She Died Famous

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Feb 2020

Member Reviews


This novel is completely captivating. It’s dark and obsessive story line kept me wanting more the whole way through.

The author does such a fantastic job of telling the story from diverse angles and giving just enough information to the readers in order for them to need to continue on to find out the truth of what happened to Kelly Trozzo. The story is told through interviews, blogs, and chapters from a novel Kaleb Reed wrote. Kaleb also is the number one suspect for the death of Kelly.

Kelly and Kaleb’s relationship was intoxicating. I found myself rooting for them even through the darkest parts of their story. I had to put the book down for a couple of day so that I could savor the ending. It did not disappoint. As I read the last few sentences of the book I gasped because it wasn’t the ending I expected.
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Definitely not a bad read.  Interesting format. Good storyline, but for some reason took me a bit to get through. Maybe wasn't the best book for me to choose but I know of others that would enjoy it more.
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In the end it was just a little too convoluted for me. Could have been a bit more clear. I enjoyed it quite a bit anyway. Liked the format. Characters were interesting. Just a bit too out there at parts. That’s just my personal taste tho. Still a solid 4 star read.
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Thank you NetGalley, Kyle Rutkin and Greater Path LLC for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

As soon as I started this novel, I was taken back to Daisy Jones with the similar writing and the many different people telling one story that we may never get the full truth of. I was shocked by how crazy this novel is and I was totally sucked in right from the beginning! I wanted nothing more than to finish this one in one sitting and find out what is actually going on. There are a lot of really screwed up scenes in this novel that definitely made me think about how much drugs destroy lives, especially those we see are plagued by the media. I was shocked by how dark the ending was, but it was definitely fitting! I loved all the different formats and I would definitely recommend giving this one a try if you like dark thrillers!
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I'm not going to lie. I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. I LOVE a good murder mystery and thought this one would be right up my alley with the whodunnit and Hollywood aspects.

That being said, this book was very hard for me to get through. There was A LOT of drug use/addiction mentioned in the book, which is a little triggering for me, personally. The characters were written to be generally unlikeable, but I felt it was more than that that turned me off of the book. Kelly and Kaleb are extremely volatile and are absolutely in a toxic relationship.

The ending did surprise me, so at least there was that. If you love a whodunnit/murder mystery and don't mind horrible, unlikeable characters throughout mixed with substance abuse, this is the book for you. It's just not for me. 

I do want to call out Kyle Rutkin, though. He is very clearly a skilled writer, and having to put the content of this book together absolutely requires great skill. The book and its content just weren't for me. He, along with Netgalley, provided me a free copy of the book for an honest review and I do appreciate the gesture.
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This book and I definitely did not mesh well. We were a terrible match and I regret asking for the ARC. I had to DNF it at %55. I don't care about self-absorbed, shallow personalities that love to drink and snort coke and have major rage issues. It is not what I enjoy reading and I am sorry to give such a bad review.
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4 Stars:  4/5 Star Review
Wow!  What a tragedy and what a story!  What a mystery!   This story will leave you reeling!  I couldn't get enough of this book.  It is fascinating, to say the least.  It will grab the reader and hold on fast.  Grab your seat and a popcorn.....because she's about to be famous and you're about to be a witness to it.
I received a digital ARC of this book from netgalley and Greater Path LLC in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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She Died Famous is a gritty suspense dark read. Kaleb’s world is turned upside down when famous superstar Kelly Trozzo raves about his book. He’s pulled back into a world of dark indulgence and there is no way out.

The cover is what caught my eye. Yes I look at covers! Then read the synopsis and it sounded like my kind of read. I wasn’t disappointed. It is dark. It is suspense filled. Broken people battling their demons. At times it seemed like the story was a bit disjointed but it came together eventually. Some of the characters were hard to like and that’s how it was supposed to be. Great job Mr. Rutkin! The story is not a fairy tale and the author wasn’t afraid to dive down the dark drug demon hole. This story isn’t for everyone but I enjoyed it. I give it 4 stars.
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This book is getting compared to "A Star is Born," which I've never seen but can see the comparison, and Gone Girl. Because of that comparison, I was expecting a big twist, because Gone Girl had one of the best and most memorable twists I've ever read. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in that aspect. In reality, I can't think of a single similarity between the two books, not one reason comes to mind to compare them, other than perhaps publicity. A better comparison would be Daisy Jones & The Six, for both the storytelling, part of which is in interviews, as well as the superstar lifestyle and drug use. Another good comparison would be Verity, although Colleen Hoover did it better. Although the storyline is not the same, there are a lot of similarities, including an unreliable narrator who is an author hired to write a book for someone else. The writing style also reminded me of Cara Hunter, with blog posts, interviews, TV shows, book excerpts and other unique storytelling methods other than just paragraphs like most books.

I did just compare this book to three books I gave 5 stars to (and couldn't compare it to another 5-star book). But sadly, despite all of that, I can't really rave over this book. It DID have a lot going for it. Great characters that stay with you and feel real, and a really good storyline that I overall enjoyed. But the ENDING just completely fell apart. It set up this big mystery to be solved - who really killed Kelly Trozzo, and how does it all connect to the "fictional" story written by Kaleb Reed that was really based on his dark past - but the ending was so anticlimactic and confusing. There was no twist, no big reveal. I was left feeling like "what just happened?" Maybe an epilogue or something would have made it better.

So yea, I actually did really like this book. I'd say for sure 3.5, but almost 4 if the ending had been better. It really had a lot of promise, and I think Kyle Rutkin is actually a really good author. I'd definitely be interested in reading his next book.
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She Died Famous is a story not to be trusted. The reader is set up and warned not to trust what you read. With that in mind - you are constantly questioning EVERYTHING and speculating what really happened? Who can you trust? Was it an elaborate set-up? Beautifully complicated story telling that delivers on thrills, mystery, and suspense. A real page turner. Recommended read.
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I enjoyed reading this book. It had a good story to it. It is my first book read by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
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Thank you Greater Path and Netgalley for a copy of She Died Famous by Kyle Rutkin. A twisted love story that got real dark, real fast.

Kelly Trozzo is a child star turned musical superstar. When she tweets about her love Kaleb Reed’s book, he is suddenly catapulted into her world. Told in blog posts, a magazine interview, as well as some other news stories, this was a unique read!

She Died Famous has trigger warnings galore, including drugs, alcohol, stalking and much more. Message if you want details into anything. It is a dark dark look into what a celebrity party life might look like. It went a little too far for me a couple of times but I do like celebrity culture fiction and the format was so unique and interesting to read.
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I really enjoyed this book! Alot of twists & turns.... a great story. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a suspenseful mystery.
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I’m not sure how I feel about this book. Not a single character is likable so even though I did finish the book and enjoyed the story, I’m not sure what to think. The writing is excellent and kept my interest.
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Let me start by saying I truly did enjoy this book, would have had a much higher rating until the very last page. 

The book is written from the main character, Kaleb,  POV via a blog, along with news reports, police interviews, and the final interview with Kelly. I really enjoyed how it switched between the different mediums and you got a more inside look as to Kelly, Kaleb, and Kelly's two closest friends.

There could have been more character building for the two friends. They flit in and out of the story through Kaleb's blog and the police interviews. I felt that their police interviews could have been left out and I would not have missed anything of importance. The two friends were not the only superfluous characters, there was also the ex-boyfriend, Noah. I do not want to give spoilers so i will not say more than that. Kaleb's character was unreliable at best. Issues with drugs and alcohol blur the lines of reality and drug-induced "reality." However, you cannot help but to hope for the best as in his blog he is so open and raw. You just hope he is telling the truth. 

So, you do not think I hated this book, I loved the premise of the book. A murder mystery of who killed Kelly and you think you know who it is so many times only to be foiled by clues and interviews Kyle leaves for you. It was a fast paced book that really did keep me engrossed and guessing until the very last page. What just happened? Seriously, can anyone tell me? It really made no sense and I ended the book feeling angry that that was the ending. I even went to Google to see what other readers thought.

I really do not want to seem overly critical because it was a good book. It just should have ended a few pages earlier and that would have made this a much more enjoyable book for me.
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So two quick things....

1. What the heck happened at the end?
2. How obsessed is Rutkin with Miley Cyrus?

Honestly, I've been painting this little picture in my head of Kyle Rutkin staying up late into night with cold coffee rings surrounding his computer obsessively googling Miley. Like I wish I could get my hands on his internet search history because I would keel over with joy I'm sure. I don't know why I find this scenario so entertaining but I really do. But joking aside, I really picked up on some Best of Both World vibes in this book with just a dash of Britney.

If you are a tabloid junky or a celebrity gossip, this is going to be the book for you.

There were a few things that I did enjoy about the novel. This story reads like a trashy tabloid. Rutkin took an interesting and fun approach that let us into the story little by little. In that way, I found the story was hard to put down. Another element that I enjoyed was the inside view to a celebrity's life. Viewers or common people mostly see what celebrities want us to see. We see poses, perfection and a fantastical life. But this story is a reminder that the beautiful and rich are still people. Mental illness, addiction and trauma don't discriminate.

Back to question 1. I want to discuss the ending. I love an unreliable narrator. Any day give me a narrator that I can't trust, I am here for it. But....don't give me a last line that has me scratching my damn head. This is not some great literature where the ending can be internalized and viewed subjectively. This is a purposefully trashy novel that really has no business leaving on a line like that. Come on, Rutkin!

Okay, I did a little research on that last line. It appears that Rutkin answered a question on Goodreads indicating that there will be a sequel. My feelings on this are ambiguous. I don't really think this needs another installment but I won't judge a book without the cover....

There are a few points I'd like to briefly discuss. Not only does this story have a Miley Cyrus' vibe it has a Caroline Knepnes You vibe. Like our narrator and Joe Goldberg could be the best of friends. They are almost hard to differentiate even down to the writing/reading interest. I'd be curious if Rutkin has ever dabbled in Kepnes books or television series. I'm thinking he has.

Thriller writers are talented and crazy. They put these enticing lines about the mystery that has yet to unfold that makes you squeal with delight. They add these menacing lines about the big secret that has you dying to get to the reveal. The author carefully crafts these tempting lines that leave the readers thinking "oh shit" what is going to pop off. Then you finish the book. And you find yourself feeling a little played. You were lead astray. The build was better than the break.

And that is why I am rating this book with 3.5 stars rounding down to 3.

Thank you NetGalley and Greater Path LLC for a copy of She Died Famous. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to check out the second installment.
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This book had me hooked the entire time I was reading it.  I was never quite sure what was going on and could not predict how it was going to end.  A great thriller!
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From the outset I was unsure of this book.  Trust me, I really tried.  I even started from the beginning again.  I am afraid it didn’t improve.  The subject matter was all about self-indulgent people and I found myself quite desperate to unburden myself from the whole sorry lot.  I despised each and every one of them.  Strong words I know, but I finished the book with a sigh of relief that I didn’t have to read another word about these horrible characters.  I am not usually so harsh with my reviews but…

With apologies to the author – just not my thing apparently.

Thank you to the author publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
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A really great storyline played out as if the reader was seeing and hearing the whole story in real life.  Tv, media, online, it was all so realistic...or as realistic as a Hollywood crime can get.  Kyle Rutkin gives us a suspect who feels as if his life is out of control and he doesn't know where it began.  This book screams READ ME!
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I really just loved the way this book was presented. We had magazine articles, direct interviews with friends, Kelly's own interviews, the blog of Kaleb. It was so interesting to read it from so many angles and it was written the same way that a murder show is produced on television. I really liked that.
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