An ingénue from Ohio tries to make it in Hollywood only to find a city more flawed than she once dreamed.
Nicola moved to LA from Ohio to work in public relations alongside celebrities she's idolized her entire life. Along with her roommate, Kara, and best friend, Billy, she further and further enmeshes herself in the culture of fame that defines the city, ultimately becoming the girlfriend of a movie star. But being a star isn't all she thought it was, and while Kara becomes a reality TV star and Billy joins the legions of paparazzi, Nicola is confronted by the ugly reality of invasive public scrutiny. Dickson and Ketsoyan trade on the very hunger for scandal that feeds the book's shallow revelations about Hollywood culture; they tantalize the reader by claiming the stories of sex, drugs, and depravity in the book are real, but they'll never tell which starlets got up to what. It's a transparent ploy to market a book that is ultimately hollow and unoriginal, with no new insights into the nature of celebrity or our societal relationship with fame's double-edged sword. From the opening pages, when Nicola goes from being an average young woman driving her used Toyota Tercel to being on the arm of a mega-star in the course of 15 minutes at a party, the book lacks depth, development, and realism that could make the subsequent stories of scandal more engaging and affecting.
Nothing new in this tale of disillusionment with the pressures and culture of Hollywood.