Cover Image: She Died Famous

She Died Famous

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Member Reviews

Scrambling to have a person in custody after the shocking discovery of Kelly’s body authorities turn to the author Kaleb Reed as their top suspect – his compulsive relationship having been well documented over social media and the tabloids. The solitary author and his fictional novel were shoved into the spotlight when pop star Kelly Trozzo talks about how much she loves it over social media. Fame and backing come with a price and Kelly seems like she is asking for more than just a memoir. As Kaleb is woven further into Kelly’s life he digs further into her life of duplicity and retribution until it’s too late to back out of the role she planned for him. That is where their story began but how did it end? Who killed Kelly Trozzo?

Kelly Trozzo’s character is highly reminiscent of our childhood actors and singers but especially brings to mind Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. Once the general populace traps the child stars in one role it is not easy for them to ever be seen as anything else. Especially when many of them have become “role models” for young girls and boys. This novel is a fictional but dark and damaged look into how fame and popularity is not always what it seems to be. A close look at Kelly’s involvement with agents, fans, friends, significant others, sex, drugs/alcohol, social media and tabloids. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I could definitely see this being more accurate than fiction.

“There is darkness inside us all. Sometimes, it makes us want to go into a tower, alone, and drown in that despair and shame. But the darkness can be defeated. Every curse was meant to be broken.”

The writing of this novel was broken up in interesting ways that I hadn’t experienced a writer do before. Part blog, part interview and part news stories – it broke up the novel nicely but you do need to pay attention to the titles as they go back and forth between time and outlet. This book is not without it’s share of sensitive subjects mainly being: sex, drug/alcohol use, suicide and mental disorders. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy murder mysteries, suspense and fiction. Thank you to NetGalley and Greater Path LLC for letting me read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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"On July 15, superstar Kelly Trozzo and her manager, Barry Monroe were found dead at Trozzo's Hollywood mansion. In the days that followed, the LAPD turned its attention to best-selling author Kaleb Reed as the primary subject in the murders. What follows is an account of the events leading up to and following that infamous night."
- Kyle Rutkin

She Died Famous is told through blog posts, transcripts, news articles, and interviews. I know that this isn't everyone's favorite method of storytelling, but I like it, and it really worked for this story. (Which is also really good!) The timeline is a little muddled, going back and forth between the past and present, but not every story needs to be completely linear for me. 

Imagine Joe Goldberg from "You" meets a former Disney starlet who has shed her good girl persona and become a party girl. (I have some serious issues with how Disney treats its stars, but that's neither here nor there.) Then add copious amounts of drugs and alcohol and some seriously obsessed fans. 

I liked it and I will definitely read more books like it. 
TW: drug and alcohol use/relapse

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my review.
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What a fast paced story that’s hard to put down. I love how this was told from blogs, interviews and articles. I found that so unique and fresh. I enjoyed the twists in this story.
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Compelling and twists that will leave you reeling. 

I started this book with trepidation, I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the first couple of chapters but before I knew it I was hooked being dragged along with a lot of twist and turns. 
This book isn’t like many others its written in a unique and wonderful way. It has many little plots with the big one and although sometimes its a bit hard to follow, its worth reading. 
It leaves you wondering did she in fact kill herself or did she have a helping hand from her soldier. I for one will be following this author for more amazing books. 
Thank you to Netgalley/ Kyle Rutkin/ Greater Path LLC for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is written from what's supposed to be different witness accounts and viewpoints. I found it choppy and while now difficult to follow, not really worth the read sadly.
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My Thoughts:
Told through a series of blog posts, memories, interviews and book snippets, all belonging to various players, She Died Famous tells a very coherent story in a really all-over the place way.

The overall story is told by the blog of Kaleb Reed, a narrator of highly questionable reliability. He is an author, yes, but he’s also a massive drug addict, a mentally unstable stalker, and a weird incel type. He wrote an entire incel love story about the woman he stalked, which is sort of the crux of the whole story.

This novel he wrote, called Pay Me, Alice is the book that leads the starlet Kelly Trozzo to seek him out and involve him in her bizarre life, and eventually her bizarre death. Kelly is just as whacked as the rest of them. Maybe even more so. There are no “good guys” here. Not really.

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s pretty massively fucked up. There are some mentions of self harm and suicidal ideations, shit loads of drug use, and incredibly conflicting accounts by a bunch of people who only see their own parts in Kelly’s story rather than the bigger picture, or even Kelly’s role in things. Basically, everyone only sees what they want to, and all anyone here wants to see is themselves.

I was also watching You on Netflix this last week, and honestly Kaleb reminds me so much of Joe on there that it was sort of messing with my brain. I felt like I needed to start checking behind shower curtains and shit just in case there was some creepy stalker hidden back there. And I don’t even have a curtained shower…

Overall, this was a solid mystery that played out in a fashion that I think began to be telegraphed fairly early on, but the stories each player was telling were still conflicting enough that it kept me doubtful that my assumption was correct, which I always appreciate. And added to that, there were still a lot of causal factors that I hadn’t guessed at all. So, good mystery writing, says me.


The story was cohesive and well written. The characters were all just awful, but believably awful. It was entertaining but also surprisingly intense. Don’t read while also watching You. It’s too much creepy stalker action for one person to reasonably deal with.
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I was getting major Miley Cyrus vibes from this main character. She was wreckless and crazy. The main character was a little annoying an obsessive. The heavy drug use could be a trigger. The ending was left unanswered.
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This was a very fun, easy, and page-turning read. I have always loved reading about the dark side of fame and Hollywood, fiction or true. And I liked the setup of this novel. It was very with it's time. But as much as I love unreliable narrators, there were too many in this one, and ended up leaving the reader very confused and unsatisfied. The ending had me saying "really? that's it?" because I didn't feel like I got an closure. The author has alluded to a sequel, but I feel like had this one ended properly it wouldn't have needed one.
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Thank you NetGalley and author Kyle Rutkin for an e-copy of She Died Famous in exchange for my honest review.

Kelly Trozzo is living her life like a fairytale.  She's the current "it girl" everyone wants to know and be friends with.  But Kelly's persona of a fabulous life of luxury is hiding the demons that control her. Behind the alcohol, drugs  and partying Kelly Trozzo has a story to tell and she knows exactly who she wants to tell it; Kaleb Reed, author of Save Me Alice, the book that changed Kelly's life.
Kaleb Reed, a struggling author, has been hiding out trying to fight his bad habits. He's an alcoholic and drug addict, but he refuses to be abusive like his father. So he gets help, but his demons are still there just under the surface. After writing Save Me Alice, Kaleb doesn't have much desire to write anymore, until he meets Kelly Trozzo. Then after months of writing Kelly Trozzo, along with her manager Barry Monroe, are found murdered at her Hollywood mansion. The prime suspect: Kaleb Reed. Did he do it? Or is this just the ending Kelly wanted?

She Died Famous was written in blog posts, tabloids and interviews. It was a different layout than what I normally read and I really enjoyed it.  This book was a little all over the place for me. With all the partying, alcohol and drugs, I just couldn't connect with that Hollywood lifestyle.  Something about Kelly bugged me, yet intrigued me enough to want to know more.  Kaleb had his dark moments and fighting his demons made me feel for him. I wanted him to write again, get help, but like Kelly he was too far gone with his issues and I think his fate was inevitable.  
This book left me feeling...indifferent. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

RATED: 3.5 ⭐
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Rutkin’s new novel is hard to really review due to the many parts that make this work on so many levels without even scratching the surface about the plot.  I can say that with all its moving parts, this is one hell of a murder mystery set in the world of celebrity and will not let you down.

This page turner starts out with the death of a celebrity superstar who seems to be a cross between Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears but is greater and achieved more through her records, films and television show.  Kelly is a megastar using social media to rally her countless fans; as they play follow the leader and would probably jump off a cliff if Kelly asked them to.   When her shocking death occurs, there is one suspect, the author of a novel that Kelly loves and endears and one she has been having an affair with.  This is the basic premise.

We have a story that is told through interviews, blogs, books excerpts and interviews in an interrogation room.  This is what brings the book alive and drives the reader forward to complex conclusion.  This is an extremely readable book that I could not stop reading and as the pieces come together, it leads you down a road that you do not see coming at you.  Personally whilst I was reading it, I assumed that I had it worked out due to most mystery, I tend to work out due to reading so many.  This is not the case of She Died Famous.

The characters are all very strong and there is no a weak point amongst them.  There are no extra characters for the sake of driving the plot forward and they all play a part in each of the character’s past and present.  The characters are all seen through someone else’s eyes or through their interviews which leads an interesting aspect to them.  This tends to lead the reader to reach their own conclusion with fantastic results.

The plot as stated is told in flashbacks or part of a blog which brings it together in an exciting way.  The  ending will surprise the reader and there is a deep heart felt conclusion that will not be what one would expect and is very welcomed.

Overall, this is an excellent page turner that scores so many points along the way and keeps moving to his exciting ending.  This will hopefully get discovered because it is a book that doesn’t disappointment and works on so many levels that when it finds it audience, people will want to discuss in further details.  As I don’t like to discuss or give away plot points in my reviews because I do think when surprises like this, the reader really needs to discover these for themselves to keep it exciting.  The novel gives a look at celebrity, a complex murder case and the power of love and is a must for people who like their murder mysteries deeply thought provoking.
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This book was really good in a lot of ways: interesting layout, story, and characters. However, the ending kind of fell flat. I feel like there should have been more to it.
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This was a dark and emotional ride that ripped my heart out of my chest and the ending left me gutted and I loved every moment of it. A brilliant read !!! A must read !!
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I was HOOKED from the very beginning. Creepy and dysfunctional characters, a murder, and an interesting mystery. But somewhere along the line I was sadly lost. There is something missing for me. A connection to the characters. It was an OK read, but not the slam dunk I was hoping for.
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The format of this book was unique, including newspaper headlines and clippings, blog posts, interviews and so forth. The way it was entwined within the book was perfect and added so much to the book experience.

Kelly a Hollywood star was murdered, and we are taken back to the days leading up to it when she befriends Kaleb, an author to write her memoir. She reeled him in by helping make his first book famous, so he is stuck. As he delves more and more into her twisted life, it leads to his arrest. How it came to that and what Kelly was really about will leave you shocked.

This dark and twisty novel is one to add to your bookshelf for the coming year.
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This story is written in a super unique style- kind of like Daisy Jones & the Six- but oh man is this darker and more twisted- which I LOVE! The author has put this together as a combination of blogs, news headlines, and t.v. interviews. I wasn't sure that I would like it as first, but it really worked. I enjoyed this book mainly because it is so different from anything I've read before. Warning: This book does touch on heavy subjects like addiction, physical abuse, and suicide scenes so this should be understood before diving in if these things trigger you. I found the characters to be well developed and realistic while also disturbed. Kelly is a singer/actress (much like Lady Gaga's character in A Star is Born) and Kaleb is an addict and possibly insane author, Jez Kelly's assistant and Kelly's best friend Lizzy - who had very important roles in telling this story. I enjoyed getting to know them all. 
I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted more though. I’m not sure if I didn’t want it to end or if I wanted a different ending for Kaleb. This was definitely a dark and twisted story of obsession, addiction and the real-life demons that live deep within the characters. I can't give more away without spoiling, but if you wanna know who killed Kelly, you must read this book. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Net Galley for the ARC!
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I really enjoyed this book. It has a great example of how multiple people can view the same set of events through very different lenses depending on the information they have and their biases. The author plays with fame, social media, and fan culture to create a captivating thriller. It kept me turning the pages. I enjoyed the different formats used to tell the story: interviews, blog posts, news stories, etc. I can see how there might be people who would not enjoy this book. But it was a hit for me.
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She Died Famous – Kyle Rutkin 

Synopsis: Superstar Kelly Trozzo and her agent are found murdered, and all the signs are pointing in one direction… Author Kaleb Reed. Trozzo sought Reed out after reading his book, and overnight made him an internet sensation and a best-selling author. The story is told through Reed’s blog, police interviews, magazine and newspaper articles. Reed is the main narrator, although Trozzo’s best friend Lizzy, and her obsessed assistant Jez, reveal their stance on certain situations, including Trozzo’s budding relationship with Reed. It dives deep into the dark side of fame, drugs, addiction, and obsession. Throughout the whole book, you’ll have the same question… who killed Trozzo? 

Review: I absolutely loved this book! The format worked so well for the story being told, I’m a huge fan of celebrity gossip rags, so this was right up my alley. The book is so entertaining, it’s definitely one you won’t be able to put down! Rutkin did an amazing job capturing multiple sides of the story, while providing all the details a reader requires. Easily, one of my favourite thrillers of 2019! Can’t wait to read more by Rutkin!
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When superstar, Kelly Trozzo, hires Kaleb Reed to write her memoir, he has no idea what to expect. What she asks of him, ends up being more then your typical biography. When Kelly is found dead, the police turn to Kaleb as a suspect. Kaleb and Kelly’s relationship was full of drugs, alcohol, and followed by the world. Kaleb has a violent past and they know it. In his blog, Kaleb recalls the moment he met Kelly to the moment she died. This is a story the world is going to want to read. 
What can I say other then I thought this story was beyond compelling. Right from the beginning I wanted to know what happened. I like that  you get mini points of views from certain characters and they conflict each other. It puts your mind to work on who’s telling the truth. Kelly and Kaleb are two majorly flawed characters and do a great job at showing the true darkness one can feel. The dependency we can feel on drugs and alcohol. Kaleb has a sort of superhero complex in which he feels the need to protect those he loves, but at the same time, he can take these to extreme levels. I really enjoyed this story.
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This book takes you on a wild Hollywood ride. It is different in the way the story is told, a mix of blog posts, interviews and news articles from different perspectives. I enjoyed the thriller aspect of finding out who killed the main focus of the book, famed singer/actress Kelly Trozzo. Kyle's writing really draws you in and makes you feel like your right there in the book. Drug use is very prevalent in this book, some in my book club found this troubling, I did not. At the beginning of the book I felt very strongly for Kelly, but towards the end my feelings were more for another focus in the book, Kaleb. Kaleb, is an author that Kelly loves and hires to write her book but also may or may not have fallen in love with. This book will not disappoint!
Was this review helpful? this book was super good!! It's dark, twisty and captivating. I was impressed with Kyles style of writing and need more!!I absolutely love it. It's a story about not only betrayal and vengeance but of obsession and what it comes with, darkness and the price for fame and fortune. It's also about dealing with your inner demons and dealing with wounds that never leave us. I would like to thank Netgalley for the digital copy of this book as an exchange for a review. I'm gonna have to recommend this book to my psychological thriller loving friends.
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