This irresistible debut novel from an accomplished celebrity-memoir ghostwriter reads like a behind-the-scenes look at the marriage of a certain former Hollywood it couple.
TomKat, is that you? Lizzie Pepper, the disarmingly charming fictional narrator of this engaging faux memoir, is ready to reveal the truth about her tabloid-fodder relationship with her now-ex-husband, mega-movie star Rob Mars. (The author, Liftin, has collaborated on the memoirs of many real celebrities, including Miley Cyrus and Tori Spelling.) A wholesome, young, Midwest-raised actress, best known for playing a girl-next-door type on TV, Lizzie takes a meeting with Mars, who, in addition to being hugely famous and the teen crush of Lizzie’s best friend from home, is also deeply involved in a creepy cultlike religion with a lot of money and Hollywood pull. Lizzie thinks she’s auditioning for Rob’s next film, but she’s actually trying out for a bigger role—the actor’s girlfriend and, eventually, his wife and the mother of his children. Lizzie’s feelings for Rob are real, but how authentic his are for her is a continual topic of speculation in the press and ultimately an open question for Lizzie herself, despite (or perhaps partly because of) moments like the one in which Rob dramatically declares, in front of a phalanx of paparazzi, that Lizzie is “the love of my life”—an incident that goes viral, becoming a YouTube meme and providing talk show joke fodder. “They called him a manufactured brand, a robot attempting to play the role of a man in love,” Lizzie recalls. If these characters and this story don’t sound familiar to you, you miraculously missed out on the world’s collective fascination with the six-year marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes—not to mention its dramatic end. But no matter, Liftin’s compelling, highly readable novel—with its sympathetic narrator, suspenseful plot pivots, snappy pace, and dishy details about Hollywood’s inner workings—is likely to engage even readers who remain blissfully unaware of the tabloid characters who may or may not have inspired it.
Dishy Hollywood fiction at its finest from an author who traffics in the truth behind tabloid headlines.