Title – Zali Luna: Movie Star
Author – Emma Jamvold
2015 – YA – Realistic Fiction
The Story: Zali Luna has just been cast in her very first role in an actual film. It’s a dream come true…until she finds out that she’ll have to kiss her very cute and very famous co-star Oliver Lamond. The problem isn’t in kissing Oliver (any normal girl would love to kiss Oliver), the problem is that she’s never been kissed before. So she concocts a plot to kiss her (also very cute) driver for practice before filming the real deal.
The Opening Line: When the credits come up at the end of the film my name will be in them…Zali Luna.
What I Loved: This was a very short and lighthearted YA novella. Things that would have annoyed me greatly in other novels actually work really great here. For instance, reading the novella is like getting a glimpse into Zali’s private diary. So instead of being annoyed at her predicament and perspective, the technique instead worked to provide a very accurate picture of a nervous, overwhelmed teen that is afraid of failure when confronted with a big opportunity. The novella was fun, light, and of course there was a romance element that I was rooting for.
What I Didn’t Love: Stereotypical Emma. I’m sure that the stereotypical spoiled actor actually exists, but Emma just left a bitter taste in my mouth. As a character, she is mean and spoiled and used to getting what she wants when she wants it. I was hoping that by the end there would be some character growth there, but for the most part, Emma remained Emma.
Final Thoughts: This was a quick read that worked perfectly as a palate cleanser after finishing up a much darker novel. Zali is fun and accessible and thinks a lot of the same thoughts that many of us think, which makes her instantly relateable. It was a great novella for a lazy Sunday afternoon.