A fitting round-up for me, a filmmaker!
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You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria. Real life love blooms on a film set for an American adaptation of a telenovela between the two leads- him, an older actual telenovela star jaded (and a little scarred) by fame, her an up and coming actress in her own right fighting for respect. Intimacy coordination is a major plot force! Alexis Daria’s books are not only consistently very hot but really thoughtful character studies as well. This book also deals with the film industry in a way I find (as a filmmaker myself) broadly accurate, and deals with the benefits and drawbacks of fame in a really interesting and nuanced way.
How hot? 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey. A actress from a famous filmmaking family co-stars on her family’s latest film after a not-entirely-planned work hiatus with her former nemesis: a man who she co-starred with a few years earlier and whose unprofessionalism almost convinced her to quit acting forever.
This book has a big nepotism angle, but rather than skewering it or unpacking it truly, we actually see the downside of the pressure nepotism can put on those within it, which was interesting! Though, as a non-nepo-baby trying to break into Hollywood, I found it hard to completely sympathize. I much preferred this book’s exploration of addiction, legacy, advocacy for yourself, and toxic workplaces.
How hot? 🔥🔥
How To Fake It In Hollywood by Ava Wilder. Two actors (one, a washed up older alcoholic and another, a fresh-faced but oft-overlooked former teen soap star who wants to make her own work) who enter into a publicist-organized fake relationship to help both their Hollywood careers.
I think the world of publicity-approved relationships absolutely fascinating and I’m a big Celeb Dating Truther in that I think most of the buzziest public relationships (in Hollywood and in the digital media sphere) are at least to some extent complete garbage. This book felt validating for that reason alone, but it’s also another book about the complexities of fame, addiction, and the ongoing challenge to stay in even after you’ve “broken in.”
How hot? 🔥🔥