Author: Kristina Springer
Source: Purchased (Kindle)
Goodreads Summary & Cover:
Livvie Peterson thought taking Interpersonal Communications her junior year would be an easy A. But when the first assignment is given, her world flips upside down. Here’s the deal: the class is assigned a six-week project and is split into three groups— Paparazzi, Tabloid, and Celebrities. The Paparazzi follow around the Celebrities taking pictures and grabbing any kind of quotes they can. The Celebrities try to navigate being tailed on a daily basis. And the Tabloid receives all the information collected by the Paparazzi and decides what makes the weekly summary report. Sounds harmless…and it’s all just pretend anyway, right?Thoughts:
Livvie is assigned as Paparazzi and when she is matched up with the über-cute Chas Montgomery as her Tabloid boss she’s pretty sure things couldn't get much better. Livvie’s uncanny ability to capture the Celebrities in compromising photos matched with Chas’s skill of exaggerating captions and editing the photos make them an unstoppable team. And the long hours working side by side with Chas aren't a bad bonus.
Livvie simultaneously launches an anonymous blog, leaking the class’ photos and stories on the Internet. Her rising follower number quickly becomes addicting and she possibly spills too much information online. Once she finds her own celebrity will she be able to give it back? And will Chas be gone before she ever has the chance to find out?
Let me just start by saying that I found this book to be refreshing. The plot was 100% completely relative to our lives today. Whether it's a pre-teens, teenagers, young adults, or even older adults. The Paparazzi Project focuses on capturing certain people in situations and how pictures can be misconstrued and lies and rumors can spread. Quickly!
The class project itself was a great idea! You could kind of tell immediately that bad things would happen. I mean, c'mon! You're giving high school students permission to photograph other students and interpret those pictures and story-line into a class tabloid.
Through the project, we meet the "celebrity" students: one who has an eating disorder, people secretly dating so they don't hurt a best friend, a totally nice guy who does a reading program at the Library with little kids, a student's mother having an affair, a guy with a crush on Livvie's best friend, a klutzy boy who spills his lunch on him all of the time, and a girl being busted for creeping around with another girl's boyfriend. That's a whole lot going on! The emotions and feelings going on for the students who volunteered to be the "celebrities" were way out of control.
With all of this going on, Livvie does start the blog. She honestly began the blog without meaning to harm anyone. She was also fed more rumors from an anonymous source and didn't fact check. Therefore, making more rumors and causing more problems.
Blogging and Social Media are huge parts of peoples lives now. Some people, no matter the age, just can't handle the "power" they may feel they have over people. As a blogger and social networker, I know the consequences that can stem from things that are said or done. Heck! We all do, especially with the latest scandal going on. People seem to lose their conscience when it's time to type what you're thinking. It's easy to forget that you may be hurting someone in the process when you think you're just blabbing or doing something that you don't feel is wrong.
Some of my favorite quotes and situations in the book:
"Kids are checking in every day just to read the stuff I put up there. I’m kinda like the Perez Hilton of Thompson High. Though thankfully no one knows it’s me. I don’t need a Jennifer Aniston confrontation moment like Perez had. And I really don’t want Chas to find out either." 47%
"But there is a part of this job that I do wonder how the real paparazzi handle. And that’s conscience. Is there ever a time where the real paparazzi feel weird or invasive when they’re taking pictures of celebrities? Or is it all a game that everyone agrees to play?" 48%
“Let’s get some ground rules down here. Olivia must be home by ten o’clock. There is to be no drinking, smoking, or drugs of any kind. That includes cough syrup, glue, paint chips, or prescription medication." 52%
"Bad behavior is always rewarded these days." - 79%
"I ran the blog just for fun at first. But as I kept it up, more and more people came to read what I was posting. And I got caught up in it. I was exploiting people’s personal business to gain followers and get more hits. To get people to listen to me. To pay attention to what I had to say. It got away from me, and I wish I could take it all back. But I can’t. All I can do is tell you that I’m deeply sorry to those whom I've hurt and I hope you can one day forgive me." 98%
The Paparazzi Project is a completely relevant story in our day and age. The story fits so many situations with students and adults. If you love fun, quick, and relevant stories, this is really one to read!