Monday, January 20, 2014

REVIEW: THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT by Kristina Springer




Title: The Paparazzi Project
Author: Kristina Springer
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: December 15, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 4/5

SUMMARY

Livvie Peterson thought taking Interpersonal Communications her junior year would be an easy A. But when the first assignment is given, her world flips upside down. Here’s the deal: the class is assigned a six-week project and is split into three groups— Paparazzi, Tabloid, and Celebrities. The Paparazzi follow around the Celebrities taking pictures and grabbing any kind of quotes they can. The Celebrities try to navigate being tailed on a daily basis. And the Tabloid receives all the information collected by the Paparazzi and decides what makes the weekly summary report. Sounds harmless…and it’s all just pretend anyway, right?

Livvie is assigned as Paparazzi and when she is matched up with the ├╝ber-cute Chas Montgomery as her Tabloid boss she’s pretty sure things couldn’t get much better. Livvie’s uncanny ability to capture the Celebrities in compromising photos matched with Chas’s skill of exaggerating captions and editing the photos make them an unstoppable team. And the long hours working side by side with Chas aren’t a bad bonus.

Livvie simultaneously launches an anonymous blog, leaking the class’ photos and stories on the Internet. Her rising follower number quickly becomes addicting and she possibly spills too much information online. Once she finds her own celebrity will she be able to give it back? And will Chas be gone before she ever has the chance to find out?




REVIEW

Looking at the gorgeous cover of The Paparazzi Project, I could just tell this was going to be an excellent read. And yes, it certainly was! Not only is this a fun read, but it also uses the lives of celebrities as an analogy to show how easily lives can be ruined by the misuse of social media, and how we utilize these mediums in our quest for validation. Sounds like heavy reading material, right? Nope, not at all. This is actually just one of those books where you’ll discover layer after layer of truths which will make you think: “ah, yes, I never thought about it that way”.

The Paparazzi Project starts off with MC, Livvie, having to do an assignment for her Interpersonal Communications class as part of her final grade. This project involves extensive role-playing where students are divided into three groups; one group being the paparazzi, another group the tabloid, and the last group the celebrities. Livvie chooses to be in the paparazzi group. Although she dreads it at first, stalking her fellow students who were selected as the group of celebrities turns out to be a lot of fun and she gets so caught up in all of it she decides to start a gossip blog titled the Thompson Tattler in which she posts pictures and stories from her class project for all the world to see. The gossip blog she intended for her own entertainment exploiting her classmates personal lives rapidly gains hits and followers, and before she realizes it, quickly becomes a medium through which she’ll learn first-hand how stressful and exhausting it can be to follow people and track their every move, not to mention how her thoughtless acts would affect their lives and those of their families.

When did we become so obsessed with what other people were doing instead of just being happy doing our own thing?

Unbeknownst to Livvie, an anonymous source was doing a little social experiment on her in an attempt to teach her not to regurgitate gossip without factual proof or mercy. When all's said and done, by the end of this book Livvie was schooled in many of life’s hardest lessons, and we readers walk away with lots to ponder, rethinking our status updates on various social platforms and understanding the importance of weighing information first and getting proof than just blindly trusting whatever information we’re fed. 

The dynamics of Livvie and her best friend’s relationship are a little odd, but not unpleasantly so. I didn’t feel fully invested in the characters, but the whole idea behind this story fascinated me, and though I found the characters to be wholly likeable, it was essentially the narrative that held my interest. There’s a little romance thrown in for good measure, but not what I’d regard as the main focus of this story. Even so, the romance is sweet and charming, and is a welcome addition to this novel.

I was satisfied with how the book ended on a positive note, and how Livvie took responsibility for the mistakes she made. This is an extremely fun, clean read with a refreshingly unique storyline, and easy to finish in a matter of hours. The pacing is really great and in every chapter there’s a ton of things going on. To conclude, The Paparazzi Project is a novel with substance and heart, and thus I recommend it to anyone in the mood for a feel-good weekend read!




PURCHASE LINK



ABOUT the AUTHOR


Kristina Springer is the author of THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, JUST YOUR AVERAGE PRINCESS, and THE PAPARAZZI PROJECT. She has a Masters in Writing from DePaul University and she resides in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and children.



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