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Publisher's Summary

From Shannon Hale, best-selling author of Austenland, comes Kind of a Big Deal: a hilarious, madcap story that will suck you in - literally.

There's nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie.

She was kind of a big deal - she dropped out of high school to be a star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell. Hard. Ouch. Broadway dream: dead.

Meanwhile, her life keeps imploding. Best friend: distant. Boyfriend: busy. Mom: not playing with a full deck? Desperate to escape, Josie gets into reading.

Literally. She reads a book and suddenly she's inside it. And with each book, she’s a different character: a post-apocalyptic heroine, the lead in a YA rom-com, a 17th-century wench in a corset.

It’s alarming. But also...kind of amazing?

It’s the perfect way to live out her fantasies. Book after book, Josie the failed star finds a new way to shine. But the longer she stays in a story, the harder it becomes to escape.

Will Josie find a story so good that she just stays forever?

A Macmillan Audio production from Roaring Brook Press

©2020 Shannon Hale (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Kind of a Big Deal

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • simple
  • 2022-07-21

Glad I didn't give up

I liked the book much more by the end of it, and I loved the surprises at the end. The beginning of the book was confusing because the timeline of a high school dropout giving up on her dream so soon was represented as flashbacks; the same approach for what was going on with her boyfriend didn't have enough context either. The author used a similar approach with the 4th bayern book, having the main character reflect and reveal reality and history in pieces; that did not serve this story very well here, especially with the book immersion experiences already serving that purpose of teaching the main character important lessons in a similar reflective fashion. The amount of time spent on the first book immersion of the main character was tedious and too long, and the repetition of that exercise through many other books made me want to give up on finishing this book, which I rarely do. However, for anyone reading reviews like I did looking for encouragement to persevere, that exercise actually becomes much shorter and more compelling with each successive story. The dialogue and the audible reading of the kid the main character is nannying was grating, like the TV or movie version of a kid; it's like an oversimplification and inaccurate and unrealistic version. I felt the same way about the best friend; whatever your beliefs are, it felt shallow and misrepresented. I could say the same for all the characters, including the main character. I wished the book earlier on could have dived deeper into the bigger issues this person faced of who had let her down in her life, to allow the reader to be more invested and pleased with what could be viewed as a coming of age type story, even for someone like this particular character who is possibly vain and shallow - it might have made you understand that this person is still human, might just be numb and not as shallow as you think at first impression, and still deserves the grace and encouragement/support to grow (up). So, despite some pain and perseverance, this book turned out to be very creative and represented a character not everyone might be rooting for getting the chance to be tested and becoming better.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tabitha
  • 2022-07-01

hits beautifully close to home

Having just spent two years in an acting school being trained for the stage and screen at a professional level (and hearing many many success stories about how difficult it is to "make it" no matter how talented you are - persistence over many years being the deciding factor,and even then no stardom), having spent time surrounded by late teen/early twenties theatre students who all had some level of Josie's experiences... this was beautifully painful.

Josie's relationship with little Mia was so sweet. I felt so angry at her acting teacher for sending her out so ill-prepared that she thought a single mediocre audition meant failure. I cheered when her fantasy character defeated the enemies, and in the climax I was on the edge of my seat to see how she'd make it (spoiler alert, this isn't a tragedy).

i love Shannon Hale anyway, but this particular novel hit close to home in a beautiful way.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lauren Shelton
  • 2022-02-01

Overall: A Box Office Hit

Honestly, I could see this doing well at the movies, I’d love to see a script for this. It’s the right amount of comedy, romance, with added suspense/thrill and heartwarming moments. I enjoyed it enough to purchase a physical copy to read even though the performance was great! There are a few mentions of promiscuity in reference to a book within this book, but for the most part it is “clean” and I think I like that just as much as the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-11-27

What in the world did I just read?

And why did I do that? I was looking for a fluffy palate cleaner after a depressing biography, but this is Hallmark-meets-fifth-grade without the payoff I needed at the end. The story is worth two stars, but I added a star for originality in storytelling. I was really hoping the quirkiness would turn into something, but this caterpillar never became a butterfly. So mad at myself for wasting a credit here.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-05-26

This IS a great Shannon Hale book!

The people who are pooh-poohing this book have not engaged in much self-examination or reflection. This book SPEAKS to anyone who has projected their own expectations and desires and imagination onto others, seeing things through rose colored glasses, anyone who has had to face hard facts about themselves when at tough (but not rock bottom) places in life. This book is exemplary Shannon Hale work, and like always, it does not disappoint. It was refreshing, captivating, and reminded me to treat people as THEY need, not as I imagine they need.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Audrey Pearson
  • 2021-01-09

Enjoyable!

Really enjoyed this book! It fits in the romantic/coming of age genre, but doesn’t feel like a repeat of the same old thing. It’s original and has a funny, lighthearted feel. But at the same time Josie’s problems feel relatable.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MH
  • 2020-11-06

Great coming of age novel

Much of my reading (listening) is “escapist reading.” It helps me deal with the mundane, gives me something to look forward to. Because of that, I felt a real connection with Josie. I felt her anxiety and fears as if they were my own. I loved the growth she made from beginning to end. I love how raw and imperfect the characters were. This may be why some of the reviews aren’t high—it a not a fun breezy read. It deals with real life; disappointment and hurt and fear of failure. But there were some real nuggets of truth and moments of beauty. I just love the appreciation Josie gained for life, it’s ups and it’s downs. Shannon Hale really is a master with this. I will be reading it again.