Starlet’s Light, the third book in Carla J. Hanna’s Starlet series, continues the journey of actress Liana Marie Michael that the author set up in previous novels.
In this story, Lia is dying because a drug she was given as a teenager to keep her youthful ended up giving her cancer and congestive heart failure. She continues to work and rely on her fiancé, Manuel, but she also realizes that it’s cruel to keep him at her side when she’ll likely be dead soon. Lia ends her relationship with Manuel, breaking her own heart in the process, and tries to continue to balance her life as an actress and the secret of the health problems that are slowly killing her.
Hanna does a solid job of catching up new readers on the story, and it’s easy to dive into this novel without the benefit of the previous storylines. The author skillfully continues to develop Liana’s personality. Overwhelmed by her situation, Liana makes bad decisions, but it’s all in an effort to find her own voice, to discover who she is, rather than what those around her (such as her parents) are telling her she should be. Readers will sympathize with her situation and will be pleased to find that Hanna’s confidant, breezy writing style continues in this third book.
A small complaint: The novel can be overly dramatic and unbelievable at times (for example, despite the fact that Liana is critically ill, she is still working as an actress, spending long days on the set), but given the book’s strengths, this is a minor distraction. YA and women’s fiction readers alike will likely tear through this book, eagerly anticipating the promised conclusion to the series.