything we do and sometimes that line can be blurred between what we think God has placed in front of us or in fact our own desires superseding His. It made me look at what the real cost of fame and being a celebrity really is and how truly sad their lives are despite all their wealth and notoriety. They search for happiness in all the wrong places and in the end have little more than shattered lives left in the end. I rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and once again Karen Kingsbury has hit a home run!
When Zack decides to audition for the show *15 Minutes*
all he wants to do is have have broader stage on which to glorify God with his singing and earn the money to save his family's horse farm. He presses on toward this goal despite the warning his grandfather has for him and the misgivings of his girlfriend Reese. Zach has the talent as a singer and the looks to easily capture the viewers and the judges' hearts, but he is unprepared for the temptations and compromises he will be faced with in stardom.
Chandra, one of the judges for the show, knows all about the way these seemingly harmless compromises can wear one down. She knows the cost of fame: this life of devastating loss is one she faces everyday, all she wishes for is a chance to return to the life she had before 15 Minutes launched her into fame.
Stardom caused her to lose the life that was everything to her, her family and her fiancee. Her young life was a lot like Zach's, and he does not yet realize what he is leaving behind for the perceived glamour of becoming an idol.
His choices become more weighty when his good intentions in reaching out to a fellow contestant are poisoned. The network wants too add a romance to their relationship and pressure him to exploit his Christian beliefs for their ratings.
How much will he give up, how far will he go, how much will he give in to the demands of a world that wants to market him like a product?
*Fifteen Minutes* is a story of relentless Grace and second chances, and comes to an ultimately satisfying and hopeful conclusion.