Hello, Hollywood by Janice Thompson is the second book in the Backstage Pass series about the people working on a sitcom called Stars Collide. In this novel Athena Pappas is comfortable as the headwriter for the show, enjoying her rich life with her Greek family, helping out at her family's restaurant, and her friendship with Kat, the female lead of the show. But when the show's producer hires a new writer, Athena is sure that her job is on the line. She's even more shaken up when the new guy, Stephen Cosse, turns out to be an Adonis that gets her pulse pounding. Stephen and his daughter, Brooke, quickly fit in with Athena's family, but she has a hard time trusting him enough to really let him in, especially when it seems he has betrayed her. When you are reading a Janice Thompson novel, you know that you're going to find families overflowing with love and quirky personalities, descriptions of food that will leave your mouth watering, and a sense of humor and love of life that will have you smiling with every turn of the page. Her books are always entertaining and filled with a deep faith. I am a huge fan.
Book two in the Backstage Pass series is a keeper. Athena Pappas is the head writer of the sitcom Stars Collide. Coming from a very large Greek family, Athena is used to craziness, fun, and love. But when Stephen Crosse comes to town to join the writing team, Athena's heart does some tumbling. She is concerned for her job, but also for her heart! With a funny Greek dog, Stephen's daughter, and the wonderful Pappas family and their diner this Chrisitan comedy will fill your heart with warmth, family, and laughter!
I'm definitely a Janice Thompson fanâ€”her Weddings by Bella series was great and I enjoyed each and every book. I even read and reviewed her first Backstage Pass book, Stars Collide, and enjoyed that one. Unfortunately, I wasn't as enamored with her latest book in the Backstage Pass series, Hello Hollywood! (sorry Ms Thompson!).
Although I enjoyed the scenes where the writers brainstormed and the antics that went with it, so many of the ideas came from the old Dick Van Dyke (which I still watch!) and I Love Lucy shows. It just seemed a little too much repetition and recycling of ideas. As Hollywood writers, there should have been more original ideas. There was also quite a bit of repetition of the "great stories are built on conflict" and the plotline discussions. I actually grew kind of bored with those sections.
Each of the characters had their own "moments" and I enjoyed their stories of how they came to be at this point in their lives. It's also a treat to see such a family oriented environment. The way the family interacted at home and at "Super Gyros" really touched me. And I loved how the writers included the older "former starts" in the showâ€”the older generation still has a lot to give. I think my favorite character in Hello Hollywood! had to be Leona. Her failing memory and illusions is so typical of Alzheimer's and I'm glad Ms Thompson brings that awareness to her readers.
The romance between some of the characters (don't want to spoil it!) is always part of Ms Thompson's books and I enjoy that part. Who doesn't love some romance?? And, as usual, the inclusion of faith is one of the reasons I read her books. I like seeing the characters living their faith and not just talking about it.
All in all, Hello Hollywood! was an okay read. It was easy to get through but I was disappointed that it wasn't up to Ms Thompson's usual standards. I still look forward to not only the next book in the Backstage Pass series, I look forward to all of Janice Thompson's books. I give Hello Hollywood! 3 out of 5 stars as just an average read.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
I received this book free from Revell as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
What a wonderful book! Janice Thompson really knows how to set the stage! My favorite character is Athena Pappas! She is writer for a sitcom that I learned about in Janice's first book in the Backstage Pass series "Stars Collide". This is a must read book! It is clean cut, humorous, family oriented, Godly book and it so fun to read!
Sometimes it's hard to be funny, even if you have an natural talent for humor. Athena Pappas knows just how important it is to be able to produce humor on demand. As head writer for Stars Collide, a television sitcom with sagging ratings, she is is determinded to introduce a new spark that will put Stars Collide back on the up and up. When Stephen Cosse, a Vegas comedian, is hired on the writing team, Athena's job suddenly seems less secure. Stephen is confident, creative, and handsome. As the attraction and competition escalates between Athena and Stephen, they must relinquish control and combine their efforts in both the plots of Stars Collide and their personal lives. They just might find that sometimes the best things in life are unscripted.
Hello, Hollywood! by Janice Thompson is a lovely contemporary romance and the second book in the Backstage Pass Series. Although it works well as a stand-alone novel, I enjoyed it so much that I plan to go back and read the first book in the series, Stars Collide. Thompson's experience as a screenwriter shows through in the setting and plot of the novel. I felt like I was getting a "backstage pass" into what a screenwriter's life is like. I have to admit that I've never watched the Dick Van Dyke Show, so I didn't quite understand all the references to it, but I enjoyed the scenes, nonetheless. The characters are fun and authentic. The Pappas family was definitely humorous and enjoyable. However, under all the fun and merriment of the outer layer of the novel, Athena, Stephen, and several of the supporting characters have some very serious issues and situations to deal with. The inner layer of depth was what really made this novel successful for me. I recommend Hello, Hollywood! to fans of Christian romance.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."