I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Dani is a relatable character and I can’t wait for the next book to see what happens in Dani’s life.

Susan D.

So engaging and fun Loved it! I am so looking forward to the next book. So engaging and fun!


 Earned Stardom Michele Kwasniewski’s debut novel, RISING STAR, Book One in the Rise and Fall of Dani Truehart, deserves high praise. Michele has a thorough command of the details an author must provide in order to deliver a character that readers will find compelling and sympathetic. In Michele’s hands, you will root for Dani Truehart. You will.
I identified with Dani’s yearnings and ambitions because my favorite singer, Bruce Springsteen, had that same drive and talent when he moved beyond small New Jersey stages to conquer the world of rock and roll in the face of his father’s opposition. In the example of the fictional Dani Truehart, it was her mother who disapproved at every turn instead of providing support and encouragement.
Bruce overcame all. Will Dani? She has the confidence and talent to bring it off. Join me in eagerly awaiting Book Two in the series.

J. Owens

I honestly did not expect much from Rising Star, but it completely blew me away! I don’t often read contemporary, but I’m glad I read this one. I love books and music, so a book about music is right up my alley! 

Fifteen-year-old Dani Truehart is living a life that is not quite her own. Driven by her mother’s desire for fame and fortune, she has spent her childhood dutifully training for a career as a pop star. After a stellar audition, Dani is thrown full-force into the music industry. She leaves her friends, family, and scheming mother behind to move into the Malibu compound of her new manager, Jenner Redman. Isolated from her life at home and trying to stay apace with her demanding schedule, Dani struggles to keep in touch with those she loves, connect to her withholding mother and find her voice as an artist. 

When I opened the book, I was apprehensive. The writing was simple and everything started out a little slow. It didn’t take long for everything to pick up! The plot gained speed and the writing fit the story perfectly. 

One of my favorite aspects of the book was how we got to take a look into what a budding popstar’s life would look like. I have no doubt that it’s just as hard in real life, and I appreciate all the effort and research the author must have put into it! I would not be able to make it in a world where relationships are hard to maintain and my day is a blur of activity, so hats off to all the people that manage that!

The characters and character development were amazing. Seeing Dani’s mom would run her ragged to form her into popstar material, and then unintentionally reveal that she was in it for the money all along, I was really able to appreciate how lucky I am to have the fantastic and supportive parents I do. Also, everyone give a round of applause for Dani’s boyfriend, Sean, for making it work even when Dani was far away and too busy or tired to call or text. I hope everyone has a person like that in their life!

I had a great time with this book! I will definitely revisit the series when it’s time for book two, Burning Bright, to come out!

The Scribe Owl

I loved the book, made me think I was right there watching Dani’s rise to fame from every day life!

Megan A.

Exciting and engaging! Wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down. From the beginning I was drawn into a unique storyline that was highly interesting. I can tell the book was very well researched and also the authors personal experiences come through- it makes you feel like you are on the inside, totally “in the know”, and completely privy to the process of “making it”. The storyline entertains, but it’s the depth of the characters that really draws you in. You find yourself really feeling emotionally invested in Dani, her sister, her father, and more. I also loved the subtle nuances of characters who may not be who they are portrayed to be… I caught myself even feeling for the villain (the mother) here and there. It keeps you guessing, and leaves you wanting more! Can’t wait for the sequel to continue this journey with Dani and see how the characters and relationships evolve even more!

S. Peterson

This was a really fun, fast read. While I’m sure it’s great for young adults, I really enjoyed it too! The story is engaging and you find yourself rooting for Dani Truehart! My resounding NOOOOOO! as I reached the end and found out I had to wait for the next book cemented with me that I was invested. I saw some of myself in the character of the relentless mom, unfortunately, but remembered through Dani’s eyes what it is like to be a teenager and it helped give me a little perspective that I have been maybe lacking with my own kiddos. Will definitely be reading the next in the series!

T. Rorvik

Great for Adults Too! This was an amazing book that not only my daughter loved but I LOVED it too! So excited to read the next book in the series to see what happens to Dani.

A.M. Gregg

Rising Star I really enjoyed Dani’s story!! What a life for a fifteen year old. Looking forward to seeing her career success.

B. Gentes Menz

Loved reading about Dani and her rise to stardom. Burning Bright can’t come fast enough!

M. Atwood