Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So Super Stylish (& So Super Starry) ~ Rose Wilkins reviews

So Super Stylish
Dial Books
May 16, 2006
288 Pages


So Super Starry
Dial Books
October 12, 2004
240 Pages

I'd read So Super Starry last summer after picking up a bargain book copy at Books a Million and it was a fast, easy read that I really enjoyed so when I went back to that bookstore (it's out of town but I go there a couple of times a year), I picked up the sequel, So Super Stylish.

In So Super Starry, 15-year-old Octavia Clarirbrook-Cleeve attends an elite British school, Darlinham House, for the children of celebrities. It's fitting for Octavia in that he mother is the star of the US television series Lady Jane and her father (they're divorced) is a film producer. But not fitting in that Octavia couldn't care less about all the glitz and glam and status.

Self described C-List Octavia doesn't fit in (not wanting to be in the tabloids really doesn't help) but then she's invited to Super-It-Girl India's party. Octavia's sure it's so that aspiring actress India can get an 'in' with her father, though.

The two unaffected friends Octavia has are a nice counterpoint to all the 'Darlings' of Darlinham.

And it really made me want to read So Super Stylish. So, if you want to read the Starry before you read Stylish, quit reading now because it will be spoilery galore ;) (Not that you couldn't probably still read it and then read the book, but I personally don't enjoy spoliers....)


So Super Stylish starts the school year after So Super Starry takes place, in it Octavia is no longer attending Darlingham house but is now at public school. But all's not normal and fame free in this second tale. Paparazzi scandal errupts around Octavia's mother's new romance with network executive Bud...or more precisely, around Bud and his soon-to-be-ex-wife. The scandal thrusts the entire family into the spotlight--even Octavia who had thought she'd escaped it all.

And then there's Bud's ever so interesting so Milton who comes to be a part of their new, instant family.

Oh, and of course India who Octavia thought she was rid of when she said goodbye to Darlinham House but who seems to refuse to go away.

Throw in a potential romance, the London setting, some more drama, drunken rock stars, comparisons to The Princess Diaries series and you have a series (albeit a short one) that is too fun not to read.

Review: These books are well written and read quickly--so they're perfect for summer. The characters are interesting and different from each other even when they're all together in a school (they're all distinguishable, which doesn't always hold true). Fom the stuck-up, nearly dying to be famous, can-you-believe-their-names and actions kids of Darlinham in the first book to the glimpses of celebrities and their lifestyle you (and Octavia) get in both books--and the not so famous teenager life that still has its drama, these books never have a dull moment. They're never quite absurd either, sure some of the characters actions are, but other characters recognize those actions for their absurdity and leave you to enjoy them. It's like the scandal and eltitism of Gossip Girl mixed with a YA book with a normal girl at a regular school (or as normal as any girl ever is at as regular as any school ever is).

Really the only complaint I have is that the second book's title really didn't fit much, if at all and it possibly would have made more sense to reverse the titles. (Enough so that I had to go back and fix the titles in the second half of this review because I did reverse them.)

Only the first book is for sale at Amazon right now (BookCloseouts.com does have both, however)...maybe I'll see if they're still for sale where I got them and have a contest or something if I go back this summer (it's like 7/8 hours away so I can't just decide to go back tomorrow).

7.5/10 collectively

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