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RUMOR CENTRAL by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

RUMOR CENTRAL

By ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8951-3
Publisher: Dafina/Kensington

In a fast-moving mean-girl story with a dash of suspense, a teen television star is asked to dish dirt on her well-connected friends.

Fabulous Maya Morgan and her friends star in a reality show called Miami Divas. Then the network decides to cancel Miami Divas and offers Maya a host spot on a new show, Rumor Central, where she will both interview the likes of Nicki Minaj and share celebrity gossip. When Maya’s new gig drives a wedge between her and her former co-stars, she decides any of her ex-friends’ secrets are fair game. Results are predictable but compelling: The studio is thrilled, but the subjects of the gossip get hurt, and both Maya’s parents and her school are believably concerned. Most dramatically, someone begins sending Maya threatening messages, and the book’s climax sees her uncover her stalker’s identity and fend off an attack. Although much of the book’s pleasure resides in watching the drama unfold, the action also raises some thought-provoking questions: To what extent is Tamara, Maya’s closest contact at WSVV-TV, on her side? Who is more to blame for the gossip show’s fallout: Maya, for betraying confidences, or the studio, for pressuring her to do so?

A well-constructed take on the pleasures and pitfalls of fame. (Fiction. 12-16)