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Burning Bright

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My stop today on the @rrbooktours #rrbooktours blogtour for the #YA release of #burningbright – Book two in the rise and fall of Dani Truehart Series, by @author.michelekwas

When we last met Dani Truehart, in the pages of “Rising Star”, Dani was 15 years old and a singing-dancing pop star sensation – on the cusp of stardom and inches away from the realization of all her hard work and dreams.

(The new book, “Burning Bright”, works as a stand-alone novel, but it is so interesting to see Dani evolve as her world unfolds throughout the series.)

Dani is now sixteen – her first EP a huge success, and a full-length LP and a global road tour planned to closely follow. As we follow Dani’s meteoric rise to fame and all its trappings, her life initially resembles the stuff fairy tales are made of. It soon becomes clear, however, that Dani’s road to success (literally!) has a dark side – stardom threatening to come at a cost Dani, and those that love her, are totally unprepared for.

Under the grueling scheduling of the road tour and the all-encompassing publicity machine surrounding it, Dani’s days take on an unrelenting structure and rhythm, punctuated with constant pressure to rehearse and perform in city after city; spending long, lonely weeks holed up in her travel bus as they follow the road; separated from friends and family, and all those who truly love her – Dani’s career and destiny now in the hands of her legal guardian, Martin, and her management and production team.

As musically, she can do no wrong, Dani’s fan base expands exponentially, bringing with it a whole new set of experiences Dani must sort her way through.

The adulation of fans, social media frenzy and lure of fame, money and the power that comes with it, are heady and intoxicating, impossible not to be forever changed by, particularly for a displaced and alienated sixteen year old girl, now forced to face ugly truths about her parents, friends and others whose trust and affection she had never been forced to question.

The author writes with authenticity and compassion, creating a detailed world that feels like a behind-the scenes look at actual touring teen idol. It’s hard not to feel for Dani – and her sometimes questionable, maddening choices. As the reader can attest, being a teenager is hard enough, without having to make your mistakes, mess up and grow up, surrounded by a full-blown media circus, intent on capturing and documenting your every move, – the entire world your witness.

An oh, what a cliffhanger ending! Without giving the plot away (no spoilers here), I guarantee the out-of-nowhere ending will leave you scanning the shelves for the next release in this series!

A great big thank you to the author and the publisher for a copy of this ARC. All thoughts presented are my own.


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