cover image Hayley Aldridge Is Still Here

Hayley Aldridge Is Still Here

Elissa R. Sloan. Morrow, $17.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-322552-7

Britney Spears provides the inspiration for the spirited latest from Sloan (The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes). Hayley Aldridge is just a girl from small-town Texas when she’s pushed into show business by her mother. At seven, in 1991, she lands on a popular TV talent show. Her success leads her parents to view Hayley less as a daughter and more as a meal ticket, providing Porsches for her father and expensive Hermès handbags for her mother. In the present day, Hayley recounts her experiences to her twin daughters, Jessica and Jane, 17, detailing years of financial abuse and control by her parents, film directors who hit on her while she was underage, flirtations with drugs and alcohol, an unhealthy body image, a good friend’s death, and her parents’ decision to put her into conservatorship in 2007 so they can control her money. As Hayley tells her story, her daughters help make it go viral with a #HelpHayley campaign. Sloan does a great job portraying Hayley’s grasping, opportunistic parents, and the twisty plot never lets up. Readers will devour this. Agent: Kelly Van Sant, KT Literary. (Feb.)