Saturday, July 11

Emma Jamvold - Zali Luna: Movie Star

Sixteen-year-old school girl Zali Luna has just been cast in her first Very Big Movie. But while going to Sydney and working with her gorgeous, world famous co-star Oliver Lamond is a dream come, Zali also has a very big problem. She's pretty sure that she's the only sixteen-year-old girl in the world who hasn't been kissed, and soon she's going to have to kiss Oliver on screen. Zali's determined to get some kissing practice in before the big day, but there's her malicious rival, child star Emma Small to contend with, and then there's Harry, who may have feelings for Zali that go deeper than just friendship.


 Major thanks to the author, Emma Jamvold, for providing me with a review copy.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you might know that with me everything comes down to the characters. If the characters are well-made but the story isn't perfect, there's a huge chance I'll still love the novel and won't even complain, but if the characters are not exactly well-made, the story has to be flawless to compensate me for that. Unfortunately, Zali Luna: Movie Star didn't excel in either one of those things.

The characters were plain and unrelatable. I couldn't shake off the feelings that Zali was indeed not a teenager but an adult who desperately wanted to sound like a teen. I tell you now, if someone on the internet who says he/she is a teen wrote to me in this manner, I'd definitely think twice before replying. Zali wasn't only worried about her first kiss, she was obsessed with it to the level that she became selfish and ignorant of others' feelings which I could not understand. In many cases she acted downright cruel to Harry, even though she knew from the start that he liked her. 

The other characters, while at least not as bad as Zali, were very poorly developed. The two guys barely had any role. Oliver was nothing but a name without proper description. The only things we learnt about him throughout the novel were these: he's cool, hot and very charming. Forgive me for forgetting to swoon. Harry had a lot of potential as the guy who was friend-zoned but he was just as underdeveloped as Oliver, with the exception that we learnt a few mildly important things about him. Zali's mom was one of my favorite characters, even though she had very little role. She was fully supportive of Zali and a great mom overall, which is becoming a shortage in YA literature these days.

The story was badly-executed, there's nothing else to say about it. To be honest, I had the feeling that the author might have signed up for more things than there's space in such a short novel. In the case of the novel Zali got her dream role, was introduced to the show business, recorded the movie and experienced love. Meanwhile, when I look back at the novel I only remember Zali whining over her love life, Emma, and everything else in between. This book could have been a great read, maybe mindless fun with us knowing exactly where the novel leads, or maybe a dramatic love triangle that keeps the readers guessing, but it ended up simply being boring. 

All considered, while Zali Luna: Movie Star wasn't a 100% unpleasant experience, it turned out a lot different from the fun read I was looking forward to. I could not relate to the characters and thanks to the badly executed plot I couldn't get invested in the story either.

The story idea: 3/5
The realization of the story: 1/5
The characters: 2/5
The cover: 1/5
Enjoy factor: 2/5


  1. Sounds a bit similar to "A French girl in New York" to me.


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