Zack Dylan has an extraordinary singing voice- he lives on the farm with his family and has a wonderful girlfriend named Reese Weatherly. The dilemma comes in when he decides to audition for the reality show "Fifteen Minutes" and Reese gets a job offer in London as an equine therapist- should she take it?
The book starts off with Chandra Olson, a beautiful and young African American who won Fifteen Minutes a couple of years back and she knows the cost of fame. She believes that now that she's one of the judges on the show, she can pray and warn the young hopefuls before her.
This is my first time reading a Karen Kingsbury novel and I read she is the "Queen of Christian Fiction" I see why. The book has many great things going for it, especially the fact that it focuses on what is so enormously popular today: singing and dance competitions. The development of her characters are stellar. She peers into the inside of their broken lives and even still, there is a glimmer of hope where there may not have been any.
For example, Chandra Olson, experienced the pain of loss just so she can get her fifteen minutes of fame and she view it as a horrible business especially for young Christians. Kelly Morgan used to be America’s sweetheart, with a husband and two children until fame whispered she was looking too "old" and now at the age of thirty seven she looks twenty five- thanks to yoga and Botox. Reese Weatherly is scared for Zack but she trusts him, even though the competition has screaming fan girls and one beautiful singer/cheerleader who the production keeps pairing up with Zack…
What sort of lost it for me was that although Chandra Olson was about the same age as Zack- she can come off brutally towards people and almost like a “mama” to them. Her snappy tone when she see a believer falling into the wayside is much needed and I cheered for her in those scenes. But then I would think, “She acts forty five or fifty years old.” Unrealistic. I am unsure why she has to be the one to be very tough as nails, I hope it isn't because she is African American- you know, the mammy portrayal often seen in movies? And she is so young.
However, her pearls of wisdom and what she has suffered is one reason why Zack Dylan and even Kelly Morgan need to listen to her. Their life have been changed and not really for the better. Even Zack with his beautiful voice and sturdy belief, the hope in his eyes and his faith eventually dims and I feel sorry for Reese and his family when they see his slow meltdown on stage…
This book is really great because of two reasons: On time subject matter and terrific characters.
*Book received for my unbiased review from Netgalley
Fifteen Minutes, Karen Kingsbury
Published: October 29, 2013-Howard Books