Henry Holt & Co – Review: 4 Stars

Thanks so much to the author, BookSparks, and Henry Holt & Company for the complimentary finished copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and participation in this blog tour. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

TW : discussion of suicidal thoughts and attempts, drug use and abuse

“‘But seriously, I repeat: This is a work of fiction. That you might speculate as to the identity of certain key characters does not alter the fact that all of the characters in this book, including incidental ones, their names, the dialogue, the locales, and all of the events recounted, are fictional products of the author’s imagination. …’ – My publisher’s attorney”

Y’all, after starting with that disclaimer (or I should say pair of disclaimers, as that is the second one on the page – they are quite serious about telling people this book is fiction) I was really ready for a laugh out loud read. The author, Byron Lane, used to work as the personal assistant to Carrie Fischer, and this book is a fiction inspired by his time working with her.

Honestly, hearing that, I was hooked before I even picked up the book. That being said, it took me a bit of time to really get into this one. I enjoyed it once I got past about the first third of the book, but that first third was a bit slow in my opinion. I felt like I was kind of telling myself to just get through the beginning, and that once he started the job it would pick up. And it did for the most part, but that first third was just very slow for me, which definitely kept it from a 5 star read in my opinion.

All of that out of the way, let’s talk about what I liked about the book. Once I did get through that first third, I got much more of the laugh-out-loud read that I was expecting. At times it almost felt satirical – although it is hard to guess if that was the writing style, or if that just comes with telling a story about a celebrity as wild as Carrie Fischer was, fiction or otherwise. I loved getting to read about some of the strange interactions and shenanigans that these two characters got into, and getting to watch their weird relationship develop.

That being said, I didn’t really much enjoy the character of Kathi, the celebrity that our lead, Charlie, works with. Charlie on the other hand was a fairly enjoyable character, and I liked getting to read about his growth throughout the story as he started to really care for Kathi. But she was such a destructive character right from the beginning, and didn’t really show a ton of growth even up until the end of the book. Some, in the sense of growing her relationship with Charlie, but she was still that same destructive energy at the end that she was in the beginning – and not just towards herself, but in a few ways toward the people in her life as well.

Now, do I think that she was specifically written that way, and that it was on purpose on the author’s part? Honestly I do. I think that while he was working for Carrie Fischer he saw sides of her that we as the public, even as her fans, would never have had the opportunity to see. And maybe didn’t want to see. She was a real, and flawed, and deeply troubled person, not just a celebrity. And mot just Princess Leia. And while, yes, this is a work of fiction, you can tell that he was really writing from a real place, with real emotions, and real love and respect for her. And that is what I loved so much about this book.

Overall, I would recommend this read to my friends and fellow readers, and just tell them to work to get through that first third. In my opinion, the rest of the book made that first bit worth it. But I don’t think that you should go into this book expecting to get the insider-scoop, and come away with secrets about Carrie and her life. I think that you should go into this book expecting to get some laughs, and expecting to get a glimpse at some real emotion being put onto the page. I think that the best way to read this book is with a Coke Zero, and maybe in a stolen hotel bathrobe or something to make you feel ridiculously luxurious, but also a bit like you’re breaking the rules.


One thought on “A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane

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