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Seeing Stars

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  237 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Ruth Rabinowitz believes. She believes that her daughter, Bethany, is a terrific little actress, so they have come to Hollywood, where dreams come true. Ruth’s husband and Bethany’s father, who thinks their quest for stardom is delusional, has been left behind in Seattle.

Joining Bethany Rabinowitz in Hollywood’s often toxic waters are fellow child actors Quinn Reilly, who
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published March 13th 2010)
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A group of kids, all with the same talent agent, all with Hollywood dreams wrestle with the ups and downs of getting their big break. Some have mothers who help them along others are on their own without much emotional support from their parents. The story takes us on a roller-coaster ride from the eyes of all of them.

I fell in love with this book from the first few chapters. The author did an excellent job of reeling you into the characters and making you feel as if you were right there along w
Meagan Houle
Nov 16, 2014 Meagan Houle rated it liked it
I'll start with the good: this was an interesting read if you find yourself curious about the inner workings of Hollywood and what it's like to search for the "big break". Talent agents always have their hands out for more money; casting directors are brutal and harsh; fellow actors try to get along while competing for the same roles; directors are ruthless; the industry is a jungle.
The bad: I found it difficult to like or care for most of the characters. Bethany is entitled and a bit spoiled,
Apr 07, 2010 Meg rated it liked it
More than anything, Diane Hammond’s Seeing Stars seems to be a cautionary tale for aspiring Hollywood types — and in that vein, it functions very well as a work of contemporary fiction. With plenty of nods to certain Disney stars and topical references to films like “High School Musical,” which seems to be the dream gig of every working teen in L.A., Hammond’s book draws the reader into a sordid, often sad world of backstage lots, incredibly long hours, droll parents and sacrifice rarely display ...more
Deon Stonehouse
. Hollywood sparkles as child actors reach for that gold ring, desperate to make the next booking and land the part that will make them a star. Ruth is Bethy’s biggest fan, her confidence in her daughter so strong she leaves her husband Hugh behind in Seattle while she spends real bucks in Hollywood trying for Bethy’s big break. Hugh is afraid his wife and daughter are searching for fool’s gold, but he stays behind working hard to keep sending those checks south. Allison is picture perfect prett ...more
Rachel Kelley
Sep 04, 2011 Rachel Kelley rated it really liked it
I was actually given this book by Diane Hammond after I opened one of her book signings with a quick scene from Macbeth to set the mood for her presentation. The topic is very contemporary and interesting - I probably would have bought it regardless - and I began reading right away. This book holds trade secrets and things you wouldn't believe about the Hollywood life so many crave. The story is so tangible and easy to relate to you feel the anxiety of a supportive mother as if it were your own. ...more
Jun 14, 2010 Denise rated it it was ok
Seeing Stars is the story of wannabe child actors and actresses and the lengths their parents will go to to see their dreams come true. Bethany Rabinowitz wants to be a Hollywood star and her mother believes she has what it takes. So they leave everything behind, including Mr. Rabinowitz, and enter the world of Hollywood desperation. From the horrible way producers treat these impressionable young kids to the manic drive their parents succumb to in the search for success, all of Hollywood's dirt ...more
Katrina Jones
May 27, 2011 Katrina Jones rated it liked it
It was very draggy, and the plot only got a little more interesting towards the end. Overall, it was not a very enjoyable read, and it took me a long time to finally finish reading it.

"It wasn't that easy to smile at people and mean it. You had to open up, take risks, expose yourself to injury. But he was learning from her; he was trying to smile at people, too, and mean it, which was a struggle after so many years of holding people off, keeping them away. He even did that with Quatro, despite t
May 22, 2010 Caitlin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, was hooked from the beginning, and found myself thinking about and missing the characters once I was done. Ms. Hammond has written a wonderful story about the pursuit of dreams, about family (born and made), and very much about consequences of all kinds.

The writing is superb as are the characterizations, but best of all is story. In this age of 15-second fame and reality TV, Ms. Hammond captures the desperation of those looking for their big break, their moment in
Aug 01, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
I wish I could give it 2.5 stars. I enjoyed the first half, but the second half became repetitive. There were also a lot of characters - too many, I think, so you never got a good feel for any one of them. I did enjoy her writing style, though, so will try another by this author.
This book really dragged on. I don't think it needed to be as complex as it was. For me, there were too many side characters and stories. The character of Quinn could have had a whole book just about him, rather than mashing him in with all the other child actors in this book. Same with Laurel.

The story of Ruth and Bethy, a mother and daughter who go to LA in search of stardom for the young teen daughter was good. It was fascinating to see the challenges young actors and their parents face in Ho
Sep 21, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
A 13 year old girl, Bethy and her mother, Ruth move to Hollywood so Bethy can be a movie star. The only problem is she is not very talented or very pretty. A fascinating look inside the life of a stage mom. We also meet the talent agent, Mimi, and her projects which include Allison and Quinn, both from tragic home lives.

The writing was excellent and you actually started looking from the messed up eyes of Ruth, wanting her daughter to be a star so badly.I could not put this down.

I had a very emo
Jun 16, 2010 Jaime rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish I am not the type to put a book down before I finish it, but this is the 3rd book I have stopped reading midway through in the last month. I am 150 pages in and bored out of my mind! Nothing has happened! The auhor started telling the story from different characters' points of view, which usually always works as an easy plot progressor, but it did not help. Nothing has happened... Maybe I'm put off by the book because I just picked up some books I had on hold, where as this book I just ...more
Nov 18, 2010 Corinne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: chick-lit lite fans
Entertaining read. The characters are very well drawn, though I think a couple could have been jettisoned and it wouldn't have detracted from the work. Ms. Hammond is great with dialogue - it's very real and fresh, and each character has a distinctive voice. She paints a very accurate picture of life in Hollywood/LA for struggling young actors, and her scene set in Venice Beach stood out to me for its authenticity. (I used to hang out there a lot and I know exactly which street performers she wa ...more
May 11, 2010 Paige rated it it was amazing
I picked this up on a whim at the library and enjoyed the author's style from start to finish. It probably helped that I'm intrigued by parents that come to Hollywood with their child, because they "just know" that their child will become a star. While there are plenty of "shout outs" to Disney, High School Musical and all the current popular kids in tv and/or film, there is also a great story telling on each section of characters. A little weird to read about a child desperately chasing somethi ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Ginny rated it liked it
Seeing Stars follows the lives of young, aspiring actors as as they follow their dreams to become Hollywood successes. It's a believable and realistic view of the almost unattainable hope of making the big time. The most realistic and sympathetic character for me was Quinn Reilly, who I was rooting for throughout the book. I loved Diane Hammond's book "Hannah's Dream" so much that I was expecting a lot from this novel; however, the storyline of this book disappointed me by comparison. "Hannah's ...more
Aug 17, 2014 Joanna rated it liked it
Felt like a fly on the wall in the world of pre-teen Hollywood wannabes.
Started but then it had a weird boy character so I stopped
Jan 25, 2011 Colleen rated it really liked it
I thought this book was going to be a frothy look at the life of a child-star in the making, but it was actually so much more. The story of these children trying to make it in Hollywood was touching and well-written, highlighting the darker side of seeking fame and fortune as an impressionable young adult. I thought the voices of the kids rang true, as did the presentation of their parents' motives in sending them to Hollywood. All in all, a rather bleak look at life as a child star but also a s ...more
Mar 03, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
This one is a low three which is a real disappointment for me; I really enjoyed Hammond's Hannah's Dream so I was really looking forward to this one. The writing is fine...except for the fact that Hammond seems to feel obligated to name drop in this one. She drops names of products, stores, people. It makes the story timely, but always says to me that they author doesn't anticipate the book to have long-lasting draw. Also, I didn't feel like Hammond had much new to offer regarding child actors i ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Michele rated it it was ok
This book was a very raw and real take on the business of Hollywood. It focused mainly on the pains and un-glamourous side of digging around and putting yourself off the cliff all for that one chance at work. The author bounced around between different characters and story lines, most of which did not connect with each other at all. Think the author would have written a stronger novel if she just stuck with one story line. In particular, Bethany, Ruth, and Allison's story line.
Jun 26, 2010 Louise rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book because the story was very different. It involved children trying to break into the Hollywood movie scene. The story follows the lives of several of the children and I found the characters fairly compelling. The ending is pretty predictable, but I'm still glad I finished it. I recommend it because it isn't too heavy or pretentious. It was a good summer read. Louise
Apr 02, 2016 Andy rated it liked it
I liked it enough to finish it, but not enough to seek out anything else by the author.
Diane Dean
Good read.....enjoyed!
Dec 08, 2011 Shari rated it liked it
bought this because i enjoyed "hannah's Dream". totally different book and it kind of surprised me. Ruth Rabinowitz is helping her daughter Bethany find her niche in the rigorous and volatile television and/or motion picture business in Hollywood. But is it costing her her marriage and her sanity?
quirky characters, somewhat silly but not a bad read.
Mar 08, 2011 Cody rated it really liked it
I liked the story but the book was long and in some places unfocused. I would have prefered if the story had focussed on Quinn Reilly, who is the most interesting and underused character in the novel.

Also, I find it distracting when a book uses both real and fictional things (i.e. TV shows, movies, actors) at the same time. Just a pet peeve.
Oct 13, 2010 Theresa rated it really liked it
I tried really hard to finish this book, I did. It was like being at a family reunion. So many people you know you should know but it takes awhile to remember their name. Way too many characters and a few were so easy to see through and some were mainly peripheral and a lot of attention spent on them.
Aug 06, 2010 Marjanne rated it it was ok
I think this is more of a 2.5 stars. Overall the story was ok, but there seemed to be a lot of drama packed into a few stories. The writing was ok, but I think it would have been better with fewer story lines and fleshing them out a bit better.
May 04, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Found the storyline to be intriguing due to my penchant for acting. The character's lives, their ups and downs, drew me in. Additionally, I always take an odd personal delight when some of the action takes place in my hometown.
Apr 29, 2010 JoAnn/QuAppelle marked it as abandoned
So disappointing. I have loved Hammond's other books but this one just dragged and the characters were unappealing. The "plot", whatever it was, was uninteresting. I just could not get into it.
Not really a book I would have picked up. But it was a freeby from a PLA conference. But it's probably not really a bad thing to read books that you think you wouldn't have ever read.
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I'm 53, and it's hard to believe that anyone could possibly care about where I was born, but for the sake of due diligence, it was in Queens, NY. I grew up in Upper Nyack, a suburb of New York City, without a lot of drama, and the most important thing I learned in my four years at Middlebury College in Vermont was that I could write in James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness style fluently and for l ...more
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