5 June 2009

Review: POP TART by Kira Coplin & Julianne Kaye **

"She was America's sweetheart. Until the love affair ended with a bang! Young make-up artist Jackie Reilly has always dreamed of making it big in TinselTown, concealing the flaws of the rich and famous. Stuck in a rut with a crazy boss, she thinks her big break will never come - until she meets a girl who guarantees her life will never be the same again! 16-year-old Brooke Parker is bubbly, vivacious, charming - and about to become the world's most famous teenager. A pop singer on the verge of superstardom, Brooke instantly takes a shine to Jackie and draws her into a world of white-stretch limos, screaming fans and invitations to VIP events. But as Jackie quickly finds out, fame has its dark side. Forced to juggle the various egos of Brooke's entourage - from bitchy stylists to over-eager publicists and a manager that serves his own interests before all else - all preserving the golden girl image of brand Brooke. Caught in the tight grip of the P.R machine, Brooke starts to rebel, taking Jackie along for the ride. At first her bad girl antics are a blast, earning her even more column inches, but when her heavy partying brings Brooke's demons to the surface she begins to fall apart and soon, she is taking Jackie down with her. When Jackie is forced to learn the rules of showbusiness the hard way, her friendship with Brooke is put to the ultimate test - will she be yet another casualty of Brooke's increasing quest for fame? Or can she save herself - and Brooke?"


This book promises so much, but sadly delivers so little. The plot is non-existant and boring and pointless, the characterization is very poor and I had a hard time understanding the motives for the characters' actions, it all seemed so random. I presume the authors were inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (Brooke is refered to as the pop princess, dated a boyband member and cheated on him, was taken to hospital in the middle of the night etc.), but the book just doesn't deliver. There is no action and on the whole things just don't make sense.

I was also infuriated by the poor editing and a lack of commas in crucial places, namely when someone is being directly addressed! Here are just a few examples:
"Honestly Sheryl, it's fine." (p. 23)
"You're never going to believe this Jackie ..." (p. 23)
"Now remember ladies ..." (p. 37)
"All right ladies, just two more minutes ..." (p. 45)
"Take it easy killah." (p. 55)
"Hey Brooke," I said, suddenly worried. (p. 66)
"Don't worry girls." (p. 67)
The book is full of mistakes like that and I'd be willing to overlook that (sort of) if the book was any good, but this just added to my displeasure. I'd actually rate this book 1/5, but what I liked about it was the cover, the description and they way the characters talk, that kinda works, heh. Otherwise I really don't recommend it, but I can see how someone would be tempted into reading it like I was and I'd love to see what others make of it.

So you're probably thinking I'm crazy for expecting something decent from such an obviously shallow book, but it honestly had potential. I've read other similar books that were rather enjoyable and I particularly remember Hollywood Car Wash by Lori Culwell, which really delivered what it promised - a first-hand account of a life in Hollywood. I read it a long time ago (I have the old cover, it's being rejacketed now), but I know it's a story of a small town girl who stars in a very successful TV show and how she is forced to change into this girl people want to see. She has to change everything, from her name to her body (forced into plastic surgery) and she becomes a part of a power couple with a famous actor who is actually gay etc. - a lot of crazy stuff happens so you can't be surprised when this young star has trouble handling it all. Hollywood Car Wash is a great fictional account of the life that many young stars have probably had to experience to achieve fame. I'd rate it 5/5 and stronly recommend it!


Anonymous said...


Oh no! This is the first bad review I've read of Pop Tart - and believe me, everyone so far seems to have raved about it!

I still can't wait to read it but will have to ignore the grammatical errors - they drive me insane!

Leah x

Suzana said...

Haha, to each their own, I guess! ;) I haven't read any reviews of Pop Tart yet - would you be so kind as to link me to any of the raving reviews? I'm really curious what others loved about it. To me, it was just a pointless mess. I tried to like it and I still can't quite dislike it, I was just disappointed. Too many characters that hardly contributed anything to the story, too many boring events - it just didn't work for me, sadly. I can't say the book is bad, just expressing my opinion. :) I look forward to reading other reviews though, including yours. :)

Anonymous said...

They weren't so much reviews as "This book is fabulous": http://chicklitreviews.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/book-news-pop-tart-by-kira-coplin-julianne-kaye/#comments

I can't wait to read it to see how much I like it. I hope to get a hold of it at some point so I can review it!

It's such a shame when books sound great and have great covers (like me with the Seven Year Itch - the cover is gorgeous and the synopsis on the back made it sound great) and it just completely disappoints. xx

Suzana said...

Oh, I see. I must say I'm quite surprised as I felt that the book provided surprisingly little "behind the scenes" insight - there was faaaar more of that in Hollywood Car Wash. I'm quite surprised myself that the book was such a let down for me, but the more I try to think back and make some sense of it, I just can't. Plus I didn't find it entertaining at all, except for the occassional ghetto talk, but otherwise I didn't really make me chuckle, let alone laugh (thumbs down for that too). Maybe it's just me, who knows ... Either way, I'm looking forward to more reviews.

As for covers - I know what you mean. I'm a sucker for beautiful covers and I've been disappointed so many times, but I still haven't learned my lesson (the plot may be useless, but at least the book looks pretty on my shelf, hehe). On the other hand, I think that a fantastic book with a beautiful cover is the perfect combination - as shallow as it sounds, the cover really adds to the whole impression of the book. :)

Anonymous said...

The author worked for Britney Spears for a long time. If you've followed Spears closely through the years you'll find this book has major reveal sections throughout, like the whole Fred Durst fiasco to the breakup etc.

Yes, the grammatical errors bugged me too but I overlooked it because I thought the story was interesting. Knowing that this story is about Britney, It was nice to get to know what she was really like. I always figured her manager was probably the one pulling the strings all along when she was falling apart!

S. said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the book - I really wanted to like it myself, but I'm afraid it just didn't work for me somehow. Based on the blurb, I expected it to be far more interesting than it was. I spotted a few obvious Britney references, but I don't think the book revealed anything shockingly new - however, I'm not a fan of Britney so I don't really know for sure, all I know is that this book was a let down for me personally. But I'm sure it will sell well regardless. :)

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