Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin

If you're looking for a fun Hollywood read without the guilt of actually prying into the lives of real people, Movie Star By Lizzie Pepper, written by Hilary Liftin, is pure entertainment.

Lizzie Pepper wants you to know the truth about her marriage. What you've seen in the tabloids about her whirlwind marriage to Rob Mars, king of Hollywood and member of the secretive One Cell meditation group, wasn't the whole truth. Now she's written a tell-all exposé of the *real* story: their first meeting, which ended up being more of a set-up than anything; their lightning-fast courtship and that scene where Rob serenaded her, surrounded by paparazzi; her introduction to the tight-lippped One Cell group that has been responsible for so much of Rob's success; Rob's proposal and Lizzie's surprise pregnancy; and, of course, where it all fell apart and how Lizzie escaped.

This is obviously a fictionalized imagining of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes saga, close enough to the original story that I was constantly wondering, when reading details that were unfamiliar to me, if the author was taking creative license or if she knew something about Holmes and Cruise that I didn't. I'm not much of a celebrity watcher in general, but I did follow that mess. Katie Holmes is about my age and I grew up watching her on Dawson's Creek, so seeing her get caught up with someone so much older, someone with eyeball-deep involvement in Scientology, was kind of horrifying. Add in creepy details like Tom's couch jumping stunts on Oprah and reports of Katie having a Scientology minder following her at all times, and it was a situation that freaked me out on Katie's behalf. While everything seems to have worked out for Katie in the end (that we know of; she has custody of Suri and no further involvement with Scientology, from what I can see), I'm sure it didn't tie up as neatly as it did for the fictional Lizzie Pepper.

Anyway, this is a really fun read, whether you're on the beach or huddled up under a pile of blankets, listening to the snowplow scrape the road in front of your house (*raises hand*). It was close enough to the real story that I found myself Googling Cruise and Holmes to see the parallels while I was reading. In checking out the author's Goodreads page, I was surprised to find that I've read two of her other books: Dear Exile: The True Story of Two Friends Who Were Separated (for a Year) by an Ocean and Candy and Me: A Girl's Tale of Life, Love, and Sugar. I read both quite some time ago, hence the surprise, but out of all of them, Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper is the most enjoyable.

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