Last year, I participated in the BookSparks annual summer reading challenge. This year, I found my "book- plate" to be too full to take on the challenge, but I was excited to read Elise A. Miller's Star Craving Mad, which is part of the 2015 challenge. Thank You to SparkPress for an advanced copy of Miller's novel, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT - Maddy Braverman is a first grade teacher at an elite private school in Manhattan. Single and lonely, Maddy straddles between setting an example as a wholesome teacher and hitting the New York dating scene. Her world is turned upside down when the school year begins and she has a new student, Lola, the daughter of A-List celebrities, Nic and Shelby Sebolt. Maddy begins to fantasize about hunky Nic, who is not only married, but seems otherworldly. She is rocked to the core to discover that Nic is more attainable than she imagined and before she knows it, she is caught up in a love affair and thrown into Nic's celebrity lifestyle. Maddy is uneasy about her secret life, especially when she realizes that the fallout would affect not only Lola, but also Maddy's friends and family, including her free-spiritied and handsome teaching assistant, James.
LIKE - For starters, what a great title. I love the play on words and it perfectly sums up Maddy's behavior while she is having an affair with Nic. The themes in Star Craving Mad are engaging. The story fulfills that part of me that loves to read about celebrities and the crazy rich, so it was entertaining to see this behind the curtains look through Maddy's eyes. However, the flip-side of Star Craving Mad, is it's a story with heart. Although Maddy is having an affair with a married man, we see her going through the conflicting emotions and ultimately, we root for her to make better choices. She's a likable protagonist and as she interacts with the children in her classroom, there is an element of sweetness and innocence add to the story that gave me the warm fuzzies.
DISLIKE - My interest in the story waned the last third of the book. I think it may be that Maddy took so much crap for so long, that it was getting to be a drag. I regained interest in the story at the very end when she had her redemption. It was a satisfying ending.
RECOMMEND - Star Craving Mad is an enjoyable chick-lit, summer type of read. I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure that in the grand scheme of my "Books Read in 2015" it will remembered. It provided a good escapist read while on my summer vacation.