The fabulous Hawaiian vacation Lulu dreamed of is in jeopardy after her parents’ movie goes over budget and their attention is needed elsewhere.
Lulu’s director mom and actor dad promised they’d be home every night to spend time with Lulu and her older sister, Alexis, but the demands of the studio make it nearly impossible for their Hawaiian summer to be anything but a bummer. Lulu tries to improve the situation by helping her parents out on set and at home, but disaster strikes again and again. With her precocious and perky attitude, Lulu grates rather than endears, and the world she inhabits feels less like reality and more like an obnoxious children’s sitcom. It’s sweet that the youngster wants to spend time with her parents, but there’s no real urgency to her need for parental interaction: The pair are fairly present throughout the book, making Lulu seem spoiled rather than abandoned. Far more interesting are the book’s structure (the endeavor is written as a screenplay) and Hawaiian setting and culture, a culture Wolf is able to weave in effortlessly. Instead of feeling like a flimsy travelogue, the setting feels real and lived-in. It’s unfortunate her characters and scenario aren’t as well thought-out.
Too cute to function. (Fiction. 8-12)