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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

♥♥♥♥♥: Beneath a Starlet Sky by Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper

Beneath a Starlet Sky
Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper

Page Count: 304
Release Date: 26 April, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (MacMillan)

Source: Complimentary copy provided by publicist, via Romancing the Book, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!!!)

Lola Santisi—CEO of a struggling fashion line, reformed actorholic and daughter of Hollywood royalty—is now not only bicoastal, she’s bi-lolar: This is the condition which causes her to swing like a pendulum between the opposing poles of the fashion world in New York and the real world with her doctor-boyfriend in Los Angeles. She hardly knows which shoe fits her anymore: the Louboutin stiletto or the Croc. As Lola tries to launch Julian Tennant’s new dress line, it looks like they’re about to get their next big break: his wedding dresses have been chosen to feature in the top film at the Cannes Film Festival. And suddenly Lola is staging a full-blown couture show on a yacht—in the middle of the Med.  Think those super models had trouble walking down the catwalks at Fashion Week? With an unexpected finale twist, this time it’s Lola who’s tumbling off the runway.  

Having recently endured a disastrous break-up with Lola’s brother Christopher, Kate Woods, Lola’s BFF and CAA’s rising star agent, is newly single, and focused 24-7 on her clients. The only thing worse than thinking it was a good idea for Kate to date Lola’s brother, is thinking it was a good idea for Kate to put one of her most loose-cannon clients, Nic Knight, in Lola’s father’s movie. Among Kate’s other mega star clients is Saffron Sykes whose appearance on the cover of Vain magazine in Julian Tennant could be the difference between Julian Tennant, Inc. weathering the economy or going bust.

As Lola fights to survive the Cannes Film Festival, will she get swept into the French Riviera’s riptide of glamour and superficiality? Are real love and couture mutually exclusive?  Or can Lola have it all—the good doctor and her Louboutins. With her father and brother vying for the same prize, her mother starring in her new reality show, and one heartbroken girlfriend about to declare motherhood, it’s all on Lola to come up with the answers.  And it’s going to take more than one of her mother’s prosperity chants to save the day.

What Stephanie Thought: I expected to enjoy Beneath a Starlet Sky a lot more than I actually did, since it looked so glamorous and pretty and all that. Even the blurb (though pretty much summarizing the entire book) wasn't that bad. And it wasn't a bad read at all. But I couldn't find myself to quite love it either.

The book is the ideal example of style over substance; while the book contains juicy and brutally accurate details of Hollywood society (not that I would know, since I'm not an LA insider), the plot falls flat and leaves the reader (in this case, unfortunately, me) restless. Written by Amanda Goldberg (a movie producer) and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper (a famous actor's daughter), it is evident the content that goes into the novel are real-life points of view. However, not all (or many) movie producers are fit to write novels; the cinema industry and book industry are completely different realms. Goldberg may have a successful film career, thanks to her bright imagination and vision statement, but her words penned down on paper fall undeniably flat. And as for Hopper, the only achievement she's made outside of being a celebrity herself, is co-write a previous book with Goldberg titled Celebutantes, which, I have not read, but can imagine is about.

Lola's journey as a rising A-lister in the captivating but deceptive Hollywood world is interesting, at best. Not even entertaining, because half the book describes in great detail, an outfit, or an interior design, or a power couple relationship. Maybe good for tabloids, but not a novel. I myself, am a fan of People and Cosmopolitan, which is why I found a lot of the celebrity observations interesting. But with each sentence filling up about a sixth of the page, the book itself was in no way, fun to read, or amusing, or really anything a good book should be.

If Beneath a Starlet Sky had been published as a magazine, I would have gobbled it up. But sadly, I just couldn't put admiration into it, due to weak writing, lack of intrigue, dull characters, or maybe a combination of the three. 

Stephanie Loves: "'Thank you for helping me find my way back to myself,' he whispers in my ear as I throw my arms around his neck and then pull away so that I can look into those green eyes that look like the closest thing to home I'll ever know. There's one thing in life that I've learned isn't an illusion: it's love. So I say to my Lev, 'Now let's go play doctor.'"

Radical Rating: 
5 hearts: Doesn't particularly light any of my fires; I feel indifferent about this book. ♥♥♥♥♥