Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper ~ Hilary Liftin (earc) review [@hilaryliftin @VikingBooks @lizzierpepper]

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper
July 21, 2015
352 oages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The “It” book you absolutely must pack in your beach bag—an addictively juicy novel of celebrity love gone wrong

Chosen by USA Today, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue.com as a Great Summer Read

“Liftin, who’s cowritten memoirs with celebs including Tori Spelling, presents her first novel as a tell-all by a star she calls Lizzie Pepper. Married young to an actor involved in a cultlike religion, Lizzie ends up leaving him and…Sound like someone we know? Liftin’s not saying, but her book is dishy fun.” --People Magazine

“I’ve had a million meetings in my acting career, and I had no idea that this would be the one that would change my life forever. I walked into the room, and there was Rob . . . in the flesh.”

Actress Lizzie Pepper was America’s Girl Next Door and her marriage to Hollywood mega-star Rob Mars was tabloid gold—a whirlwind romance and an elaborate celebrity-studded wedding landed them on the cover of every celebrity weekly. But fame, beauty, and wealth weren’t enough to keep their marriage together. Hollywood’s “It” couple are over—and now Lizzie is going to tell her side of the story.

Celebrity ghostwriter Hilary Liftin chronicles the tabloids’ favorite marriage as Lizzie Pepper realizes that, when the curtain falls, her romance isn’t what she and everyone else thought. From her lonely holidays in sumptuous villas to her husband’s deep commitment to a disconcertingly repressive mind-body group, Lizzie reveals a side of fame that her fans never get to see. Full of twists and turns, Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is a breathless journey to the heights of Hollywood power and royalty and a life in the spotlight that is nearly impossible to escape.

You've heard about or seen those Law & Order 'ripped from the headlines' episodes, right? The ones where you know where - or who- the idea came from but the more you watch, the more it becomes its own, original story? That's what Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is like. You know who the 'real' Lizzie and Rob are (Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise) but Movie Star is Lizzie Pepper's tale.

Some of the major events (like these) also appear, with some tweaking, in Lizzie and Rob's relationship. It is Lizzie's character, the insight her narration provides to both her character and the story and how Liftin creates and writes the everyday, the minutiae between those major life evnts that pulls readers in.

I loved Lizzie - even when she was frustrating or naive. You want it to be the glamorous, love filled, perfect marriage. Maybe in some ways it is . . .but not all.

We fall in love as she falls in love, we are along for the wild, fast ride. As questions and uncertainties appear we, as readers, notice them more than Lizzie does (or more than she allows herself to). Despite the similarities to real people, real events or things, I was fully engrossed in Lizzie's story for Lizzie. The secondary characters, the role they play in her life and how some of those change makes for a fantastic read. (With more twists, surprises and worries than I was expecting.)

I want Lizzie Pepper to be real so I can find out her future, see how it all works for her -- and Rob and everyone else involved. At the same time, Liftin (and Lizzie) do such a great job showing Lizzie's life, her experiences, what she discovers and learns, all that she goes through, that I want her not to be, too. It's easier to deal with if she's fictional.

While it's not likely we'll get more books from Lizzie Pepper, I do hope for more (in hopefully a similar genre) from Hilary Liftin.

(If anyone else has read/reads this and is familiar with the town near Chicago Lizzie's from: Did you think the portrayal [ie what she said about growing up, call it Middle America, etc] fit?)

digital copy received for review, via NetGalley, from publisher

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