Jaded teens, tabloid travails, and murder, oh my!
Early in Lisbon’s novel it’s clear that 17-year-old former child star Eva-Kate Kelly is dead, and 16-year-old Justine Childs, obsessive Taylor Swift fan and daughter of a celebrity therapist, wants readers to know that she didn’t do it. Justine has lightly rubbed elbows with celebrities all her life, but to her enduring agony, she’s never truly been a part of that world. When emancipated Eva-Kate becomes her new Venice Beach neighbor, star-struck Justine, whose mom is on vacation, is free to enter Eva-Kate’s world—and it’s a strange one. Eva-Kate makes Justine her new bestie, introduces her to oodles of drugs and alcohol, and plays plenty of mind games. The alternately naïve and world-weary Justine is enthralled with the dynamic Eva-Kate and may not be a trustworthy narrator. After all, Justine mentions that she’s on medication and has spent time in a psychiatric ward, although she elaborates little. Of course, Justine discovers that Eva-Kate has been keeping an explosive secret. Soon after, Eva-Kate is dead, and Justine is the main suspect. Frustratingly, readers hoping to delve into Eva-Kate’s murder and the aftermath will have to wait until the next book. All main characters assume a white default.
A salaciously entertaining debut that is also a disturbing and often depressing look at celebrity obsession, scandal, and teen angst, lit with a lurid sheen of Hollywood noir. (Fiction. 14-18)