Review: How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2)

Author: TJ Klune

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb:  Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.


Review: How to Be a Move Star is the sequel to How to Be a Normal Person. It can be read as a stand-alone.

Josy may not be setting Hollywood on fire (yet), but he knows it’s only a matter of time before he gets his big break. After all, he is an actor of the highest calibre, as confirmed by both his fourth-grade music teacher, Mr. Stefan Alabaster IV and his agent, Starla Worthington. In the meantime, he had his job at Applebee’s and his best friends, Serge, Xander, Casey and Casey’s boyfriend, Gus (who would eventually give in to the inevitability of being Josy’s BFF, he just didn’t know it).

Besides being an actor waiting to be discovered, Josy’s other talent is winning radio trivia contests. In order to keep his winning streak going, Josy insists that no matter what the prize is, he has to use it. Which is how he found himself convincing Xander to accompany him to a poetry slam at the local library when he wins tickets to it. Only, it’s not quite the night he was expecting.

Q-Bert is an author of monster porn, with a loyal following of fans who admire him as much for his open and honest discussion on the anxiety and depression that’s a part of his life, as they do his stories of love, sex and monsters (or anthropomorphised inanimate objects). While it can be hard some days, Q-Bert refuses to let those conditions dictate his life, challenging himself to get out of his comfort zone. It’s at his reading for his book “Getting Poetry Slammed in My Butthole by Sasquatch” that Josy first lays eyes on Q-Bert. It wasn’t love at first sight for Josy. Josy’s demisexual: love and sexual attraction don’t happen like that for him, and it’s no different when he sees Q-Bert for the first time( or second, or third, for that matter). He is interested, though, and would like to get to know the shy and remarkable author; to hopefully become friends. Josy’s not alone in that interest. Q-Bert is just as fascinated with Josy as Josy is of him. If only they could each get the right words out to make that happen.

How to Be a Move Star took me a little while to really get into. I enjoyed it from the start, I even liked Josy from page one. However, I found it hard to really connect with him for the first part of the book. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him. Full disclosure, I don’t get drug use; I don’t get the desire to be high. And Josy is a stoner. For me, it started to get to the point where I kind of was over the constant references to him being stoned all the time. I got it. He’s a stoner. I don’t particularly like that, but that’s okay. Everyone deserves to be shown, even if it might not be a characteristic I‘m personally comfortable with. It wouldn’t automatically preclude me from liking the character or enjoying the story, as long as the character was layered and interesting outside of that one characteristic. At that point, I was feeling a bit smacked over the head with it, though.

Once the filming for the movie started, though? That’s when it all changed. It was from then that more of Josy’s character was developed and I really felt like I got to know him beyond being a stoner. And I found plenty of things to love about him. As the story progressed, I discovered he was sweet and caring and genuinely joyful about life. He was a ray of sunshine who chose to see the good in the world and other people, and that was something I very much admired about him. I also adored Q-Bert, his courage and strength, because even with his fears and anxieties he pushed himself out of his comfort zone to follow his dreams.

I loved the slow unfolding of Josy and Q-Bert’s relationship. It wasn’t a slow burn in the traditional sense of a romance, because romance and sex wasn’t the important part to Josy. It was friendship and the emotional connection that develops out of it, and I really loved that. There was humour and whimsy and not just acceptance, but celebration of all the ways people just are. There was also one of the most perfect epilogues I’ve read.


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