YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

If you can’t be a mega-selling teen pop star, maybe you can join her entourage…

Devon—one name only, please—is the latest and jail-bait-est pop star to hit #1 on the Billboard chart and she’s making her big screen debut in Juicy. But after a stint in rehab, the studio isn’t so sure she’s their girl anymore. If they cut any more of her lines, she’ll be a silent film actress! Can Devon regain her star status? She needs to watch her back and make sure that flash doesn’t catch her causing a scene, and we don’t mean the kind you can yell “Cut!” after.

Livia has lost the weight and gained a reputation for attitude in the Hollywood party scene. Her dad’s an Oscar-winning producer, and with a hot Beverly Hills boyfriend on her arm as well as her photos all over the pages of Gossizzle.com, Livia looks like she has a perfect life. But looks can be perfectly deceiving…

And there’s fresh-faced Casey, who left a job bagging groceries at the Piggly Wiggly to play personal assistant to her best friend…and Devon’s biggest rival. She’s got the biggest crush on the biggest star of the film—a hot Brit known for loving and leaving them. Will Casey stay true to herself while trying to find a place in his universe?

Stars. They’re just like us. But what does that mean for the rest of us? Stay tuned, people.

Girl Stays in the Picture portrays the problems that different people in the show blitz encounter. Devon’s role in the upcoming movie is getting shorter and shorter, Casey is an assistant to her best friend Summer, but is Summer still treating Casey as a friend or a nobody? Livia undergone surgery and became skinny. Now she has a perfect boyfriend and perfect life but there’s more to this story.

After hearing some good reviews of this book and being a fan of Melissa’s Angels on Sunset Boulevard , I was expecting a fast-paced, scandalous read. But, no. At 432 pages, it took me two weeks to finish this book. I kept reading and putting it down because it was dull.

The characters lacked depth and similarly like L.A. Candy, are two-dimentional. Moving on, I liked each individual characters. My favorite would be Casey as she seems like the most thoughtful and relatable. What this book lacks the most is a good climax. I feel that the climax is always anticlimatic which is a major turn off.

I don’t know if it’s just me or does anyone else agree that Melissa de la Cruz always uses the “tell” method instead of the “show” method. The first rule of writing is always “show, don’t tell.” It means showing the reader through your words what you want them to see; don’t just tell them about it. For some articles on “show, don’t tell,” you can check out these websites: Daily Writing Tips, Writing World, Research Writing Techniques.

Here’s an example of telling and not showing:

Livia gave a tight smile. She would kill to have a plate of delicious, flaky, croissants. With butter. And jam. Slathered with butter and jam. That used to be one of her favorite things about coming to Europe for family vacations — eating all the lavishly buttered food.

Do you agree? That this is “telling” and not “showing”? I’d re-write it as:

The craving for the delicious, flaky croissant was enticing. The wonderful aroma surrounding it was making Livia drool.

NO! I will not touch the croissant. After all the years of eating buttery food and getting ridiculed at, I can’t let all my efforts go down the drain. Livia scolded herself.

Biting her lower lip and Livia stared longly at the buttery croissants, remembering why she always enjoyed coming to Europe for family vacations.

Ok I know I need working on for the ending of the sentence but I thought it was a good attempt. I’m not an author, just a teen blogger. I know I don’t have much right to critique Melissa’s work but it just bugged me that there was so much “telling”. Despite the problems I have with the book, I found that the plot was good and if it had been better executed, I’m sure I would have enjoyed the book more. However, I doubt I will be reading the next book in the series.

Read this book if you’re looking for something to occupy you for a few hours. You will probably like this book if you liked L.A. Candy.

Bronze star


Comments on: "Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa de la Cruz" (9)

  1. Fabulous cover, love her work!

  2. Nice review. I don’t know if I’d like this book.

  3. I’ve read a few of Melissa De La Cruz’s books and I find them to be a nice easy read. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this one.

  4. I definitely see what you’re saying about showing and not telling. I don’t think I would’ve caught this myself while reading, but now seeing your comparison, I completely understand. Do you do much writing? If not maybe you should consider it, that one paragraph you re-wrote was good!

  5. By the way, is this the first book in this series?

  6. I like the cover but I’m going to pass on this one. I’m not too sure about this one.

  7. I love Melisa’s Blue Bloods series, but I agree that she tells and not shows… if she improved on that a little more, her writing would only be that much more fantastic.

    I’ll have to check this one out soon. =)


  8. *reading some of the comments* You should totally do NaNoWriMo! That little sneak peek you gave us of your amazingly talented writing skills is proof enough! 🙂

    I’m not sure if this would be my kind of read – I haven’t read any Hollywood/popstar type books before. But who knows, there’s a first time for everything 😉

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