Monday, June 18, 2012

[Tour Stop + Giveaway] Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp

I'll admit it: occasionally I like to pretend that my life is a movie, and that I'm the star…

Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she's willing to fight for those she loves, but she's never learned to fight for herself. Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she's driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of 25-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them.

Nathan is Melody's English teacher, and after he saves her from being raped, she becomes attached. Melody longs for the affection she's never felt, so she involves people in her self-invented drama, making sure she is at once the star and the director. Meanwhile, Samantha is newly married to Nathan. But Samantha has hang-ups about motherhood and lingering feelings for her ex. To make sense of the world, Sam relates her life to the themes of her favorite movies, while she independently makes a documentary to jump-start her non-existent film career.

Stylistically influenced by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, Starring in the Movie of my Life is told old alternately from both Samantha's and Melody's points-of-view and relates two complete yet combined stories about love, acceptance, and redemption. It speaks to our universal desire to be saved by the ones we love, and the monumental effort required to save ourselves.

Today Laurel stopped by at my blog for a quick post about Barbie! Yes! Barbie!

Barbie for President

            When I was little I spent hours playing with Barbie. My best friend and I would make up all sorts of scenarios, where Barbie was somehow challenged, but she always made it through with fashion and grace. I suppose you could say my writing career began with Barbie, because it was through her that I used my imagination to create countless stories with her as the star.
            So, when I heard Barbie was running for president, of course my interest was piqued.
I’m sort of a political junkie; I follow presidential campaigns as if they’re sporting events. I also still like Barbie. She’s extremely glamorous, and her clothes fit so well. Besides, how many women can claim as many careers as she’s had? There’s actually a Wickipedia page that lists out her entire professional resume. It will take too long to list all her work experience, but here’s a random sampling: sign language teacher, dentist, paratrooper, ambassador for world peace, Canadian Mountie, paleontologist, Nascar driver, scuba diver, McDonald’s cashier, Sea World dolphin trainer, and a Marvel comics superheroine.
            So, really, who do know that is more qualified to be president? Barbie is in touch with the working class, but she has her finger on the inner workings of our economy. She understands how our country works, and she’s got hands-on experience to back up her book knowledge.
            Too bad she’s made of plastic.
            Barbie actually has her own blog that is chronicling her run for office. She’s run for president every four years since 1992. This year her platform is for young girls to “B inspired, B informed, and B involved.”
            She claims that she’s the only candidate who can stand on her own. That doesn’t make sense to me. I played with a lot of Barbies in my day, and none of them could stand. Is she going for irony with that slogan, or am I missing something?
            Anyway, my two-year daughter, Pauline, is already showing signs of being into Barbie. She’s found a “teacher” Barbie I got as a joke gift many years ago, before I began teaching high school. Now Pauline grabs it by her hair and drags it around the house. And that’s fine. There are many worse things to be into than Barbie.
            I had so many wonderful hours playing with Barbie as a child, and I don’ think my self-image suffered for it all. Instead, my imagination grew. The one thing I will want Pauline to understand, however, is that Barbie is perfect only because she is not real. The rest of us are flawed, and that’s the way we should be. We can’t expect our leaders to have hundreds of careers, never gain weight, and always look well-groomed.
We can’t expect it of ourselves either. We come with quirks, and that’s what makes life interesting.
            So while I still love Barbie, I’m not voting for her.

About Laurel
Laurel Osterkamp’s first novel, Following My Toes, (PMI Books) won the 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence (Chick Lit category). She drew on her on her experiences as a high school teacher and creative writing teacher as she wrote Starring in the Movie of My Life.  She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, and daughter, and is working on her third novel.

Now time for a giveaway!

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  1. Mine would be quite would start out with a lot of drama & then get boring later on, lol. I would want Emily Browning to play me though =D x

  2. Great review! You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give to fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with the Best Books Blog Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review all these books for us authors and readers.

    Go to and pick up your award.

    P.S. Since you are an avid reader I was wondering if I could interview you and get your insights into the books you enjoy. Send me an email: KnightessHope (at) gmail and I will send over the interview questions

  3. I think my movie would be a whole lot of action and adventure with equal parts drama.
    But I don't know who would actually play me. Probably me.

  4. my movie life would be pretty boring, with the exception of one dramatic part chronicling my near death experience. then it would go right back to nothing interesting again : )


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