13 year-old Hollywood Bliss Wintermann tries to have a normal life at her Catholic boarding school where only her best friend knows that Holly’s mother is singing superstar Khandi (think Cher or Madonna). Khandi yanks Holly out of school and deposits her in a suite in the posh hotel she’s staying in London. She tells Holly that there’s been a serious threat so she wanted Holly near her because the school couldn’t provide enough security and she also says she wants to spend more time with Holly, but Holly’s not too surprised when it seems her mother forgot she exists and hasn’t even bothered to set up tutors. Holly has to make appointments to see her mom and is thrilled when she gets her mother to agree to set up tutors. She isn’t thrilled when dancing and singing tutors show up.
I was surprised that it took quite some time for Holly to realize that Khandi was using her and trying to turn her into a superstar too. Although Holly is witty at times, I wanted more emotion from her character. She never lets her mom have the honest criticism she deserves, and I don’t know many teenage girls who would handle things that way. The most interesting part of the book is Holly and Khandi’s relationship and the author spends a lot more time focusing the posh life than the real issues at hand. Although Holly doesn’t become a mini-Khandi in the end, she also doesn’t do much to improve her relationship with her mother. Maybe that means there’s a sequel in the works.
I was a little bored at times, but some pre-teens may enjoy reading about Holly’s disdain for the life of the rich and famous.