Novel Book Review · Review · Romance

Book Review: A Stranger in the Mirror by Sidney Sheldon


Title: A Stranger in the Mirror

Author: Sidney Sheldon

Published Date: October 9th 1995

Publisher: Fontana Press

Paperback, 352 pages

Goodreads Rate: 3.6


Toby Temple is a superstar, the world’s funniest man. He gets any woman that he wants, but under the superstar image is a lonely man. Jill Castle is a sensuous starlet. She has a dark and mysterious past and has an ambition even greater than Toby’s. Together they rule Hollywood.



I borrow this book from a friend of mine. I was curious even though it’s an old book.


When I started reading this book, I was so confused. At first I thought the prologue had nothing to do with the whole story so it was weird for me to read it. And then I started the first part. It was amazing that in one book, a character’s whole life was in it. From the story of its parents, down to when he was still a baby and then growing up and then finally, the adult part. This book is something that I have never read before.


The main hero of the story is Toby Temple. I was laughing the whole time I was reading the part about Toby’s parents. I was actually wondering if the genre of this book is comedy instead of romance. It was a long story but it was worth reading. The book is about Toby’s journey into becoming the best actor in whole Hollywood. While I was reading this, I realized how hard a life of a growing star could be. Toby was a dreamer. He dreamt to be a superstar and became one. Although there are parts about him that I do not like. He doesn’t want to learn from anyone. He doesn’t want to be told what’s the right thing to do because he feels like he already knows He doesn’t accept corrections and sometimes criticism because for him, he’s always right. He’s a powerful actor in the book. No one messes with him because he can do everything to ruin you. But, even though Toby is the way he is, I admire him. Like I said, he’s a dreamer. And when he dreams, he will do anything to reach his dream. He could actually be an inspiration to people. I’ve learned a lot to Toby.


The heroine is Josephine Czinski or later known as Jill Castle. I like Josephine when she was still the Josephine from Odessa, Texas. Her love story with David Kenyon was actually romantic. Though after the part where she went out of Texas and went to Hollywood to become an actress, I didn’t like her then. She changed a lot just like what she actually want. She killed Josephine Czinski and reborn as Jill Castle. She became desperate in becoming an actress that she doesn’t use her brain anymore but her body instead. She’s a dreamer like Toby but she doesn’t have the wittiness and cunningness of Toby. She don’t analyze things, she just do it. I’m pretty sure if she just thought her plan through, a proper plan that is, she wouldn’t to give her body just to have a couple of scenes in a movie. Sure she’s attractive but she came out desperate to me. Hell bent to become a superstar but didn’t think thoroughly a magnificent plan. Meh.


I like the part where the prologue and the last chapter connects. At first, I thought the prologue isn’t needed but when I read the last chapter, I was so amazed. Like I’ve seriously never read a prologue and an end chapter connect like that. This is the first time. I know that the prologue of a story is the reason why there is a story in the first place. So sometimes I don’t get why there are other books that their prologue sound like a small prequel of the whole book. Old books have real magic.


The whole book was a good one. I’ve learned a lot of things in this book about show business. It’s not as easy as what people see in the monitor or magazines. It’s really hard especially when you’re just starting to become an official actress to a certain production. I’ve learned long ago never to judge a person according to its looks and life status. And now I know that you shouldn’t judge actors and actresses too. Because they may have an amazing life in front of a camera, they do have a very dark and ugly past behind it.


I would recommend this book to adults though. Because I think adults could understand and relate more to this book than young teens. But hey, if you want to read this then go ahead. It’s good, I’m telling ya.



RATE: 4/5




About the Author…


Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007) was an American writer who
won awards in three careers—a Broadway playwright, a Hollywood TV and movie screenwriter, and a best-selling novelist.

His TV works spanned a twenty-year period during which he created I Dream of Jeannie(1965-70), Hart to Hart (1979-84), and The Patty Duke Show (1963-66), but it was not until after he turned 50 and began writing best-selling novels such as Master of the Game(1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973) and Rage of Angels (1980) that he became most famous.




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