Book Review - Pop Tart by Kira Coplin and Julianne Kaye

Pop Tart is the debut novel from Kira Coplin and Julianne Kaye, two American ladies who have close ties to the glamorous world of celebrity. The former is a contributor to popular magazines and the latter a successful professional make-up artist, so it probably seemed obvious to them that they should write a novel that combined both their skill sets.
The resulting tale is of a young girl, Jackie O’Reilly, who has a short attention span and a big desire to find her calling in life. She drops out of her college course to become a professional make-up artist. After a very lucky break she gets the opportunity to travel with the ‘next big thing’ in the American popular culture scene; teen sensation Brooke Parker.

The fairy tale soon shows its darker and nastier side when Jackie is thrust into the limelight whilst having to deal with working long hours alongside Brooke’s entourage of people who seem only to be looking out for number one. When Brooke begins to rebel she takes Jackie, as her confidante and ‘new best friend’, down with her.

Pop Tart is a fun story, but it does have its negative points. First of all I liked the characters; Jackie makes a good heroine who is young and innocent at times, but feisty and independent at others. She gets herself in some ridiculous situations and does give you the chance to laugh out loud once in a while. The other characters work well together – there is a good mix of likeable and realistic ones thrown together with some outlandish and outrageous ones. As with all fairy stories, there are villains and heroes in Pop Tart and they are for the most part well written.

One character that I did have a problem with was the teen sensation that was Brooke Parker. Everything about her screamed of Britney Spears, from the wholesome and grounded upbringing to the spectacular public fall from grace. I have no problem with drawing likeness to people for the purpose of painting a picture, but I draw the line at a blatant rip off. If you’re going to make the effort of writing a fictional novel, at least make it fictional. At times I was actually imagining Britney Spears as the girl in the story and this was, in my eyes, unacceptable.

As a direct result of this, the story was a little too familiar at times as well. In the same way that Britney Spears had a ‘nemesis’ in Christina Aguilera, so did Brooke. In the same way that Spears was manipulated by her manager to the point of nervous breakdown, so is Brooke. I could have been reading Spears’ autobiography in parts, which was annoying because that wasn’t the book I bought. It just seemed a bit of a cop out really. It was a story already told on the front pages of Heat and OK, but hidden under the guise of a book that was supposedly about a young make-up artist with big dreams.

Having said that, I did enjoy reading the book; at the same time it was funny and frustrating, heart-warming and naughty – all things you want from a holiday read. I kept turning the pages because I had become addicted to the world of celebrity – a world that is always intriguing and provides most of us with a guilty pleasure. The fact that it was written by two ‘insiders’ made it all the more interesting.

Overall I would recommend the book, but I would say that it should have been marketed a little differently, it isn’t quite what you expect but at the same it is fun and easy to read.


Bookalicious Ramblings said...

I read this last year and sadly I didn't really enjoy it, mostly because I thought it was boring and badly written. I also agree that the main character just SCREAMS Britney, which I didn't really mind, but it was too obvious and unoriginal. Thanks for your review though, I really enjoyed reading another point of view on this book! :)

Anonymous said...

Just an insider tid-bit... Julianne Kaye, was Britney Spears personal make-up artist for the better part of her beginning career until the you know what hit the fan. If it reads like a biography, it is because it one. 98% of the accounts are real memories of Julianne's days with the Pop Tart.

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