Book review: Beneath a Starlet Sky

– Posted in: a not-so-brief history

Title: Beneath a Starlet Sky
Authors: Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Khalighi Hopper
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

From the publisher:
“Lola Santisi—CEO of a struggling fashion line, reformed Actorholic and daughter of Hollywood Royalty—is now not only bicoastal, she’s Bi-Lolar: That 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.”

My review:

I’ll be honest, I wanted to put it down after about 50 pages. I had it with the vapid characters, didn’t find anything redeeming in any of them, and thought the constant name-dropping throughout the book was distracting (to give you an idea, some of the trending topics that appear throughout the story include Twitter, Miley Cyrus, LuAnn de Lesseps, and TMZ). I couldn’t help but wonder where my career might have landed if I had famous parents (Goldberg is the daughter of film and TV producer Leonard Goldberg; Hopper is actor Dennis Hopper’s daughter) and cursed my misfortune. But I kept at it, hoping the story would pick up and that eventually I would grow to at least tolerate the book.

But every now and then I would come across a line like this and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes: “She seems almost too good to be true. I’m almost waiting for the other stiletto to drop.”

At the 100 page mark, however, I completely changed my tune. I found myself rooting for the protagonist Lola and held on to hope that she could stay together with her handsome doctor-turned-actor, even when it seemed Hollywood got the best of him. If I had to pick a favorite character in the book, it would be Lev, for providing the support Lola needs in a world of superficial celebrities.

I was also drawn to Lola for constantly being able to save the day after one disastrous catastrophe and meltdown after another. Regardless of whether or not I can relate, I was inspired by her ability to pick herself up time and again, what with her evil, fame whore mother and work/life stresses.

If you read a bit quicker than I do, this might be the perfect beach book for the summer. There’s just enough backstabbing, drama, and catfighting to make it interesting and enough unexpected twists to keep you guessing and on your toes. I honestly didn’t expect to like it as much as I did and was pleasantly surprised by the way things turned out in the end.

What are you reading lately? Anything good?

11 Comments… add one
Rachel Cotterill August 8, 2011, 7:37 AM

I don’t think I’d even pick it up, with a blurb like that… whatever happened to short and snappy? Ah well. I’m glad you enjoyed it more towards the end! 🙂

carmac August 8, 2011, 7:47 AM

contemplating which is worse – the stiletto quote or the “Bi-Lolar” – an easy breezy read is fun every now and then though

I’ve not read anything good lately – trying to get a jump on physiology and anatomy – not fun reading 🙁

Brian K. August 8, 2011, 8:04 AM

So we’ve turned into book reviewers now? Excellent! I’ll keep this in mind if my book-a-holic mother wants some sort of suggestion :p.

As for me, since it was asked :p, I’m reading “A Clash of Kings” which is book 2, following up on “A Game of Thrones.” I am addicted beyond recognition at this point and can’t wait until I get all the way up to book 7.

(FL) Girl with a New Life August 8, 2011, 12:52 PM

I am reading two AMAZING books right now. First: The Invisible Bridge (very long.) And Second: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Krysten August 8, 2011, 3:34 PM

I just finished a really great book by a blogger friend of mine. It’s young adult but the story moved along SO quickly and it was a fun read.

Blond Duck August 8, 2011, 5:45 PM

Sometimes characters make you want to poke your eyes out! There were two girls at the pool today acting as if they had their own camera crew following them around and their conversation made me want to drown myself. My generation is full of idiots!

Kelly August 8, 2011, 11:14 PM

Looks like a great book! Thanks for sharing the review. I recently read the help and loved it!

Deidre August 9, 2011, 2:59 AM

I am reading James Joyces’ “portrait of a young man” NOT summer reading. it is taking me forever to get through…

Sorta Southern Single Mom August 9, 2011, 2:34 PM

Sometimes I have tough time with books like this where it’s so far out of my realm of reality that i just get irritated by the lifestyle, but the publisher’s info did make it sound like a fun read.

I’ve been prone to smutty romances lately, or as I like to call them, Mom Porn. I just haven’t had the energy this summer to read anything with any meat to it!

Anita August 9, 2011, 6:05 PM

I read Celbutantes, which is the prequel to Beneath a Starlet Sky, and extremely enjoyed it. This book didn’t live up to its predecessor. I literally had to force myself to read beyond the first few chapters. It got better, but not enough. This isn’t a book I would suggest to friends.

Glamamom August 25, 2011, 1:42 PM

Looks like a fun beach read but I know what you mean. With blogging I haven’t been reading much at all. All I do is read blogs!

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