Caitlin Mary Prudence Rectitude Singleberry leads a wholesome, home-schooled life in Parsippany, New Jersey, and enjoys performing with her family (the Singing Singleberries) while waiting to hear from the 12 colleges she’s applied to, so what is she doing in jail with her nose pierced, neon hair, and a tattoo?
Caitlin blames her cousin Heller Harrigan, who, unlike Caitlin, wasn’t raised in a happy, two-parent Christian family but by a ditzy single mother who’s changed her name from Nancy to Ecstasy. Until five years ago, the girls were best friends. Caitlin hasn’t seen Heller since, after achieving TV stardom in her tweens, Heller landed the coveted role of Lynnea in four film adaptations of the blockbuster bestselling Angel Wars trilogy. Celebrity pressures have taken a toll on Heller, just back from four months of rehab. Caitlin, who subdues her crippling anxiety and panic attacks with silent rituals, agrees to keep Heller out of trouble during the movie’s premiere weekend in New York and the day Heller’s going to spend with a young cancer patient. While reforming Heller, Caitlin intends to settle a few scores. What ensues is a culture clash on steroids. Rudnick’s affection for his flawed characters lends emotional depth to the skillful satire. Targets skewered include the symbiotic culture of narcissism binding celebrities and their fans, teen literary clichés, and Brooklyn.
Hilarious, irresistible, and oh so timely. (Fiction. 14-18)