I was shocked to read how many people didn't enjoy this book. I absolutely loved it! Who doesn't have a celebrity crush you'd love to meet and strike up a close friendship with? I'm happily married, so friendship would be enough for me. This was hard for me to put down. Even when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about the characters. I am not a romances reader AT ALL, mostly mystery, so this was a little out of my lane but , I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love Shannon Hale's fantasies, but this book didn't really work for me, especially in the first half. The descriptions of the movie industry and the characters who were part of that world gave me the feeling the author wasn't writing about what she knew, but was instead relying on stock stereotypes. The editing was also uneven.
That said, the idea of the story was interesting, and I liked many of the Utah characters, especially Mike. The battle with cancer was poignant and the section where Becky was being wooed was very nice.
Shannon Hale is a great writer, but she's using her talent for evil with this book. This book will take you on an emotional roller coaster, and personally I did not enjoy it. I couldn't put it down in most places, it made me sob, it made me laugh, it made me depressed. And after all that, after investing completely in the characters to the point of extreme and possibly insane empathy, the ending was not cathartic at all. (I realize we usually complain about the "predictable" outcome, but in this case it would have been a relief.)
Despite it's ridiculous fantasy of a plot (please: the actor and the housewife? it gets better: he's basically Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise and she's a Mormon from Utah), this book takes the most painful of all "realistic" outcomes (the type that, yes, we all experience from time to time but optimistically hope will not become the norm) and makes you feel like even in your movie star fantasies you can't escape from them. Fun!
But take my sarcasm with a grain of salt and as the warning I intend it to be. If you enjoy Hale and are braver than me about books that toy with your emotions and refuse to give you a predictable ending, definitely give this a try. It is well-written and unique.