Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Tour: Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp, sponsored by SupaGurl Blog Tours.  Please be sure to enter the giveaway below to win an e-book of Starring in the Movie of My Life.  You can find the tour schedule here.

Starring in the Movie of My Life
by Laurel Osterkamp
Published February 1, 2011 by Preventive Measures

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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. 

My Thoughts:  Samantha is married to Nathan Linden.  She is also 10 years older than Nathan.  Melody is 18 years old and a senior in high school.  Nathan Linden is her teacher.  Melody falls for Nathan or 
"Mr. L," after he saves her from being raped at a school dance.  This is the story of their lives, and is told from alternating points of view between Samantha and Melody, each telling their own story.  Samantha has her own issues, but she is very likable.  She is still insecure in her relationship with Nathan, and the age difference bothers her, even if she won't admit it.  On top of that, there are secrets about her past she hasn't told him about either, one being that Collin, the manager of the apartment complex they live in, is also her ex-husband.  If that's not bad enough, Samantha still has feelings for Collin, even if she won't admit it.  Melody on the other hand is extremely manipulative.  She has grown up in a broken home with an alcoholic mother who has given her little if any affection.  Melody plots and plans, and doesn't care who she hurts in the process, as long as she gets what she wants......and she wants Nathan Linden.  

I enjoyed this book.  It was interesting hearing the story told from both Samantha and Melody's point of view.  I liked Samantha, despite her hangups, she is a really good person, though quite impulsive.  She harbors a lot of guilt from mistakes and situations in her past and she desperately tries to earn redemption for her mistakes.  I really did not like Melody much.  I felt sorry for her, but she was very conniving, even using her best friend to help her achieve her "5-step plan" to get Mr. Linden, and when that doesn't work out, she turns downright evil in her attempt at revenge.  I was glad to see that she developed a conscience near the end of the book and did the right thing, and she had started to make better choices.  I kind of felt sorry for Nathan, he kind of got the short end of the stick in everything.  I really did like Collin, who despite everything that had happened, still loved Sam.  I found their relationship both amusing and romantic.  The characters in the book deal with real life issues, some of which are very difficult, and they all go through the process of growing and changing, as life's circumstances mold and shape them.  Starring in the Movie of My Life was a very enjoyable read and it ended very well.  The characters were believable and well written, and the issues they deal with are issues that most people can relate to in some way.  I enjoyed Laurel Osterkamp's writing and look forward to reading more of her novels. 

About the Author:  Laurel Osterkamp's first novel, Following My Toes, published by PMI Books, won the 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence (Chick Lit category). She drew on her experiences as a high school film studies and creative writing teacher as she wrote Starring in the Movie of my Life. Currently she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, and daughter, and is working on her third novel.

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  1. This one seems different. Not sure with the married thing and the teacher thing. Kinda iffy.



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