Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

Fifteen Minutes cover

 This title releases today. 

Let’s begin with the summary:

Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also some­thing more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a thera­peutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and pri­vate agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

And now, my review:

Karen’s books are bestsellers as soon as they come out—an author’s dream. And I used to love her work. She could quickly both access and elicit my emotions as I read. But after a while, the writing wasn’t enough to keep me reading her novels as they came out. 

Since it’s been a few years, I’d hoped this title would be different—hoped that I could get into it and find complex layers and interesting characters. But, unfortunately, I didn’t.  

I liked the aspect of a musician being torn about going after his dreams and not losing himself. But the character seemed two dimensional. I felt like I’d read this character many times before in this author’s writing. 

The redundancies and overuse of terms and phrases distracted me as well. So many uses of “eyes” and smiles “touching hearts.” I respect this author, but I couldn’t find enough redeeming qualities in this story to continue. I didn’t find layered characters, multifaceted story elements, or engaging emotions. 

I sincerely wish her all the best. I think her diehard fans will enjoy this story. It just wasn’t for me.

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