(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Hollywood actress Liana Marie Michael finds out that loving someone unconditionally, without losing who she is in the process, does not always have a convenient ending or an easy to memorize script.
As the path unfolds in front of her, Lia challenges the demons and destruction of her past, which had kept her like Alice in Wonderland, frozen in time and unable to escape the heavy web of expectation shrouding her heart. She needs more than the promise of true love to help her prevail. Exhausted from indecision, should she listen to what others think is best for her? What should she choose?
STARLET’S RUN is a triumphant story of Lia’s determination to step forward into a new and authentic life, taking on a role she has never before been given the chance to play–her self.
[Full disclosure: Carla Hanna sent me Starlet’s Run as part of a thank you for hosting a successful giveaway of her first two books. As always, this is still an honest review.]
I actually liked Starlet’s Run better than Starlet’s Web for various reasons. First was that we really got to see the destructive influence of Hollywood on Lia’s life and relationship with Manuel. Secondly, Lia developed far more as a character in the face of her medical problems and she really grew into her relationship with Manuel. Seeing the two of them struggle with her career, but eventually learn to strike a balance was satisfying. They’re not a picture perfect couple, but they do have a really strong bond and a healthy relationship despite outside factors. I don’t want to give anything away, but Lia’s relationships with other characters like her mother throughout Starlet’s Run also take interesting turns.
I wouldn’t call the plot fast-paced since this is a more character based novel, but it’s not like Carla J. Hanna drags the story on and on either. It’s somewhere in the middle, but mainly you should read it for the subtle messages and for the characters. You’ll want to cheer for Lia the whole time and you’ll love her even more as she grows as a character. Not only does she grow within her relationship with Manuel, she grows on her own. She has a life and friends outside of her relationship, unlike some YA heroines who have their partner and no one else.
One of the strengths of Carla Hanna’s writing is that she can get a message across without being obvious about it or preaching to her audience. She subtly criticizes the Hollywood lifestyle as well as the social expectations it places upon ordinary people, especially girls. Lia is also a very spiritual character without really being overly religious so she is also appealing to people from very different religious backgrounds.
Overall, I loved Starlet’s Run and with that awesome ending, I can’t wait to dive into the third book, Starlet’s Light.
I give this book 5/5 stars.