“Rising Star” by Michele Kwasniewski

“Rising Star” by Michele Kwasniewski 175 262 Reader Views Kids

Rising Star: Book One in the Rise and Fall of Dani Truehart Series

Michele Kwasniewski
Rand-Smith LLC (2020)
ISBN 9781950544165
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (10/2022)

Author Michele Kwasniewski wrote “Rising Star” after more than a decade of experience working as a film set assistant, production manager and member of the Producers Guild of America. In her debut novel, “Rising Star” her firsthand experience is fully displayed as she crafts nuanced characters and dramatically realistic scenarios and relationships. 

Dani Truehart may only be fifteen years old, but she’s been working toward this moment for most of her life. After landing an audition with a music agent, her life may be about to change forever. However, despite being a monumental event, Dani is plagued with controversy stemming from her mom’s anger, jealousy and hurt, and her coach, Martin’s insistence on taking the management reigns from her villainous mother.

We’ve all heard the stories of parents who live out their dreams through their children, but Kwasniewski brings this to life as she crafts an out-of-control mother, dutiful daughter, and high school friends navigating this new world Dani is about to be thrust into. After making a career for herself in movies and TV, Kwasniewski artfully uses those colorful experiences to pen a real, believable, and authentic read based on a fictional rising star, Dani Truehart.

The dialog, daily schedules, and agent’s life feel so natural and convincing for the industry. Dani’s life moves fast, and the way the author portrays her fears, exhaustion and grueling hours gives readers a physical sensation of just how hard this life can be. Kwasniewski does a fantastic job bringing this story to the page and creating a dislikeable villain (Dani’s mom) and loveable sidekick (Martin).  It is everything readers hope for in a book – fast paced, exciting plot, and character attachment. 

I cannot wait to jump into the second book.  The author knows just how to leave readers hanging as we are left imagining what Dani’s future will bring. “Rising Star” gives readers an inside view of the music industry, the grueling life, and the relationships with friends from before.  Whether you’re a Taylor Swift fan, a Lady Gaga fan, or someone else in the industry, this book will have you feeling the pressures they are under and the fast-paced lifestyles they are forced to live in order to succeed.

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