Book Review: Secrets of My Hollywood Life

Secrets of My Hollywood Life Title: Secrets of My Hollywood Life
Series: Secrets of My Hollywood Life #1
Author: Jen Calonita
Publisher: Poppy (Hachette Book Group USA)
Publication year: 2007
Date finished: October 3rd, 2013
Rating: 4 STARS

Kaitlin Burke is a famous teenage actress and idol. Although she doesn’t mind the glitz and the comfort of being a part of Top 25 Famous People Under 25 and although she manages to not reveal the fact that her co-star Sky from the soap opera Family Affairs is in fact her nemesis, Kaitlin is determined to have “normal” high school experience. So she goes undercover (a new name and disguise and all) to her best friend Liz’ high school. But soon it gets more and more difficult for Kaitlin to keep up her cover…

I enjoyed Secrets of My Hollywood Life a lot more than I thought I would. First off we have Kaitlin, the teenage star who is honest enough to admit that she wants to keep the fame, and her work as actress. It’s not my-life-is-miserable-I-want-to-be-normal kind of story. Although Kaitlin definitely longs to have “normal” high school experience, she lets everyone know it’s only during her annual hiatus. And she still appears to do press work.

I also loved Kait’s friendship with Liz, the daughter of her lawyer, who is definitely in the Hollywood society yet not part of it. Liz understand what Kaitlin goes through, and she supports Kait fully in her wish to go to high school – albeit a bit doubtfully.

There are, of course, some cliché aspects: the Mean Girl and Her Sidekick, the Good, Popular Boy who’s dating Mean Girl, and a Dramatic Spring Fling. To give the author credit, it’s not one of those messy love triangles – oh no. Austin ends things with Lori before even remotely beginning anything with Rachel (Kaitlin’s alter ego).
But the whole point was for Kait to learn that high school isn’t much different than Hollywood: There is always backstabbing and people who catch you when you fall.

Speaking of which, I love Kaitlin’s mismatched, odd entourage: her manager / mom, her producer / dad, her wannabe actor / brother, her publicist Laney (scary yet competent), her only sane personal Nadia the organizer and Rodney the driver. Kaitlin family appears shallow and rather comical (they are not mean) but they are there for Kait whenever she falls. Partly, I suppose because their “careers” and entry to the Hollywood depends on Kaitlin remaining a famous actress. But deep in their hearts, they want Kaitlin to be happy.

So, after 250-something pages of drama, Hollywood gossip (albeit purely fictional) and lots of fun, will I read On Location? I don’t know yet – the first book ended on a perfect note, so it can only go downhill, right? Do I really want to read about it? Who knows.


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