Mundie Moms

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Review: The Paparazzi Project by Kristina Springer

Author: Kristina Springer
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: December 10, 2012
Source: Author provided e-book
Purchase: amazon (currently $0.99, go grab it!)
The Paparazzi Project

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - I really liked it!

Synopsis: 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 über-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?

I can't remember a time when I read a book that focused on a class assignment, and in the case of The Paparazzi Project this plot device was definitely an element that kept me reading. Interpersonal Communications -- what a a fascinating class. We are so very obsessed with celebrities these days that we even make celebrities out of people who really shouldn't be ones (i.e. celebutantes). But before this turns into a thesis on "Kardashians, Why Do We Care", let me just say that Kristina picked an excellent topic. My daughters and I spent a few days in Los Angeles this summer and our hotel had news crews and paparazzi camped out in front of it. It was a small boutique hotel in West Hollywood and they were very discreet. We had no idea who was staying there, but that didn't make us any less curious.

I liked Livvie from the start. She was very much an average student, not the usual kind of smartypants girl I'd expect in this type of plot. This made her more refreshing, especially in her perspective of wanting to try something new. I loved the way she noticed little things in people -- like the style of shoes Chas wore. It's what made her a good photographer. I also liked how she struggled with doing the right thing like when it came to continuing the blog. Boy, did that stir up a lot of controversy and once again, it reflected right back on our own celeb curious society.

My favorite part of the story was the unfolding romance between Chas and Livvie. Those moments of awkward firsts were captured beautifully as was the sting of betrayal when people began to suspect and uncover things. The story made me think back to high school and all the drama and gossip. What if it was documented and blown out of proportion? What if it was blogged about, and everyone in the world could see it? This story accurately reflects all those what ifs.

While the book looks like a fast, light, fun read, it has an unexpected depth in its comment on our culture. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely well paced and parts of it contained a sweetness that was fun to read. But, there was also more to it (which I loved). It played with the very question I asked my daughters as we walked past the paparazzi outside that hotel -- "Why do we care who they're waiting to photograph?"


  1. Loved your review. I bought The Paparazzi Project when it was an Amazon freebie and I loved the class assignment of celebrities and paparazzi. It's so cool. I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks!