Comfort Food in Book Form: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Source: GoodReads

Normal girl falling in love with someone famous (albeit pop star, movie star, or prince) seems to be a typical YA trope these days.  And why not, I mean I’ll admit I enjoy reading these types of books.  They’re a guilty pleasure of mine.

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That aside though, a lot of them are really bad.  I was excited though when I heard that the team behind the Paper Princess series (Erin Watt) was writing a book with this theme since this is the sort of trope that that writing team is made for.

And like I expected, I enjoyed When It’s Real, yes it was watered down from Paper Princess in a lot of ways-this one was way more YA than NA- BUT it still worked.

Only it wasn’t as crack-tastic as Paper Princess.  Instead, When It’s Real is more like comfort food.  The perfect sort of book to read when you have a crap day.

That being said, it’s not that special of a book. You can pretty much figure out everything that’s going to happen in the book on the synopsis alone.

I did enjoy it though for what it’s worth.  While the characters were a bit cliche they were original enough and realistic enough they weren’t totally groan worthy.

Like, Vaughn.  Yeah, she had the sad little back story but the authors fleshed her out enough where she didn’t seem like a cliche.   Same with Oakley he wasn’t your typical burn out self absorbed rock star.

I did get annoyed because I occasionally think the authors were going for a sort of Justin Bieber feel with the character and if you know me I find Bieber to be grossly unattractive so….that sort of made me not feel Oakley.

But you know what as the story progressed it was pretty sure he was not a Biebs impersonator and for that I’m relieved.

Look, not everyone is going to like this book.  If you don’t like this particular trope-girl falling in love with a famous dude- I don’t recommend the book.  However, if you like that trope and don’t want something that will knock you off your socks but is solidly written this is a book for you.

Overall Rating:  I waffled between solid B and a B+.  In the end I settled on B+.  For what it’s worth, I  think the book did a fairly decent job

 

 

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Skip It: Everyday Magic by Emily Albright

For once, Maggie McKendrick just wants to control her own life. Her overbearing Hollywood director father has it all planned out for her: UCLA, law school, then working as an entertainment lawyer, preferably for him. But Maggie has other, more creative-spirit friendly, plans. Namely, Thrippletons School of Fashion and Design in England, and then onto becoming a designer, preferably a wildly successful one. The big snag in her plan? Getting it past her dad.

A movie shoot takes the family to the Scottish Highlands for the summer, and closer to Maggie’s dream school. While there, she runs into the charming Preston Browne. Maggie is intrigued and decides to bend her no guys rule—instituted after her ex used her to get close to her dad. Forced to keep secrets from Preston in order to protect the future plans she’s made, Maggie finds herself falling for the tall Brit. And for once in her life she knows that he’s interested in her, not her Hollywood connections. When Maggie’s father blackmails her into dating his lead actor, she isn’t left with a choice. The biggest problem isn’t having to date hunky, mega-hottie, Ben Chambers. No, it’s praying she doesn’t lose Preston in the process.

Excelling at her dream school, Maggie’s personal life is a tangled mess. She needs to decide if living a lie is worth losing Preston or chance going against her father and facing his wrath. When the tabloids expose the truth of her fake relationship with Ben, Maggie’s world is thrown into a tailspin. Ultimately, Maggie must find the courage to take risks and forge ahead on her own path.

Source: GoodReads

If you looked at my review, or should I say my Beagle’s review of The Heir and the Spare, you’ll know that I wasn’t a huge fan of that book.  Or Patty wasn’t.  I still decided to give the sequel a try though because Hollywood and British Aristocracy what could go wrong there.

You’re asking if I have a glass of brandy by me right now.  Well, blimey you’d be right!

Or you’ve gotten used to me getting drunk whenever I read a bad book.  To be fair though, I only made it to about page fifty with this one so I didn’t have to get too drunk.  What I’m doing with this one is I’m going to list the reasons why I DNF’d it.

1) Abusive Father Cliche:

Abuse happens in real life.  It sucks.  And it comes in many times.  This book though.  Ooph.  I felt like it handled the abuse in such a cliche way.  Really?  As high profile as the main character and her family is you’d think that one of the tabloids would allude to their issues.  But nope.

2) Insta Love

Enough said.

3) But Daddy Won’t Let Me Pursue My Dreams:

Apply for a scholarship or seek financial aid like the rest of us.  If you don’t qualify get a job and save up for a bit.  The career you want actually likes work experience so…

4) Learn How the Oxford Educational System Works

For the love of all things British, you got blasted for this in the last book. You should’ve fixed it now.  At least this book didn’t focus that much on the Oxford bits, but from what I read it still seemed like Albright thought it was like American colleges are ran.

5) Who the hell is Preston

Obviously, I didn’t pay close enough attention in this book.  But I think I was supposed to care?!?!?!?

Okay, I’ll admit that when I originally wrote this list I was planning on having ten points.  Or at the very least seven, but I ended up not having that many because while the book was so bad it was extraordinary dull.  And when I put off my drafting of this review on Sunday because you know I had to get ready to start my new job the next day, I sort of forgot where my hatred for this thing went because it was so forgettable and so bad.  So yeah, I DNF’d it…

Ripped From the Headlines With NA Tropes: 738 Days by Stacey Kade

At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he’s sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

Source: GoodReads

When I saw the premises for this book I had to have it. It had a bit of rip from the headlines feel to it, i.e. the Cleveland Kidnappings, and add the element of Hollywood and I knew that I was either going to really like this book or not.

In the end, I had a bit of a lukewarm experience. A lot of things worked, but at the same time I wanted more from this book. In a way it suffered from New Adult Syndrome—meaning, instead of having a plot the book mostly focused on the characters lusting after themselves which lead to a sort of rolling your eyes experience.

Although, not too much because even though the plot was sort of meh, I did enjoy the two characters and there was some stuff about this book that really worked.

I really loved the character, Amanda, for instance. I thought she was well formed and I thought the PTSD was pretty realistic for the most part. The first chapter in this book was probably its best chapter. You could really see how broken Amanda was, and I was interested in reading the aftermath that followed. Maybe that was part of my disappointment in what occurred next. The book quickly flashes forward to years later, and while we’re told bits and pieces of what occurred after Amanda was rescued, I really wish we were shown some flashbacks. I share similar thoughts about her actual kidnapping and then subsequent captivity, but I can sort of understand why Kade might not want to show them—since this was Amanda dealing with the aftermath of the kidnapping rather the kidnapping itself.

Though, I was damn curious to know more about Jakes and his motivations besides being a creepy pervert in the vein of Ariel Castro.

While Amanda was very well formed, I was a little meh about Chase at first. I do think in the end Kade did the best she could with the guy, but he wasn’t exactly easy to sympathize with at first.

There were a few things about the plot that had me raise a few questions. Again, the book suffered from New Adult Syndrome and the plot only made an appearance when needed. And I really didn’t feel like there was adequate explanation about some of the characters at the end.

As for the climax, it just felt very Lifetime movie-ish to me.

Again, New Adult Syndrome.

Overall, I could really see 768 Days adapted into a guilty pleasure Lifetime Original Movie. God knows, it had all the right elements and tropes. However, the book itself wasn’t a total flop, it did have great characters. The thing is, this book would’ve been truly spectacular if more time was spent fleshing out their backstories and respective plots rather than focusing on hot they found each other/how sad their respective lives were.

Overall Rating: A B. I liked this one, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. I don’t have any regrets reading it though, but I really don’t wish that New Adult Syndrome was a thing. It ruins lots of potentially good books.

This Book is Too Cute: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

 

 

High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
Source: GoodReads

 

Hollywood YA books and me are like this.

Yes, I know they can be cliche.  But I really do love a decent movie star YA story.  Of course, it has to have semi-decent characters and  it can’t be that big of a cliche because then I’ll just grow bored (see Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up).  

Behind the Scenes was a book that I actually looked forward to.  Instead of having the traditional girl being an actress or wannabe actress, we have a main character who actually has no intention of being involved in La La land and who had some actual real life problems other than teenage drama going on in her life.

I was kind of grimacing when I found out that Ally’s father was dealing cancer, mainly because that can be such a cliche plot line.  I mean, look at all those Lurlene McDaniel books or Lifetime movies.

The thing is, the whole cancer plot was for the most part perfectly tolerable  It’s resolution to me seemed a little too unrealistic, but given the alternative I’m happy with the ending.  And for a book with the big C in it it wasn’t that overwhelming.

I also liked the romance in the book.  Liam and Ally  weren’t overly mushy and the chemistry was good.  Good not great, mind you.  But it was an enjoyable enough fling that I was able to read the book without grimacing.  Also, unlike a lot of YA celebrities, Liam didn’t feel wooden.  There were dimensions added to his character that were an added bonus.

Overall, I liked most of the characters in this book.  There weren’t any of them that I particularly hated which is odd because usually in all YA books there’s one character I hate. In fact, I have to say for the most part I liked all them.  And there were some I actually wanted to give a fictional hug to and that doesn’t happen often.

 

We’re told that Ally is mature for her age and that’s actually reflected in the writing-well, she does have her stupid moments.  But for the most part, she’s actually mature.  Not only does she have the requisite A+ average that so many YA bimbos have, but her decision making for the most part is actually rational.

I think the parts that annoyed me were the parts that actually made the conflict of the novel.

I understood Ally’s frustration and her predicament, but at times I wanted to shake her and go all look at her choices on her.

But the book had to have conflict, right?  And it did setup for conflict in the book. And we did have to have some conflict, otherwise it would’ve been very fluffy.

The other qualm I have is Ally’s parents reactions to some of the scenes.  I get that they were dealing with a life crisis, but having your daughter come home at three in the afternoon the next day should get some reaction other than did you have fun.

If you like light frothy books, this is probably one for you.  If you get annoyed with fluff.  Skip it.  Is it the most memorable book I’ve ever read-no.

Grade: A solid B.

The Outdated Pop Culture Reference Should’ve Been a Clue: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz

 

 

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

Source: GoodReads

I like fluff.

I like books about celebrities.

And if the book has a girl that can kick box, even better.

Except the book wasn’t better.

To be honest, this was a pretty awful contemporary.  And I’m just sort of perplexed about how it got published because there’s nothing that original about it.

In fact, the only remotely original thing about it is the kick boxing. And therenot that much in this book.

Sigh…I guess I need to stop my complaining and get on with the reviewing.

First let’s talk about the cover and the title.  The title is a play on an old Enimem song that was popular about fourteen years ago.  It’s outdated.  I get that a lot of people my age will recognize it, but the targeted market group-not so much.

Then there’s the cover.  It looks pretty awful.  The poor model’s hair looks pretty messy for a professional shoot and then there’s the get up she’s wearing.

Seriously.

I know that most people wouldn’t be caught dead in such garb.  It looks uncomfortable.

 

Yes, I know these are superficial things I’m claiming about.  But presentation will have some effect of how I view this book.  And it’s not good.

Now for the actual contents.

Maybe it will wow me like Pushing the Limits or Dare You To, those books had covers you couldn’t take out in public but the story was juicy enough to keep me entertained.

This one though, as I said before total snore fest.

Nothing remotely original about it.  At all.

I was psychic when it came to this book.  I guessed its every twist.  And when it comes to reading that usually isn’t a good thing.

Well, it’s okay when you have decent characters.

But Abi…I wanted to deck her through about half of this book.

I should like her.  I really should.  She’s a character who doesn’t have a stereotypical female hobby and has a disability (she stutters).  That should be enough to make her a somewhat interesting character, but it’s not.  Because she has the maturity of an eleven year-old and thinks its perfectly fine to cheat on another girl’s boyfriend because said girl is mean.

I’m not lying.  That’s how she justifies her actions.  And I guess you could say she learned her lesson at the end but she really didn’t.

Then there’s the other characters.  Yeah, they had a right to be pissed at Abi, but their not pissed at her for the right reasons.  It comes off freaking ridiculous to the point where I thought DNF only a two hundred and thirty page book.

Two hundred and thirty pages.

Put this in perspective The Tiger Curse Saga’s books average about five hundred pages.  I could put up with that more than this.  Grant it, the booze might’ve helped.

I think what infuriates me more than anything else was that this book felt like the author wasn’t even trying.  Which I’m sure probably wasn’t the case.  But there just seemed like no effort towards creativity and with a MC as annoying as Abi I needed something.

Anything.

But nope.

Instead, all I got was a book where I was informed the love interest looked like a hotter younger brother of Henry Cavill.

Not joking about that.

Once again, Hantz you’re dating yourself.

Even Meg Cabot who uses pop culture references probably the best out of any other author out there, doesn’t make her books sound so dated.  This book sounded dated though and it’s only been out for a couple of months.

Seriously though, Entangled, you should’ve said something about that title.

Overall Rating: A big fat F.  No originality.  Unlikeable characters.  What do you expect?

 

Trend Spotlights: Hooray for Hollywood Part IV: Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

Blogger’s Note: I apologize in advance for any formatting issues.  Blogger has been extremely difficult to use lately.  Everything looks fine in draft or in preview and then when I post it looks like crap.  All my paragraphs are jammed together etc.    Seriously thinking of moving to Word Press.  Just saying.

I like Meg Cabot books and when I was looking for books for this feature, it suddenly occurred to me she has a Hollywood-ish book.  The odd thing is I sort of forgot about this particular book until now.

General Summary: Jenny (Jen) Greenley is the girl next door.  She’s a good girl.  Everyone, including the principal likes her.  And it’s only natural that when a celebrity-or to be more precise, the celebrity, wants to spend a week undercover at a local high school that Jen would be his one true friend.  However, Luke creates such havoc in her town that Jen’s not sure how to solve it.

Review:

As I said previously, I often forget about Teen Idol and it’s not because it’s a bad book, in comparison to Meg’s other titles this one is sort of….well, just there.

The book itself has  fairly decent characters and it the storyline is solid enough.  But it’s nothing special.  And perhaps that’s what my problem with it is.

The plot  is pretty generic, good girl Jen’s life is changed when movie star Luke Striker shows up in her small town and shakes up things.  Honestly, while I am glad that Cabot didn’t go the cliche route of having Jen and Luke end up together, I really wondered what Luke’s purpose was other than to be a catalyst.  Couldn’t Jen come up with the conclusion that things in her life weren’t perfect?  From what was happening in her life before Luke’s intervention, I believe she could.  But I guess the book wouldn’t have sold if he hadn’t made an appearance.

Also, another big issue I had with Luke was who he ended up with.  Geri was a quasi horrible bitchy character.  And while it was true she was nowhere near the likes of Lana Weinberger, I still didn’t like that all the boys-including Scott-seemed to like her.  Especially Luke who seemed to be about seeing someone’s natural beauty.  Geri just seemed to be this brash kind of bitchy character.  She wasn’t terrible, but I just don’t see her Luke let alone Scott.

As for Scott, the love interest in the novel, I didn’t like him as much as some of Cabot’s other heros.  He wasn’t awful.  He was nice.  He cooked.  And I liked that, I just felt like I didn’t get to know him that well.  And while I understand why Jen liked him, I wished their relationship would’ve been  more developed.

Things I really did like about this book: the fact that it was a stand alone.  While I do like series, it was nice to read something where I didn’t have to wait for a sequel. And I really liked how everything was wrapped up in this book.  Plus, did I mention it had a nice message that wasn’t overly preachy.  Yes, that was nice.  Plus, did I mention that there’s show choir in this book.  Yes, all you Gleeks there are some pretty funny show choir scenes in this book which makes me think they really need to bring on Meg Cabot as a consultant for Glee.

Best Feature: Not Your Typical Hollywood Story:  This book isn’t what I expect, meaning I thought Luke and Jen were going to fall in love with each other.  No, that didn’t happen.  And I liked that in a weird way, but at the same time I really had to wonder what was Luke’s purpose other than being Jen’s Jiminy Cricket.  Still though, despite Luke’s lack of a role to the story, I liked that it wasn’t cliche.

Worst Feature: Meh.  As far as Meg Cabot novels go, this is a good book.  But it’s not that memorable.  While I think there was a good message in the novel.  I just….I wanted something more.  I honestly, felt while the foundation was there, there was just something off about the book that it never reached its potential.  Perhaps, it was how Luke was handled as a character and for that matter who he ended up with.

Appropriateness: This is a pretty clean novel.  There is some bullying that goes on in the book, but other than that I can’t think of anything remotely inappropriate.  In fact, I would recommend this book for teens because of the bullying issues that go on in the book.  I love the message this book tries to send without being overly preachy.

Blockbuster Worthy: I could see this being a Disney movie of the week.  Honestly, I don’t know why Disney didn’t buy the rights to this movie instead of Avalon High (which I think was an abomination when translated on the screen).  It would’ve been so much easier to translate the script into something that was worth a TV budget.  Interestingly enough, I’ve been told that there is a Disney Chanel movie, Starstruck, that is sort of similar to this book.  But anyway, if the rights were ever bought here’s who I’d cast for the movie.

Jen: Sarah Hyland. I think she plays likable enough.  And I could see her easily stepping into the shoes of good girl next door, Jen.

Luke:  Freddie Storma.  He has the golden boy good looks I imagine when I think of Luke

Scott: Van Hughes.  I think would play a good Scott.  He doesn’t seem to Hollywood glam and seems like a guy you could reasonably meet in your high school.

Hollywood Analysis

Social Issues: While this book focuses more on the life of an average Joe, than the life of a celebrity, I do think it discussed a lot of relevant issues.  Particularly those dealing with social issues in high school.  I actually think this novel is really relevant to what is happening in today’s society with teen bullying.  So, I would recommend it just for that.   The Rich and the Glamorous: Not really an issue here.  Sure, Luke has a limo later on in the book and he stays at a fancy lake front apartment in Jen’s town, but do we experience Hollywood glamour: No.

Star Power: Luke Striker is an interesting character.  However, his role is merely supporting.  At times I thought Luke was an unnecessary insert whose only purpose was to be a moral compass to Jen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Makeover Montage: More like make under, at least for Luke.  There is one  exception when Jen does get a very nice dress for the Spring Fling, but I think that’s less of a Hollywood makeover and more like your typical high school dance experience.  I was actually surprised of the lack of makeover scenes here because it’s written by Meg Cabot.  Meg Cabot who I think has written THE makeover scene in YA fiction.

Hollywood Hurrah: This wasn’t really so much of a Hollywood book as more of a book about high school and the ridiculousness of cliques and social games that are oh so prevalent in schools.  But I still enjoy the town’s reaction to an actual movie star.  I think it was realistic-sort of.

Overall Rating: I’m going to give this one six out of ten stars.  I really liked it.  But when it comes to Cabot novels, it’s one of the more forgettable. I think when I read the summary I was expecting it to be a bit more glamorous than it was.  I mean, this is Meg Cabot, for Pete’s sake, she writes about princesses.  I would’ve just thought she would’ve gone more with the celebrity thing.  However, despite this aspect I really enjoyed this book.

Trend Spotlights: Hooray for Hollywood Part II: My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Is it just me or does the girl on the cover look a bit like Tori Spelling?  Plus, she doesn’t look half Latina at all.  Just saying…

General Summary: Alexia Garcia has always been told that she is a dead ringer for pop star, Kari Kingsley.  She’s such a dead ringer that Kari and her manager get this harebrained scheme to have Alexia be Kari’s double at little events, so that Kari can record her album and pay off her debts.  However, things don’t go as expected when Alexia falls in love with Kari’s arch-nemesis  and Alexia i has a secret of her own that when it gets out….

Review:

This was a really cute book.  It wasn’t really a deep read so much as a fluff read, but I really enjoyed it.

I think probably the biggest problem with it was the pacing.  Certain parts of the novel seemed to be dragged out while other parts were fluffed over.  I was really hoping that a certain plot point would’ve been revealed a lot earlier than it was, so that the aftermath would be explored more.

However, despite the pacing I did enjoy the book.  Alexia had a great voice, was a well rounded character, and I enjoyed how she grew as a character throughout the book.  While the book has a light tone to it, it does actually explore a lot of issues and that’s nice.    It’s honestly the best Rallison book I’ve read to date.

Best Feature: Diversity: I loved the fact that Alexia was half Latina.  In a genre that often feels like it lacks diversity, it was refreshing to have a character that was not Caucasian.  Be that as it may, I sometimes got a little annoyed with Rallison’s characterization of Alexia’s culture.  Take for instance, the use of Spanish in the novel.  While I loved the fact that she included Spanish throughout the book, I got a little annoyed at times because I thought things were overly translated.  For instance, Alexia tells the reader that grandmother means abuela.  I honestly think that context clues could’ve shown what the translation meant, so it seemed a little bit heavy handed.

For those of you wondering about context clues.

Worst Feature: Pay off: Alexia’s secret, which I won’t divulge, isn’t revealed to the last thirty or so pages of the book.  I really wish the big reveal would’ve taken place earlier or at the very least relationships between certain characters would’ve been explored more.

Appropriateness: This book is very sweet.  There is hardly anything inappropriate in it.  There is some talk about drug addiction in the book, but it is merely mentioned.  Also, there is talk about gambling and bad credit card debt, but it is handled tactfully.

Blockbuster Worthiness: Yes, this would be a cute movie.  I would probably watch it.  The book actually reminded me a lot of What a Girl Wants, so I know it would work.  Here’s who I’d cast.

Lexi/Kari: I’m thinking Vanessa Hudgens.  While originally I wanted to cast Selina Gomez, I think Vanessa has more of a Kari look to her.

Grant: Justin Beiber, ah no.  Actually when I think of Grant, I picture him looking a bit like Zac Efron.  And yes, I know you could arguably make a case that Zac is just as lame as Justin Beiber.  But unlike Justin Beiber, I think Zac was worthy of his screaming teen fans.

Alex Kingsley: Jack Wagner.  He sort of looks like the way Alex Kingsley is described and he is a signer.  But I find it interesting that his personal life reflects the book in a strange way.

Hollywood Analysis

Social Issues: Lots of social issues are explored in this book and not all of them involve Hollywood issues.  While Alexia’s reaction to fame is seen throughout the novel.  Her life itself is shaped by fame.  Not to give to many spoilers away, but a big reason who Alexia is who she is, is because of Hollywood.  It’s also interesting to see how Alexia is treated as celebrity vs. being an employee of a celebrity.

The Rich and the Glamorous: Yes, this book does describe celebrity lifestyle pretty well.  I also like the fact that it describe the role of the people behind the scenes.  In a way that was more interesting that Kari’s dysfunctional life that included Becky Bloomwood shopping habits.  Though the Becky Bloomwood-ness of this book is noted.

Star Power: Throughout the book Alexia learns what it’s like to be a celebrity: sort of.  I mean, she’s really a celebrity via poser.  But what I would like is to see what happened after her real identity was revealed.  Read the book and you’ll know what I mean.

Makeover Montage: There is a makeover scene in this book.  Alexia has to have her hair dyed so she can look like Kari after all.  And there is a Rodeo Drive shopping scene as well.  But is it an epic makeover scene…um, no.

Hollywood Hurrah:  I would say that yes this book gives a nice overview of Hollywood but I did want something more.

Sing it Belle, we want something more.

Overall Rating: I’m going to say seven out of ten Oscars.  While I read this book pretty much straight through it wasn’t particularly memorable which is sad because it could’ve been.  It had the potential, it just sort of fell flat.  I will definitely  be checking out Janette Rallison’s future books though.

Trend Spotlights: Hooray for Hollywood

Thanks to those who voted, I will now focus Trend Spotlights on books dealing with Hollywood.   I can’t tell you how much this pleases me.  Perhaps this song will help:

All kidding aside though, I do like reading about celebrities.  Especially YA books about celebrities.  I don’t know what it is about celebrity lifestyle that I find to be so readable.  But I have to say some of my favorite YA books deal with celebrities.

According to one study, the one thing that people want more than anything else is fame.  I don’t think this is accurate in my case, I wouldn’t want to have the paparazzi following me around commenting on the current outfit of choice ( which in my opinion is rather bleak:  pink college t-shirt and khaki shorts), but that’s just me.  I think MTV and the rest of the reality television world  prove this statistic.

So books about celebrities are actually socially relevant since they tell what happens when you become famous.

Arguably.

There will be some (okay, most) people that won’t buy that argument.  But I still think it is one of the viable theories about why Hollywood books are so insatiable.

Besides, exploring fame.  I also think people are drawn to life about the rich and glamorous because they are rich and glamorous.  The majority of history, with a few exceptions, focuses on the elite in society.  Sure, it’s annoying since these people only make up a small percentage of the world.  But everyone wonders what it would be like.  Plus, rich people get into some pretty interesting fights.

Of course, anyone can imagine themselves in Jimmy Choos and being famous, but Hollywood itself.  It has it’s own mystique.  I think there is something to the phrase star power and it’s interesting watching what makes a star or how someone stays a star or for that matter even interacts with stars.

Of course Hollywood makeovers always make these books more enjoyable too.

Makeovers don’t always have to include a shopping montage and haircut to be cool.  Often, characters undergo life makeovers from fame.

So to sum it up,  things I will be look at during this  Trend Spotlights Analysis:

    • Social Issues: Questions will include the social ramifications of fame, how Hollywood changes one’s perspective on life, and life style.

 

    • The Rich and the Glamorous: Essentially I’ll be analyzing how the book depicts rich people’s lives.

 

    • Star Power: How celebrity power affects the character or characters in this book.  This category will often overlap with the social issues category, except it will be more character driven.

 

    • Makeover Montage: I’ll be looking at how good the makeover scenes in these books are and how relevant they are to the entire story.

 

Alright, so that is the gist of what Trend Spotlights will be about next month if you have any suggestions on books to read feel free to leave them in the comments.  And I will leave you with this.