A teen starlet is kidnapped and an investigative blogger is on the case in this series opener.
Taylor Prince is on top of the world. She's a huge movie star with critical clout and box office bona fides. But everything is turned upside down when her 16th birthday party is raided by kidnappers and Taylor finds herself in the clutches of a youth-obsessed cult. Brooklyn Brant lives on the outskirts of Taylor's world, reporting on all the Hollywood gossip with her popular blog, Deadline Diaries. When Brooklyn is tipped off to Taylor's abduction, the chase is on. Baker revels in all the frothy excess Hollywood has to offer, providing readers a surface-level look at the two different sides of fame's coin. Unfortunately this surface is barely penetrated, making for a book without any subtext. Characters boldly pronounce their intentions, their philosophies, and their allegiances. The dialogue is often clunky and exposition-heavy. The author also makes the curious choice of alternating the narrative point of view between the two teen girls, so readers know exactly where Taylor is at all times and are stuck patiently waiting for Brooklyn to catch up. There's no ticking clock involved with Taylor's dilemma, therefore there are no stakes to be raised at any point. Making things worse, Brooklyn doesn't solve anything; the answer is just plopped into her lap at the last minute.
With poor structure and minimal stakes, this is a mystery best left alone. (Mystery. 12-16)