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.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Length: 350 pages
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39925990-how-to-be-a-movie-star
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Review by Janice Birnie
A unique and superbly written love story.★★★★★
How to Be a Movie Star is the second book in the How To series and follows How to Be a Normal Person. Knowing and understanding the dynamics of the characters from the first book in the series is integral to the enjoyment and humour in the second. How to Be a Movie Star could be read as a stand-alone but if you haven’t already read the first book I believe it would take away from the full enjoyment of Movie Star. The references to events, and the involvement of the cast of characters from book one, lead me to strongly suggest those new to this series read them in order. Both books are brilliant, funny, riveting, and a joy to read.
Josiah Erickson is an aspiring Movie Star. He’s also an honest-to-a-fault extroverted demisexual hipster stoner who strangers often incorrectly judge to be somewhat slow. He isn’t. Josiah can be surprisingly sharp, and he’s very good at reading people. He is also incredibly endearing, sweet and entirely loved and loving to those around him – including this reader.
Josiah has known he was destined to be an actor from the moment he won the coverted role of a block of American cheese in his fourth grade school production on the importance of the four food groups – acquiring roles in LA such as a background cadaver on a TV show, and on a commercial for herpes medication, has only cemented his passion for his craft. After a serendipitous meeting in the La Brea Coin-Op Laundry with agent Starla Worthington, Josiah is just biding his time as a waiter until he lands his well deserved break.
Q-Bert is a Monster Porn novelist with a small but passionate following. He is a shy introvert who has difficulty meeting people one on one and does not make friends or trust easily. Under his nom de plume, Q-Bert shares stories on social media about living with depression and anxiety which make a big difference in the lives of his followers, many of whom share issues of their own. His blog has become a safe space for people to share their stories as well as support Q-Bert and each other. Q-Bert’s posts and Instagram photos are as real as it gets which makes him very different from the average semi-famous author. He is also secretly an aspiring filmmaker and when Josiah wins tickets to what he believes is a poetry slam event at a library, these two mens lives collide – just maybe they’ll achieve their goals and find what they need in each other.
The theme of chosen families is something TJ Klune often explores in his novels, the How To series is no exception. This series unveils an exceptional cast of characters covering a wide range of ages, backgrounds and sexualities. The common thread is the innate goodness within, refreshing honesty between the characters and unconditional love. It’s the type of made family you only wish you could be part of. Friendships occur between the most unlikely people and I absolutely adored the relationship between Josiah and Gus, one of the MC’s from the first novel. On the surface they are polar opposites but they’re really just opposite sides of the same coin. As Gus’ boyfriend Casey says, “Josiah is a ray of sunshine to Gus’ beautiful rain cloud.” They just work. Aside from Josiah and Q-Bert’s blossoming friendship/relationship they are one of my highlights from this novel. I also love the way TJ writes MC’s who are so much more than stereotypical gay characters. It’s wonderful to read about asexual and demisexual men, as well as men who eschew labels entirely, living their best life and achieving their HEA’s.
How to Be a Movie Star is a beautifully written novel that is a reflection of this authors’ outstanding, highly unique writing style. In the MM genre the range and style of his writing is peerless and of a consistently high standard. TJ Klune deserves to be widely read outside the community and I have no doubt that in the future it will be.
About the Author
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)