my Dawson's Creek obsession, Katie Holmes shocked the world (and Tom Cruise) by filing for divorce. Of course, I wondered what went on behind the scenes of their crazy romance and the demise of their relationship. So far, Holmes hasn't written a tell-all, but this is the next best thing ...
Actress Lizzie Pepper was America’s Girl Next Door and her marriage to Hollywood mega-star Rob Mars was tabloid gold—a whirlwind romance and an elaborate celebrity-studded wedding landed them on the cover of every celebrity weekly. But fame, beauty, and wealth weren't enough to keep their marriage together. Hollywood’s “It” couple are over—and now Lizzie is going to tell her side of the story.
Celebrity ghostwriter Hilary Liftin chronicles the tabloids’ favorite marriage as Lizzie Pepper realizes that, when the curtain falls, her romance isn't what she and everyone else thought. From her lonely holidays in sumptuous villas to her husband’s deep commitment to a disconcertingly repressive mind-body group, Lizzie reveals a side of fame that her fans never get to see in a story that will have every reader guessing the real-life inspirations for its players. Full of twists and turns, Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is a breathless journey to the heights of Hollywood power and royalty and a life in the spotlight that is nearly impossible to escape.
Anyone with a passing knowledge of American pop culture over the last decade will have no trouble identifying the inspiration behind Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper—the infamous TomKat, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And it's that inspiration that both helps and harms this novel.
As you read, it's fun to see the parallels between Rob & Lizzie and Tom & Katie. But the similarities to the real-life story (or at least the version reported in tabloids and entertainment magazines) also cause this story to falter a bit. Every time I read a seemingly significant detail that I wasn't aware of in the TomKat story, I would stop and wonder if the detail was just the author telling her fictional story or something that was real and I was just unaware. The lines between fiction and reality are quite blurred in this novel.
I did appreciate Liftin's choice to make the ending differ from the TomKat ending, though the revelation is a bit rushed. It was almost as though the author was trying to prove that Rob and Lizzie really aren't Tom and Katie by making the ending unexpected, and she didn't spend the time necessary to make it a truly believable and satisfying plot point.
But my favorite, favorite, favorite aspect of the novel is something that I hope is not based in reality! I don't want to spoil anything, but the reason Lizzie decides to leave Rob is both horrifying and morbidly hilarious, and it made everything about the book suddenly fall into place.
Overall, though, Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is a fun, light read—perfect for a day at the beach! 3-1/2 stars.
Note: While not prevalent, several profanities are scattered throughout the novel. Also, there is some discussion of sexual situations, but nothing explicit is mentioned.
Buy the book.
Hilary Liftin is a collaborator specializing in celebrity memoir. Since 2006 she has worked on fifteen books, ten of which hit the New York Times bestseller list. Hilary has also written three books under her own name. The first, DEAR EXILE, is letters that she exchanged with her co-author, Kate Montgomery, when Kate was in the Peace Corps in Kenya and Hilary was in New York. It was published by Vintage in 1999 and is still in print. CANDY AND ME: A Love Story is Hilary's memoir told through different kinds of candy. MOVIE STAR BY LIZZIE PEPPER is her first novel.
Before becoming a full-time writer in 2006, Hilary worked in the publishing industry for ten years, holding positions in editorial, marketing, and business development at Houghton Mifflin, Barnes & Noble.com, and the ebook division of Time Warner Books (now Hachette).
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product free for review from Amazon.com through its Vine reviewer program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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