Fake Famous

Fake Famous
Age Range
Release Date
November 07, 2023
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In this breezy novel from the author of Somebody That I Used to Know, one Iowa farm girl—a dead ringer for a global pop star—gets an unlikely shot at stardom. Will she choose fame…or the family farm? Red Morgan is fresh out of high school. With signature red curls and a remarkable singing voice, the bubbly teenager is a devoted daughter and big sister. The world should be her oyster. But Red already knows exactly where her future the family farm in Orange City, Iowa. Zay-Zay Waters is at the top of her game. The Brooklyn-born singer has it all—talent, fame, even a smokin’ hot boyfriend. But life in the limelight isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And when a video of Red singing in the mud—looking and sounding exactly like Zay-Zay herself—goes viral, the pop star begins to hatch a plan. Red is the key to Zay-Zay’s scheme. With much-needed money on the line, Red agrees to step into Zay-Zay’s famous shoes for one week. But when planned appearances start to go off script, Red may be in over her head. Can she really pull it off?

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Just A Small-Town Girl
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FAKE FAMOUS by Dana L. Davis is a YA Contemporary novel in which Red, a young farm girl suddenly finds herself in Hollywood. By some random stroke of fate or the Universe, Red looks an awful lot like Zay Zay Waters, a famous singer and actress, so when Zay Zay learns of Red’s existence, she employs Red. Zay Zay needs a stand-in for a week of events, so she can tend to personal affairs, and Red’s family needs the money, so she agrees. At first, Red feels like a fish out of water, but soon it becomes clear to everyone around her that she’s not only a natural, she’s a star in her own right.

This book starts off a bit slow on the farm with perhaps too much exposition, but once Red meets Zay Zay, the story takes off. I loved getting to see how Red responds to all of her Hollywood experiences, and how grounding and refreshing she is to the new people she meets. The cast of characters, especially Zay Zay’s team members, as well as Koi and his friends, add so much to the story! Davis does a great job of individuating her characters and giving each of them a believable purpose and a place in the story. I could picture them all and found myself wanting to meet them myself.

I also enjoyed the major plot twist at the end of the book as it surprised me. In fact, the last third of the book is where Davis’ writing shines. In contrast to the beginning, where some of the dialogue feels inorganic and a bit clunky at moments, the last act soars. We see Red lean into a journey of self-discovery and figure out what being true to herself actually means, and I love the final message.

Fake Famous will appeal to fans of HANNAH MONTANA and THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE. It’s a classic tale of a small-town girl who goes to the big city, with a mix of mistaken identity, romance, and some humor. What more could you want, honestly?
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