A struggling writer suddenly finds herself at the center of a young starlet’s world.
Life in Los Angeles has taken a turn for the worse for entertainment writer Holly Gracin. After losing her job at Westside Weekly when the magazine suddenly folds, she briefly dedicates her life to self-pity and binge eating. She's just about ready to pack up and move home to upstate New York when she's offered an exciting and somewhat terrifying opportunity: the chance to ghostwrite the memoir of Nickelodeon teen star Daisy Mae Dixson. Though Holly questions her qualifications for this task, which is well outside her comfort zone, she's easily persuaded by the promise of a payday that would dwarf her yearly income. Daisy Mae is famous for her squeaky-clean good-girl image, but the façade quickly begins to fall away as Holly is swept into her world. While it might seem great to live like the Hollywood elite, Holly begins to see the real Daisy Mae, who is struggling with overbearing management and impossible standards and has an attitude that would horrify most of her young fans. Still, Holly is supposed to write a cheery and vapid memoir, a job that becomes increasingly difficult the more she gets to know the Dixson family and staff. Soon, Holly, who couldn't get past security with her press credentials for Westside Weekly, finds herself in the tabloids as part of Daisy Mae’s entourage. When Daisy Mae’s outrageous behavior creates a scandal poised to destroy her career, the memoir gains new weight as part of her packaged atonement. While Daisy Mae feels like a composite of some familiar Hollywood starlets, the novel, with its frequent twists and turns, still feels fresh.
Stuhler uses her own experience as a ghostwriter for the Hollywood elite in this fun and satisfying behind-the-scenes debut novel.