Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star by Rowan Coleman
|Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star by Rowan Coleman|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
| Summary: Having conquered the UK already as a child soap star and later as a film star, Ruby is back for another adventure in the third book in the series about an ordinary girl living a dream life.
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: September 2007|
|Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books|
Ruby is feeling pretty chuffed. At 13 years old she's already been working more than half her life, first on the popular soap Kensington Heights and then in a new Hollywood flick. It doesn't get much better than that. Now she's over in the USA to promote the film and see what Hollywood is all about, and she's liking what she sees. Of course it doesn't hurt that her mum's new boyfriend is none other than the Jeremy Fort, the adult star of her new film, and that while they are in town, they are staying at his plush mansion, complete with its own pool, cinema, and view of the Hollywood sign. Bliss.
When Ruby catches the eye of a local studio exec, she's offered the chance to stay on in LA and take up a guest role in his new series. But is she really ready to leave her old friends behind just like that, and plunge head first into a new life in Hollywood? Will she be able to cope with her new school and gruelling schedule of classes and time on the set? Can her co-star Sean forgive her for the things she's said about him... on national TV? And will her mother be able to see beyond the glitz and glamour of their new life long enough to notice that Ruby is not the sparkling gem she used to be back home in London?
I thought this book was really fun, and has massive appeal to tween readers who grew up watching the Olsen twins and co trying to navigate the tricky world of celebdom. Being only 13, Ruby's problems are more tame than the usual drink-and-drugs variety, and as such she is very relatable - she might be a megastar but she still argues with her parents, has to face the school bullies, gets in trouble for not thinking before she speaks, and has to struggle to work out who she really is, below the layers of make up and hairspray and designer clothes her stylists provide. Strip away the trappings of her new life, and Ruby could be any 13 year old girl, and I think that's the key to her likeability.
Often when you read tween books as an adult you can spot the plot turns a mile off, but this one was different, and I genuinely did not know where the story was going. At the same time, it did not seem ludicrously far fetched or unbelievable, and Ruby does seem to behave in the way you would expect a girl of her age to, even a girl who is something of a household name.
This is the third book is a series that will stretch to at least 4 titles, but it's the first one I've read. The story itself is fine to read without the background of the other books because you do kind of pick up what has happened in the story so far, but there are lots of recurring characters who it takes you a while to get your head around if you're meeting them for the first time. This problem could be averted by starting at the beginning, which is after all a Very Good Place to Start, and working your way through the series, because the characters are pretty cool and I think you could easily slot into their lives and want to join all their adventures right from the word go.
Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins, for sending us this book.
If you like reading about what it's like for young people who live Showbiz lifestyles, you would also enjoy the Fashionistas series.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star by Rowan Coleman at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Ruby Parker: Hollywood Star by Rowan Coleman at Amazon.com.
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