Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review: We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 384
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  At the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, two ambitious young women—a down-on-her-luck actress and an aspiring journalist—form an unlikely friendship as they navigate a world of possibility and find out what they are truly made of during a glorious summer of spectacle and potential…

Gorgeous Vivi is about to begin filming her first starring role in a Hollywood picture when the studio head ships her off to New York as a favor to a friend. She’s assigned the leading role in the heralded Aquacade synchronized swimming spectacular at the World’s Fair, a fate she believes will destroy her film career. If she performs well, she’ll have another chance at stardom, but with everything working against her, will her summer lead to opportunity or failure?

Plucky Max dreams of becoming a serious journalist, but when her job at the New York Times doesn’t pan out, she finds herself begrudgingly working for the daily paper of the World’s Fair. As her ideas are continually overlooked by her male counterparts and her career prospects are put in jeopardy, Max must risk everything to change the course of her life.

When Max and Vivi’s worlds collide, they forge an enduring friendship. One that teaches them to go after what matters most during the most meaningful summer of their lives.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two women both end up at the Worlds Fair in New York City in 1939 for two very different reasons.  Vivi has had those Hollywood dreams and the studio sends her to NYC to be a part of an innovative show that will take place at the Worlds Fair.  Max ends up at the Worlds Fair working for their newspaper when her internship at the Times doesn't work out, but maybe this will be the right place for her to learn and grow.  Each women tell their story and at a certain point their stories unite and they will impact each other.

When there are more than one main characters, I always get a little nervous that I will like one more than the other, so I was happy while reading this book that I loved both equally.  Vivi had quite the journey with a deep back story that unfolded little by little.  She is sent from Hollywood to fulfill a contract and is hoping for a quick return to the life she was living in Hollywood.  Max has grand dreams and she knows that setting up her future is all up to herself and she will have little help from her family.  She knows that lining up productive internships should set the path ahead for herself and with some bumps along the way she figures out where she really wants to be in the end. 

I loved the subtle nod to her previous book The Subway Girls in the back half of this book.  I really loved that book, so it was great to see her throw that easter egg in and it completely worked within this story.  

I love how Susie Orman Schnall introduces me to places and time and things in history that I wasn't aware of and giving those moments so much color.  I will be on the lookout for her next book and am excited to see where she will put her focus on.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 56 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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