A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman
|A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Chloe Spooner|
|Summary: Paige Carson is a Hollywood Princess, but decides she needs a change of scenery and hot-foots it to London. But is it going to be the fairytale she imagined?|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 320||Date: August 2008|
Paige Carson is one of Hollywood's darlings, winning an Oscar at a young age, with a rock star Daddy and a life of riley. But her latest movie hasn't gone too well for Paige, and she is feeling somewhat depressed about the way her life is heading. So Paige decides to have a bit of a career change, to tread the boards at a small London theatre in a Shakespeare play. But London isn't the place she thought it was, and nor are the people. Even her neighbour, Ed, isn't friendly to her. Will Paige be able to pull off the performance of her life, and find her own English sweetheart? Or will she be sent packing back to Hollywood?
Not having read a Robyn Sisman novel before, I was intrigued to see what her writing style, and indeed the book was going to be like. The plot certainly slots into the chick-lit/women's fiction genre perfectly, not aiming to be anything other than what it is, so I was curious to see how Sisman was going to be able to bring alive what sounded like an already somewhat predictable plot.
The book begins in Hollywood with Paige on the set of her latest movie, allowing us to see her 'in-action' as it were, and to perhaps get a glipmse of Paige's worst side, the diva. Right away, I took an instant dislike to her, although I am struggling to pinpoint exactly why. Perhaps it was just that she was almost a stereotype of what we all perceive actresses to be - obsessive, vain and unlikeable. Paige was all of these things, and didn't endear herself to me as a reader at all, which was a shame as it meant I struggled to get into the book properly and found myself dipping in and out of it rather than sitting and digesting chunks in one go.
You can see how the book is going to go almost from just a few chapters in. Sisman quickly unsettles the character of Paige, making it clear that the London part of the book is looming and seems to skim over reasons why Paige wants to leave, coming up with a couple of events to make Paige seem even more childish and selfish than we already thought, and before you know it, we're sent to London for the remainder of the book. Sadly, this is where the book really fell apart for me, and became somewhat ridiculous and incredibly annoying.
It is from here on in that you can tell that the author of the book is an American, because her depiction of England is quite inaccurate, and as an English reader, this really did bother me. Firstly, I understand that the character of Paige is American and is therefore meant to experience the lifestyle changes between America and the UK but the way Sisman writes, it is as if England is dirty, full of rude people and a poky little place that she doesn't care much for. Much of the description of London is awful and unrealistic, and there was only one part I enjoyed - set in the Lake District - which is highly disappointing. From the way she writes, you would not have guessed Sisman had lived in England for nine years!
As well as the badly written scenes set in England, I found the plot was just a tad too predicatable for my liking and took too long to get to its obvious conclusion. There were too many filler scenes which didn't do anything for the book except drag it out for a few more chapters. Yet I felt that the main characters of Paige and Ed weren't deep enough, we weren't given enough insight into their feelings to actually care enough for them to want things to work out how they wanted, and this is the biggest downfall for me. I love a book to have great characters, ones I can feel for and get my teeth into but this book had one-dimensional characters, most of whom were horrid and therefore I just couldn't enjoy it.
This is the sort of storyline which has been done in various guises before by many authors, and I am sure will be done again in time. For me, it was just too light and fluffy, with not enough meat on its bones so to speak. Paige was so dislikeable I wanted her to fail at her Shakespeare, Ed was like a limp lettuce leaf and the other characters aren't worth mentioning. The story is basic, lacking any twists and turns to get its reader involved, and consequently was a big disappointment. I love the chick-lit genre, but this certainly fell short of the high calibre of writing coming into the genre at the moment. Disappointing and I really did find it a chore to get to the end.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman at Amazon.com.
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I think Brits do the chick lit MUCH better!