Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
Sixteen-year-old Kaitlin Burke has been on the same nighttime soap, Family Affair, for the past twelve years. In between interviews, press junkets, trips abroad, and other smaller parts, she's had to deal with a demanding publicist, a mother who seems to be living her own life through that of her daughters, and a growing feud with her co-star, Sky Mackenzie. Ever since the two girls were cast, at age four, as fraternal twins on the show, Sky has been the bad girl with Kaitlin playing the role of good girl--both on screen and off.
As this season's hiatus nears, Kaitlin realizes that there's more to life than being on Teen People's list of hottest young stars, or being number six on Entertainment Weekly's "It List." Sure, there's an audition for a new movie by hot director Hutch Adams that she'd love to land, but she's also supremely tired. Working nearly nonstop for twelve years has taken its toll. So Kaitlin has come up with the perfect plan to take a break over hiatus--she'll attend Clark Hall as regular student Rachel Rogers, a girl from London visiting the U.S. for two months.
Everything is going along according to plan. Although the principal of Clark Hall and her fellow student and friend Liz know her true identity, no one else has a clue that plain, studious Rachel is really Kaitlin from one of the most popular shows on television. As "Rachel" settles into normal teen life, signing up to be on the boring dance committee and indulging in her love of math, she feels for the first time like a regular teen. And when she meets Austin, a guy unlike every Hollywood celebrity she's ever met, she knows she might be falling in love.
But as rumors start to swirl in the tabloids and as her double life is threatened by exposure, Kaitlin will have to learn what's really important in life--true friends, whether they know her as Kaitlin or Rachel; the belief in herself as an actress; and the blessing and curse that is the media.
SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE is a quick, entertaining read that sheds new light on what it means to be a celebrity. Not everything is as great as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, or Nicole Richie would like us to believe, but it sure is filled with excitement!
great book for teens!! plus its not too explicit for YA readers.
Meet Kaitlin Burke. Oh, wait, you already know everything about her: phenomenal star on the soap opera Family Affairs, best friend with her costar Sky Mackenzie, and voted hottest teen star by practically every magazine out there....Or do you?
Life is not well in Kaitlin's privileged world. Sky, with whom she has never gotten along, is spreading nasty rumors about Kaitlin's prissy personality to the tabloids (descriptions that better suit herself, quite frankly). Her career-crazy parents and pushy publicist seem to be trying to drown her in a ton of work and feature appearances on talk shows. Her only respite is with her best friend Liz, the "normal" daughter of a powerful lawyer, who attends the normal high school of Clark.
Desperate to know what it's like to be a regular teenager, Kaitlin goes undercover as the nerdy Rachel Rogers, British import, at Clark. The experience is so much more than she expected, however. There are annoying Sky-like girls there as well--but "Rachel" makes friends, too, and meets an incredibly cute guy, Austin, who seems to like her for who she really is: a nerdy, Star Wars-obsessed math prodigy.
But Kaitlin is teetering on the edge of her double life. How will she deal with it when it all comes crashing down on top of her?
SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE has been touted as "what it's really like to be a celebrity 'It' girl" (Us Weekly), but having had no experience in the Hollywood world, I don't know whether that is true or not. What I do know is that it's always nice to have a down-to-earth, unjaded girl for a protagonist, even if Kaitlin's character doesn't really ring to me. Same with the other characters. They're likable...but only to an extent, the same way you'd like, say, your assigned chem lab partner whom you never get to know really well. Still, the book is a fun romp through the L.A. glam life, perfect for those who are tired of looking at it from the self-satisfied top.
This is a good and quick YA read.