18 May 2021


 Today its my pleasure to be sharing with you book one in the Rise And Fall Of Dani Truehart series, Rising Star by Michele Kwasniewski.

Fifteen-year-old Dani Truehart is living a life that is not quite her own. Driven by her mother's desire for fame and fortune, she has spent her childhood dutifully training for a career as a pop star. She leaves her friends, family, and scheming mother behind to move into the Malibu compound of her new manager, Jenner Redman.

Isolated from her life at home and trying to keep up with her demanding schedule, Dani struggles to stay in touch with those she loves, connect to her withholding mother and find her voice as an artist. Finding herself unprepared to handle the pressure's of her future singing career, Dani's debut album and future stardom are at risk of falling apart.

Doubts begin to creep into Dani's mind as she questions her own desire for fame and wonders whether she can trust the motivations of the adults around her. Can she make it as a pop singer, or will her career come crashing down around her? {Back Cover Blurb. Contains what might be considered spoilers. Scroll over text to review the full synopsis)


GENRE: Young Adult

SERIES: The first in the Rise And Fall Of Dani Truehart Series.



As I stand before the gym doors, my heart beats wildly. {First Sentence, Chapter 1}

My mom sews as well as she applies makeup. She's taken ordinary jeans, shorts, tops and dresses and cut, customized and bedazzled them beyond recognition. Saucy cutouts, lace appliques, grommets and sequins are on every piece. Hot pants, bra tops, mini dresses ... no inappropriate attire has been omitted. It's prefect for a Las Vegas review or a night at the club, but hardly appropriate for an afternoon audition for a fifteen-year-old. We stand back and survey the clothes.

Martin walks up and down the rack, flicking through the clothes, hangers clattering back and forth. "Oh my God," he whispers, "We are screwed!" {Memorable Moment, Page 48}

MY THOUGHTS ... A character I found myself investing in from the off. Maybe it was her relationship with her scheming, controlling, narcissistic mother {a not exactly nice character but one who made for great reading}, maybe it was her insecurities; the all pervading loneliness she at times felt, maybe it was that we got glimpses into the fifteen year old she actually was, there was just something about Dani that I adored.

The story of a teenager being prepared for a life lived on the world wide stage ... if all goes well ... and I'm pretty sure by the series title of 'The Rise And FALL of Dani Truehart' that it doesn't. 

On the face of it, many a young person's dream come true, that in order to get there, to STAY there, we learn of the long hours spent perfecting her craft, of the isolation that she encounters, of the tiredness that she feels having spent hours at the microphone/getting every dance move down to perfection ... 

Yes, Rising Star is the story of a teenager who has spent her entire childhood being prepared {some might say groomed} as the next big thing in the pop world; of the adults who vicariously seek fame and money through her, yes, its the story of a teenager struggling to stay connected with the real world when a life of stardom beckons but at its heart its a story of families, of friendships, of first love.

Engrossed from beginning to end and left wondering what life holds for Dani, I'm looking forward to continuing her journey with her in book 2, Burning Bright.


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nightwingsraven said...

From what you said in your review,
Dani would truly appeal to me as a
character. And combined with the
scheming and controlling mother,
and themes of family, first love,
friendships and stardom. I think
it is definitely an engrossing
story and I will add it to my
Thank you for your enthusiastic and
excellent review.

carol said...

I find it hard to invest in teenage characters. This one does sound good though, especially how she interacts with the adults in her life.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Oh gosh, her mom sounds horrible but definitely makes for a fascinating character to read about. Glad to hear you really connected with Dani and enjoyed the book.


Kelly said...

I'm not sure this is a book (or series) I would ever have considered, but you make it sound very appealing. Never say never!

Suko said...

Does this book tell a universal story of many young pop stars with stage moms (mums), or dads? Luckily, Dani sounds like an appealing character. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this book, Felicity. Terrific review!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Many thanks for all your comments.

Does this book tell a universal story of many young pop stars with stage moms (mums), or dads?

Hmm! There's a question Suko and to be honest it's one I'm probably not best qualified to answer. I guess that(sadly) Dani's mam is representative of those pushy, stage moms you sometimes read of and the amount of time and energy Dani devotes to her craft I can well imagine would be needed of any young pop star destined for that kind of stardom if that helps answers your question.

Literary Feline said...

If my daughter were older, this sounds like a book that would really appeal to her.

The Liberty Belle said...

Nice review. Sounds like just the thing my young cousin would enjoy.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

You've got me curious about the young protagonist. Great review!

Gina said...

You can't help but wonder what life is like behind the scenes of child stars. The fame and fortune, yes, but how much of themselves, their childhood is sacrificed? Be curious to hear what happens in book 2!