Allison Burch’s wildest dream is to become a famous singer. She can hardly believe her own good luck when she auditions for the reality television singing competition, Center Stage!, and is chosen as a contestant. She finally has a legitimate shot at fame, fortune, and a chance to go on tour as the opening act for her favorite boy band on their world tour. However, Allison wasn’t counting on one of the celebrity coaches being Chase Atwood, the famous rock star father of her former best friend. Allison’s terrified that Chase is going to find out that she and his daughter have been in a fight for months, and it’ll ruin her shot at the grand prize. Making matters worse, Allison’s own coach, Country Western star Nelly Fulsom, intends to groom her into a Nashville superstar. As Allison struggles to decide if she really wants to win on the show if it’s by resorting to dirty tricks and assuming the image that Nelly wants to create for her, she find herself falling hard for her biggest competition on the show: a brooding songwriter named Elliott Mercer. She’s not sure if Elliott’s interest in her is genuine, or if he’s just playing along with the producers’ strategy. It’s up to Allison to decide: how much is she willing to lose in order to win?
Bubby: It’s been a while since we’ve done a cute YA novel. While our protagonists Allison and Elliot are 16 and 17, the story appeals to younger readers and us older folks alike. My 13-year-old loved it and Sissy did too. That’s quite an age range!
Sissy: Ignoring the hate, Bubby, and readers, don’t hate us either because we’re spotlighting a fluffy teen novel aimed at girls. You’ll have to live with it. Center Stage! is fun and we liked it! In all honesty, I was intrigued at the behind-the-scenes look at singing competition reality shows. I’ve been watching the final season of American Idol with a new eye and wondering how far the producers go to get ratings and their desired outcome. It’s all quite shady, I believe.
Bubby: I’ve had the same thoughts. The Center Stage! competition is almost a mashup between American Idol and The Voice, with a little bit of The Bachelor thrown in for good measure. I guess we’ll never really know what the truth behind the makeup and smiles really is. Unless Sissy decides to audition for The Voice. She could do it, you know. Win the whole thing. She’d be on Adam Levine’s team and by the end he’d be throwing off his skinny model wife and begging Sissy to run away with him. She’s that good.
Sissy: So kind of you. Too bad I’m not a few years younger and less wrinkly and too bad I hate crowds and pressure. Otherwise, I’m there!
Bubby: I really enjoyed the characterizations in Center Stage! – I especially enjoyed Lee, Allison’s nerdy film geek friend. Allison’s other bestie, Taylor, is featured in the first book in the “Treadwell Academy” series – The Rock Star’s Daughter. There’s four Treadwell Academy books. I need to put them on my TBR list! Also, Caitlyn Duffy has two free novellas available right now at Amazon, The Tycoon’s Daughter (a Treadwell Academy book) and Backstage (a prequel to Center Stage!). This was a really nice change of pace from our usual fare – as Sissy would say, it made me feel like a spring chicken again!
Sissy: I would never say that. It’s way too old farty for me. I’ll admit that I want to hear more about Allison and Elliot, so I hope that there is a sequel. If you are a singing competition fangirl of any age, and you’re looking for a light and fluffy yet interesting read, you should hurry up and get Center Stage! by Caitlyn Duffy. Get it before American Idol is over because you’ll really enjoy watching while having an insider’s look at what’s REALLY going on!
We received this book from Netgalley in return for a fair and honest review