Styled as the memoir of girl-next-door actress Lizzie Pepper, this debut novel will have celebrity-watchers wondering if any of it could be real (author Hilary Liftin is a ghostwriter for show biz memoirs). Married to a much more famous older actor who introduces her to a mysterious philosophy known as One Cell, Lizzie has lost even the illusion of privacy by the time the marriage ends. Her memoir reveals the manipulative nature of her husband and of One Cell, as well as the ugly side of fame -- along with the jet-set vacations and fancy clothes came bugged cell phones and broken friendships. With echoes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, this dishy read is "Hollywood fiction at its finest" (Kirkus Reviews).
Exactly the thing to pick up when you want a fun and fast read.
I was provided an Advance Reader Copy by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.
This book is “ghostwritten” by Hilary Liftin for Lizzie Pepper, who is a small-time movie star turned big-time paparazzi magnet. Lizzie meets Rob Mars, one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, and they fall madly in love. Some think too madly and quickly. Rob Mars is also a major advocate for a secretive cult-like “community” called One Cell, where they focus heavily on meditation and betterment of self. However, when Lizzie joins One Cell, things slowly spiral out of her control, and she has to find her way out of the community, celebrity, and her beloved husband’s home. This is a great guilty pleasure read, with romance, mystery, and a fight for life.
It would be impossible to ignore the fact that this story is a fictionalized version of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's relationship. The marriage, the crazy controlling religion, down to the movie roles and relationships that the characters have. There were enough changes to help deny the connections, but it was very easy to spot from very early. Don't get me wrong though -- I found it very interesting as I hadn't followed the story of TomKat, and there are some things that are speculated that the public would not have known.
However, if you look past that, the story is intriguing and it was hard to put down. From the very beginning, I followed Lizzie's emotions. It was easy to see how she became so entrapped in her life of luxury and celebrity. It was also an interesting view into how Hollywood and One Cell/Scientology operate from the inside (allegedly). The end was kind of anti-climactic and less dramatic that I had wanted, but it did tie up most loose ends.
This seems like a girly beach read kind of book but it's better than most. Lizzie and Rob resemble Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: young TV starlet marries older, very powerful major movie star whose involvement with a cult-like "religion" causes stress and then the shock breakup of their marriage. Fast read but enjoyable and fun.
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