A struggling waitress trades places with a spoiled-brat TV star in this comedy.
Sixteen-year-old Paloma doesn’t know it yet, but her tantrums are jeopardizing not only her own income, but, much worse, that of her greedy mother and agent. Paloma’s emotional maturity is on par with that of a toddler, and the sponsors of her once-popular TV series just might pull the plug on future seasons. Her mom, Leone, and agent, Jack, concoct a plan. They have met a girl, Oona, who looks remarkably like Paloma and offer to pay her big bucks to impersonate the star while they send the real Paloma off to “brat camp.” Oona has difficulty with the exacting Leone, but she finds her acting duties to be easy. The show improves, and the sponsors are happy. Meanwhile, Paloma learns that her tantrums won’t get her what she wants at problem-teen rehab, so she decides to cooperate until she can get out. However, just when Leone and Jack believe their plan has succeeded beyond their dreams, events take a different turn. Sheldon writes sophisticated, droll humor throughout, balancing comedy against the character development of the two girls. Writing in alternate chapters for each, she weaves the story together from two quite different viewpoints. Descriptions of Paloma’s ultraluxurious, superficial Hollywood lifestyle meet Oona’s real world, and real emotions result along with the laughter.
Constantly funny, splendidly witty: a bull’s-eye. (Fiction. 12-18)