Book Review: We Are All K.C. Hall
Reviewed by Madeline Barbush
An emotional novel about the person behind the movie star
We Are All K.C. Hall follows an up-and-coming movie star during a critical time in her life. We get an interesting glimpse into the not-so-glam tribulations of being a person with a high public profile.
Author Cameron McVey beautifully brings a depth to actress K.C. which is not often attributed to movie stars and famous people. Not only does the author remind us that “famous people are people too,” he shows us that the hard times in life come for all of us. McVey’s literary voice is absorbing.
The protagonist K.C. Hall is the spunky narrator of her own story. She is a 28-year-old actress and Hollywood’s new shiny toy. Since her career has taken off with her portrayal of Astra in the hit movie Shadows of the Moon, her agent Mo Flanker has kept her busy with back to back projects, but now she has reached a lull.
Free time is not something she’s used to, so Mo has sent her to a spa and lodge for 6 months until her next project begins. The getaway seems to be doing her good, and she decides this is the sort of preparation she might always need before a big role. In fact, every aspect of her life seems to be coming together, until she gets news that her estranged and addiction-afflicted mother has decided to write a book.
K.C. knows that this is her mother’s way to make a buck off her father’s tragic story and her own newfound fame. Her painful childhood comes rushing to the forefront of her life, and the entire country is waiting to see what she’ll do about all the new drama swirling around her name. The actress had hopes of working with wonderful new directors and perhaps even following her ultimate dream of becoming a writer, but we see how her grit will be tested. She’ll soon find out whether she is made for this life or not.
This novel is both entertaining and timely, especially in regards to our newfound consciousness as a society of the pressures under which we place celebrities. In the 2000s we were poking fun and blowing up photos of singers going through breakdowns, lashing out at paparazzi, and now we all but protesting in the streets when we hear that our beloved idols have been mistreated and manipulated by other forces.
McVey grounds K.C. from the very first pages of his story. She is just someone who asks for cheeseburger recommendations in a new town. She notices a cute boy in the bookstore and likes to see how the books are ordered on the shelves. It is these details that make me grow closer to K.C. and then naturally want to protect her when things come crashing down in her life.
K.C. is blindsided by interviewers on talk shows and expected to dive into her traumatic family life on live television. I have some questions about this, like why wouldn’t something like this go through a publicist first, or at the very least come with some sort of warning? I wonder at times if there were more subtle ways to show how K.C. ‘s job negatively affects her mental health.
As a writer and actress myself, I felt excited about just how specifically I fit within this reading niche, but these two aspects don’t get expounded on much. K.C. talks a lot about her movie star status and has many conversations with people in the business, but her work always remains somewhat vague. It’s true that she is on a break between roles, but with how much she talks about the business, there is very little action within it.
I’d recommend We Are All K.C. Hall to anyone looking for an entertaining and emotional story filled with twists. It’s fun to jump into the shoes of an actress who seems to have it all, but McVey smartly reminds us that there’s a human behind all the glamor and shine.
K.C. is sassy, intelligent and strong willed. There are moments in here where I wanted to rally behind her just like so many of us have rallied behind celebrities like Britney Spears. When someone has a good heart like these two women, it is easy to want their success and their healing. K.C. Hall has been put through it all, and it’s worth the read to find out if she is able to come out on the other side.
Genre: Literary & General Fiction / Coming of Age
Print Length: 327 pages
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