Screen Test

David Klass, Author Scholastic $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-590-48592-0
In this ponderous tale, the alluring spark of Hollywood is nearly extinguished. When her performance in a student film catches the eye of a big-shot producer, 16-year-old Liz is whisked from her suburban New Jersey home to Los Angeles to star in a feature film. From the outset, Klass (Danger Zone) sets up a series of comparisons between the earnest East and the superficial West (e.g., Liz's unassuming boyfriend vs. her seductive costar; her proud schoolteacher parents vs. her flaky, appearance-oriented hostess in L.A.). Even the film in which Liz appears revolves around the theme. With her good looks and unspoiled nature ("" `By God,' [the camera man] said, `I haven't seen an actress blush in ten years in Hollywood' ""), Liz has a shot at becoming a full-time movie actress. But her worst suspicions about her potential career are confirmed when (in a plot twist telegraphed early on) she learns an ugly truth about her dazzling costar. The predictable plot coupled with the uninspired prose (""Their faces seemed to radiate heat and light, and each of them exerted a different kind of peculiar personal gravity"") make for a disappointing read. Aspiring actresses may take an interest in some of the incidental details of moviemaking, but most teens will have a hard time staying with this tale. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
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