Julie 's Reviews > The Comeback

The Comeback by Ella Berman
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2021, contemporary-fiction, e-book, netgalley, berkley, hollywood

The Comeback by Ella Berman is a 2020 Berkley publication.

Painful, Powerful, and Ultimately Liberating!

After years of intense grooming as a teen star, Grace Turner, now in her early twenties, is right on the cusp of her big acting breakthrough, when she abruptly walks away from Hollywood without a word.

She’s been living under the radar, staying at her parent’s home, coping with addictions, and the pain of internalizing an insidious secret eating away at her.

As the story unfolds, through Grace’s flashbacks, we see the repulsive way she was molded, manipulated, and abused by powerful men in Hollywood.

When Grace returns to Hollywood, staging her 'comeback', she contacts old acquaintances, friends, and lovers- but, ultimately, she must decide how to navigate her life, and how to take control of her own destiny.

This is a dark story, approached with a polished, understated atmosphere which slowly builds tension and emotion as the horrifying truth is unveiled.

The subject matter is handled perfectly, without unnecessary or vivid details. The emotional impact is felt more strongly as a result.

The author states in her notes, that this book was written some months before the #MeToo Movement, which makes her insights even more impressive.

I was impressed with the way the author presented this convincing cautionary tale. It’s raw, dark, and sad, but not heavy handed or strident. The story is submitted with a subtle style, so as not to overpower nor downplay Grace's conflicts, or mettle; yet it still manages to drive home the harsh realities of the abuse she endured.

While nothing about this story should come as a shock at this point, it still boggles the mind that through all of the advances in entertainment, some things never change.

Overall, this is an impressive and timely debut, spotlighting the disturbing imbalance of power in the movie industry, the sickening exploitation of young performers, and the importance of recognizing your worth, your strength, and about having the courage to take control over one’s own life.

4 stars
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Reading Progress

February 22, 2020 – Shelved
February 22, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
December 19, 2020 – Started Reading
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: 2021
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: e-book
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: netgalley
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: berkley
March 16, 2021 – Shelved as: hollywood
March 16, 2021 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-40 of 40 (40 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa ~ Bantering Books (On Reviewing Hiatus) Incredible review, Julie! :)


Julie Melissa wrote: "Incredible review, Julie! :)"

Thank you very much, Melissa!! 💖


Kat (Books are Comfort Food) Great review, Julie. Glad you enjoyed the book and are impressed by the content. 💕


message 4: by Tina (new)

Tina I've been wondering about this one. A nice review Julie dear 💖😊


message 5: by Mel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mel This was one of my favourite reads last year- great review Julie! I agree that the subject matter was handled so deftly, and wasn’t heavy handed at all- which seems rare amidst all the superficial or tropey #metoo adjacent fiction being peddled to us these days!


message 6: by Richard (new)

Richard Sounds a troubling, thought provoking and very good read - excellent review Julie!


message 7: by Ceecee (new) - added it

Ceecee Fantastic review Julie 💕


Michelle Terrific review, Julie! 💖 I really enjoyed this one too.


message 9: by Mischenko (new) - added it

Mischenko Excellent review, Julie!


message 10: by J.K. (new)

J.K. Grice Splendid review, Julie!


message 11: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Brilliant review Julie!


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Fantastic review, Julie!


Julie Kat (Books are Comfort Food!) wrote: "Great review, Julie. Glad you enjoyed the book and are impressed by the content. 💕"

Thanks so much, dear Kat!! 💖


Julie Tina wrote: "I've been wondering about this one. A nice review Julie dear 💖😊"

Thanks very much, Tina!! 💖


Julie Mel wrote: "This was one of my favourite reads last year- great review Julie! I agree that the subject matter was handled so deftly, and wasn’t heavy handed at all- which seems rare amidst all the superficial ..."

Thanks so much, Mel!! I can understand why this one made it onto your favorites list!! I thought was very sincere and realistic. Well done! 💖


Julie Richard wrote: "Sounds a troubling, thought provoking and very good read - excellent review Julie!"

Many thanks, Richard!! It is a worrisome, since it felt so probable and realistic. I'm glad these stories are coming to light now! 😊


Julie Ceecee wrote: "Fantastic review Julie 💕"

Thanks so much, dear Ceecee!! 💖


Julie Michelle wrote: "Terrific review, Julie! 💖 I really enjoyed this one too."

Thanks so much, Michelle!! Glad we both liked this one! 💖


Julie Mischenko wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thanks so much, Mischenko!! 💖


Julie J.K. wrote: "Splendid review, Julie!"

Many thanks, J.K.!! 😊


Julie Holly wrote: "Brilliant review Julie!"

Thanks so much, Holly!! 💖


Julie Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie!"

Thank you very much, Brenda!! 💖


message 23: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Excellent review Julie!💞


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Excellent review Julie!💞"

Thanks so muck, Kaceey!! 💖


message 25: by Yun (new)

Yun Excellent review, Julie! I'm glad you found this to be a powerful read! :)


Julie Yun wrote: "Excellent review, Julie! I'm glad you found this to be a powerful read! :)"

Thanks so much, Yun!! 💖


JanB Wonderful review Julie! I agree with every word. I loved it too! I was so taken with Grace.


message 28: by Kat (new)

Kat Thoughtful review, Julie! This one sounds like it handles the subject matter very sensitively.


Julie JanB wrote: "Wonderful review Julie! I agree with every word. I loved it too! I was so taken with Grace."

Thanks so much, Jan!! I was too! 💖


Julie Kat wrote: "Thoughtful review, Julie! This one sounds like it handles the subject matter very sensitively."

Thanks so much, Kat!! 💖


message 31: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria Stellar review, Julie! I need to move this up on the reading list, I'd almost forgotten about it. There's been such an avalanche of books.


Julie Victoria wrote: "Stellar review, Julie! I need to move this up on the reading list, I'd almost forgotten about it. There's been such an avalanche of books."

Thanks so much, dear Victoria!! The struggle is real!! 💖


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Love this review, Julie! I thought this book was so special!


Julie Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "Love this review, Julie! I thought this book was so special!"

Thanks so much, Jennifer!! I agree- this is a special story! 💖


Kristine Mckenna Excellent Review! I really found this to be a powerful book.


Julie Kristine wrote: "Excellent Review! I really found this to be a powerful book."

Thanks so much, Kristine!! I agree! Very well done! 💖


message 37: by Lady Clementina (new)

Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore Great review Julie. This sounds like a really compelling read.


Julie Lady Clementina wrote: "Great review Julie. This sounds like a really compelling read."

Thanks so much, Lady C. It is a compelling story on a very timely subject. 💖


message 39: by Libby (new)

Libby I've noticed at times that an understated/subtle narrative style often highlights even more the events occurring in a book. Excellent review, Julie :-)


Julie Libby wrote: "I've noticed at times that an understated/subtle narrative style often highlights even more the events occurring in a book. Excellent review, Julie :-)"

Thanks so much, Libby!! I agree wholeheartedly!! 💖


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