Books,  Reviews

Book Review, Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

51WYhBfQPML._SY346_Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Date October 29, 2013

Karen Kingsbury’s new book asks the question: What Would You Sacrifice For Fame?

(Synopsis from Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him. 

Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also some­thing more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.

At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a thera­peutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and pri­vate agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutes is a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

Kingsbury’s latest novel is a solid, yet entertaining examination of the Hollywood PR machine. Let’s face reality here.  The world is spinning a lot differently these days thanks to reality television and instant fame achieved via the internet. It doesn’t take a lot of hard work anymore to find yourself in the spotlight – just a magic audition and someone who is willing to splash your name/image all over the place.  

Most people who hunger for fame are really looking for the wealth that goes with it and figuring it will make their lives perfect. However, as someone who has worked in the industry, I can tell you that the spotlight fame puts on you is unrelenting, hot, and highlights every flaw you may have. It’s not an easy road or path and the only good way to get there is to put your faith in God and trust Him.

That said, this book perfectly describes that ‘instant’ journey and the pressures that come along with it. From those who are so fully immersed in the entertainment industry that they can see nothing else, to editors, producers and publicists who are in it only for the money and fame themselves, this book might seem like it’s full of caricatures, but let me tell you, those stereotypes all come from somewhere! Kingsbury did a great job capturing these bigger than life personalities and making them real for us.

The pacing is solid – fast paced and easy to follow. There are some things you see coming but thankfully, there are a few unexpected twists and turns to keep things interesting.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. Would recommend it for anyone who enjoys reality television or is interested in Hollywood/fame/celebrity. It’s also a wonderful prodigal son story that will touch your heart, so it’s a fabulous gift too.

Fifteen Minutes is available to purchase from

Note: I received this book as part of the Fifteen Minutes blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Review copy provided by the publisher.