Book Review: Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp

Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she's willing to fight for those she loves, but she's never learned to fight for herself. 
Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she's driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of twenty-five-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Nathan is Melody's English teacher, and after he saves her from being raped, she becomes attached. Melody longs for the affection she's never felt, so she involves people in her self-invented drama, making sure she is at once the star and the director. 
Meanwhile, Samantha is newly married to Nathan. But Samantha has hang-ups about motherhood and lingering feelings for her ex. To make sense of the world, Sam relates her life to the themes of her favorite movies, while she independently makes a documentary to jump-start her non-existent film career. 
Stylistically influenced by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, Starring in the Movie of my Life is told alternately from both Samantha's and Melody's points-of-view and relates two complete yet combined stories about love, acceptance, and redemption. It speaks to our universal desire to be saved by the ones we love, and the monumental effort required to save ourselves. 

Release Date: February 1, 2011
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

This is my second time reading Laurel Osterkamp.  I read her latest novel, The Holdout, earlier this year and I really enjoyed it (Read my review of The Holdout here).  Laurel kindly offered me the chance to review any of her previous novels and I'm so happy that I chose Starring in the Movie of My Life.  This book was great and I could not put it down!

I liked Samantha from the very first pages of the book.  Melody, well, that was a different story.  While I felt badly for Melody's difficult home life, I had a hard time identifying with her.  She was so cold, calculating, and practically unfeeling.  At times I thought she might actually be a sociopath!  

Samantha and Melody find themselves connected by their relationships with Nathan.  Samantha and Nathan are married and Nathan is Melody's high school English teacher.  Melody devises this plan to make Nathan fall in love with her, and starts to manipulate him and those around her.  Meanwhile, Samantha is trying to find her way as an adult and make peace with her past.  

This book was so engaging.  The characters were very well-developed and the plot was full of emotional drama.  I started and finished Starring in the Movie of My Life in a day.  There was no way I was going to wait to see how the story ended.

Osterkamp uses the alternating points-of-view narration style and it worked perfectly for this story.  I almost wish Nathan would have had his own chapters, but adding a third perspective can slow a book down, in my opinion.  

Besides the love story and the drama Melody loves to create, another theme of this book was surrogate motherhood.  I loved that element of the story! It added another layer of depth to the plot and made me fall even more in love with Samantha's character.

I was so happy with how the story ended.  It wasn't the perfect ending I had envisioned, but it was so appropriate for this book, and realistic without being depressing.  I really enjoyed Starring in the Movie of My Life and look forward to reading more from Laurel Osterkamp!



1 comment:

  1. Sounds good.

    BTW, I hope you had a beautiful blessed Thanksgiving my sweet friend. *hug*


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