Becoming Famous by Natalie Scott
Publication Date: July 2015
Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. But even though she doesn’t know it yet, she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider, Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.
Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Bebe Barkley is a flighty, slightly confusing character, who runs at the merest hint of difficulty, and likes any excuse to drink, party, or get high. Back when she was an equestrian, she experienced some tough times, which resulted in her relocating to New York in order to pursue a career in acting.
I read Becoming Famous as a standalone, and there were a few instances when I wished I had asked for the first book before attempting to read this one. The first thing I noticed about this book when I started reading it is the fact that Bebe seemed to be at home with exchanging life stories with complete strangers. As if that isn’t odd enough, I managed to understand the life stories of everyone but Bebe herself. Because of that, I wasn’t able to get a comprehensive view of what happened to Bebe when she was a horse rider; and I wasn’t able to gain insight on the workings of Bebe’s mind.
There are a few things about this story that put me off finishing it as fast as I would have liked, but let me begin with the main character. Bebe is not a very likeable person. Don’t get me wrong- she’s easy to get along with; just not easy to like. She’s a bit self centred, and is so tactless that she comes off as rude most of the time. She has no qualms with using people, breaking up with a boyfriend over the phone, and tricking a roommate into making her sole beneficiary of his property upon death. Luckily for me, Bebe managed to keep me curious enough to finish reading her story.
Becoming Famous was written from Bebe’s perspective, and I must say that the narration is the most frustrating thing about this book. The fact that there is barely any mention of Bebe’s supposed acting classes is rather disappointing, because the acting is supposed to be the focal point of her quest to becoming famous. Bebe tells her story like a toddler who is on a sugar rush: some parts of the story are well detailed, while most of it seems to be rushed and all over the place. In fact, her narration is pretty much similar to her personality; and if that was intentional on the author’s part, then I applaud her quick thinking.
There is a mixture of all kinds of characters in this story, and while some of them come off as superficial, there are a few that seem quite genuine. I do not, however, like the fact that the characters who were brought in from the prequel of this book did not come with proper introductions; which would have made sense, since this is supposed to be a standalone.
There are a few events in this story that are rather farfetched (one being the fact that Bebe could make herself very prominent on her friend’s will without anyone getting suspicious), but towards the end of the story, things begin to get more realistic. There are also some pretty good descriptive qualities in this book, and the plot is okay. I like the fact that Bebe does develop, and even though she doesn’t change over night, she begins to realise that not everything is about her.
Overall, Becoming Famous is a book that I think was published too early. With more detail, back stories for the characters, and more realistic events, this story would have made any reader’s day.