Girl Stays in the Picture
Melissa de la Cruz. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $16.99 (432pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-6096-6
The newest rich girls series from de la Cruz (Au Pairs, Blue Bloods) cuts between the points of view of three teenagers: pop star Devon, celebutante Livia and Casey, assistant to singer Summer Garland, Devon's rival. The three girls converge on the French island of Saint-Tropez for the summer-where egos collide and designer outfits compete on a regular basis-and manage to become friends. Tabloid excerpts, blog entries and magazine articles between chapters provide a paparazzi-eye view of the girls' back-stories and report juicy, hyped-up gossip on their nights out, drinks imbibed, possible love affairs and exaggerated, nasty interactions. All three struggle with insecurities about their success (or lack of it) under the constant watch of the gossip-hungry. Those hoping for a new spin on the genre needn't bother, though there is enough boy-drama, label dropping, club hopping and backstabbing to satisfy those addicted to Gossip Girl-style series-and better yet, it all takes place on the French Riviera. Ages 14-up.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2009