4 March 2010

CELEBUTANTES by Ruthanna Hopper and Amanda Goldberg ****

What would you do if you were born on Oscar night into Hollywood royalty? If you went to Vanity Fair parties rather than birthday parties? And if your life felt like a glamourous movie - but you were only an extra in it, playing boyfriendless, jobless hopeful no. 310?
Meet Lola Santisi. She's an Actorholic. Stuck in a pattern of dating beautiful actors then as soon as she's got over the dazzle of their teeth and the rockhard abs, realising they're just as self-obsessed as the last one. She's gone cold-turkey, and resolved to plough her energy into helping her friends instead. Julian, Lola's BGF (best gay friend), is a designer on the up. But he'll be down and out if he can't get someone to wear his designs on Oscar night so persuades Lola to become his Hollywood Ambassador. Lola's best friend Kate, is an ambitious young agent desperate to sign a big name. Together with their other friend, Cricket, a ditzy actress aspiring to play something other than a coma victims on ER, they must navigate through celebrity-hell if they're ever going to make it to the red carpet ...
I've had this book for like two years and I've nearly given up on reading it after I came across several bad reviews. But then one day I just felt like reading this particular book - I guess I was just in the mood for something light and fluffy and this book was just what the doctor ordered! It was actually far better than I expected from the negative reviews and I ended up really enjoying it!

The book revolves around the Oscars - the opening scene takes place after the ceremony and then it goes back to document the week before this opening scene to explain how things ended up the way they did. The story is narrated by Lola Santisi, a 26-year-old failed actress and wannabe fashion designer. She was born into Hollywood Royalty as her father is a producer and she's completely used to being surrounded by the biggest film stars and fashion designers. Her current objective during the week before the Oscars is to help her designer friend Julian find a film star who will wear his dress on the red carpet and thus make him famous, otherwise he'll be out of business and she'll be jobless again. Finding a star to wear a Julian Tennant dress is proving to be harder than it sounds, especially since film stars are known to change their minds every two seconds, plus her enemy Adrienne Hunt is trying to sabotage her every step of the way and she's trying to recover from her break up as well as struggling to resist falling for yet another actor. Lola may make a few mistakes along the way, but she's determined to succeed no matter what it takes.

Not surprisingly, there is a looooot of name dropping in this novel - it feels like every possible film star and designer or any kind of celebrity gets a mention in one way or another, either these people actually appear in the book or they're just mentioned in passing. I personally didn't mind this at all, but I know some people get annoyed with name dropping. Really, this book is all about Hollywood and its excess and craziness. I can't deny that it is indeed very shallow, but sometimes it's just nice to read a book where the main problem is who will wear which dress down the red carpet - perfect escapism from the real life problems!

The plot wasn't terribly exciting, but it wasn't boring either. The characters seemed slightly one-dimensional at times, especially Olivia, diva extraordinaire who refers to herself in the third person and comes up with the craziest requests that her team have to deal with, but she really provided several plot twists with her demands about Julian's dress. Lola was a great character though - yes, quite shallow, but you can't really blame her since she was born into this kind of world. Nonetheless, she was determined and funny and really less spoilt and selfish that I would've expected so I grew quite fond of her.

I think this book could've been quite annoying if it wasn't so well written. I really enjoyed the simple yet contemporary and oh so funny narrative, which I found very appropriate for this kind of a novel - it actually reminded me of Air Kisses, which was modern and witty too.

All in all, this is pure fluff, but it makes for great entertainment so I'd certainly recommend it if you're into books about the lives of the rich and the famous, if you're fascinated by Hollywood or you're just looking for a light read. There's an Angelica Huston quote on the back cover that I think describes the book really well - it says: "Fashion, film stars and great fun!" I couldn't agree more. :)

overall rating:
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 3/5

ps: The main reason why I wanted to read this book were actually the promos for it posted on YouTube. My favourite one features Lola herself (see below) and there are three more featuring Lola's friends Julian and Cricket and Kate. The videos are great and fun to watch, but there's just one problem - these scenes either didn't happen in the book or they were described differently in the book. For example, I've no idea why they used the Willow Fox scene in the video below - Willow was just mentioned in passing (and there was no climaxing in the book, lol) whereas Olivia, the main diva of the book, provided more than enough material to film. Sooo I'm slightly puzzled by that, but on the plus side, at least the videos are fun and contain no spoilers - honestly, watch them, they're great!

14 comments:

P said...

I only bought this book based on that trailer, and started reading it but gave up. I'll maybe give it a try again based on your recommendation.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Aww, sorry to hear you didn't particularly like the book! I honestly really enjoy it, but I have to admit that the trailers are probably better - and these scenes don't really happen like that in the book, I mean what the hell? :D

Emidy said...

This seems cute! If I'm in the mood for something to lift my spirits I will consider this one for sure. Awesome review, by the way!

Emidy
Une Parole

Jane said...

Just found your blog. I am always looking for a fab chick lit book.

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thanks for a wonderful review. Actually, I really like the sound of this!

Morgan said...

Sounds like a fun, cute read that I would really enjoy. I want to watch the trailer, but it isn't working on my computer. Great review!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I've seen this book around a lot, I'm glad to hear it's a good one!

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

Okay, one look at the trailer you embedded and I realized that I needed this book in my life NOW. Totatlly sold.

Nina said...

The book sounds totally like fun! :) Only too bad that the scenes dont happen in the book, they should make a movie out of it. :) I have added this book on my tbr list, somethimes I just need a light read.

Novelicious said...

That trailer is well funny! When she kisses her own knees?????!!!! Ha!

The book sounds like a total bonkbuster :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review! I love all the interesting books you manage to find. Bravo darling!

LambAround said...

I might have to give this book a try. Reading a fluff book is nothing to be embarrassed about, right? (I'll just keep it at home instead of reading it during my lunch break!)

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Sa Toya said...

I never thought it was really any good, I may have to reconsider :D

prophecygirl said...

You know, I've had this for about 2 years too, and *almost* gave it away a few weeks ago. For some reason, I didn't, and now I'm very glad.

Thanks for this -- I think I'm going to like it, and I'm glad you did too!

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