Morning news anchor faces deportation charges after a series of career and romantic missteps.
Born in a Turkish refugee camp, Ada Sinmac Ghee goes on to live the quintessential rags-to-riches life in America. Thanks to a lazy immigration official, Ada’s name is Americanized to Addison McGhee. As a self-conscious youth, Addison makes it her mission to learn how to assimilate and live up to her new name. A student of pop culture, she aspires to become a star. After moving to Los Angeles, Addison lands a recurring role on ER. But after a few other B-list parts, her dream of stardom stalls. Her career is resurrected when a scrappy cable-network executive gives her a temporary co-host spot on a morning news show. After garnering successful ratings, the gig turns into a full-time position. Addison and her co-host, Hughes, draw sizeable crowds thanks to their on-camera charisma. Curmudgeonly weatherman Baxter is added to the morning mix. Inevitably, a love triangle of sorts forms, and Addison falls for the wrong coworker. When her office romance sours, torrid events land Addison in jail, facing charges of felony assault and deportation. Bartlett (Princess Izzy and the E Street Shuffle, 2006) knows how to captivate, slowly building suspense around the cause of Addison’s deportation hearing. The sole dreary note in this charming novel is Bartlett’s focus on Addison’s weight maintenance. We are constantly reminded of the caloric nightmare that salad dressing poses to those in the media. Bartlett belabors this point, surely to illustrate the ugly side of celebrity, but her griping grates. Overall, though, this is another grand frolic.
Serving jail time is a joy with this self-deprecating pseudo-journalist.