Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Broadway Lights by Jen Calonita Review
By Jen Conita
Published by Poppy
Pages - 384
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From Goodreads: Her star power in demand on a hit Broadway play, Hollywood teen starlet Kaitlin Burke packs up her entourage (ok, her showbiz family, friends, assistant, and publicist, but not the dreamy boyfriend) and moves to the Big Apple for the summer. Kaitlin is the toast of the town and she hits the most exclusive New York nightspots, enjoys the best food (Hello, Magnolia Bakery), and even guests as a celebrity host on Saturday Night Live! But New York isn't all cupcakes and virgin daiquiris. Long distance and a handsome new costar put a huge strain on her relationship with Austin, and it turns out Broadway divas are a whole different breed of neuroses and competition from starlets.
My Take: Jen Calonita is a Hollywood journalist. I haven't checked her work, she might be a gossip columnist. Regardless, she knows Hollywood, she knows the stars, she knows who is IN, who is OUT, and she knows the Hollywood drama. She gives the reader a backstage pass to how stuff really works.
Kaitlin is a star. A really big star. The kind that gossip magazines LOVE to torture. The kind that attract the D-Listers (Reality TV with surgery) to engage. So Kaitlin's series ends. Kapoot. Not canceled but completed. She's now a child star without a job. So she takes on Broadway. This means that her family moves to New York City so she can pursue this dream. Meanwhile, her boyfriend, Austin is at lacrosse camp which is coed. Just a heads up here - this is the sweetest romance without any salaciousness. Very, very sweet - without being cheesy.
During this summer on the opposite coast, her former co-star, Sky the Total Diva, drops in to visit. Turns out that Sky and Kaitlin were the recipients of a paparazzi feeding frenzy because former friends, thinly veiled caricatures of Paris and Nicole (Ritchie) fight for validation through association or mud slinging. This is a hilarious aspect to the story. It's not essential for the overall story but it certainly is entertaining. Jen also takes just a few other shots at well-known untalented Hollywood clingers. Without naming names.
So Kaitlin's summer gig will be ending soon. Sooner than later if she can't handle another darling Diva while her former enemy, Sky, becomes her frenemy then friend. Co-star in the play is a total hottie who is definitely interested in K. But she has Austin. But he's in Austin (Texas).
Kaitlin's character is completely likeable. The romances are sweet, fun, and honest. Kaitlin, for all her Hollywood trappings, is surprisingly down home-cooked pie. Her mother is hilarious. Her dad is lost. Her brother is diva-esque, Sky is growing on me, Her supporting cast and crew (publicist, assistant, etc.) each have their quirkiness and clear personalities. Fun, clean read. I loved it.