cover image Girl About Town

Girl About Town

Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814

Shankman, a film producer, teams up with Sullivan (Love by the Morning Star) for a Depression-era rags-to riches/riches-to-rags story. Lucille O'Malley, 16, lives a mean existence in a Lower East Side tenement until an encounter with a mobster changes her fortunes: she saves him from a murder charge, and he pays her way to Hollywood. Simultaneously, Frederick van der Waals, 17, learns the depth of his billionaire father's depravity and rejects Harvard for life as a hobo, hopping trains until he lands in Los Angeles, where Lucille%E2%80%94newly minted as "Lulu Kelly"%E2%80%94discovers him in a bread line while searching for a realistic-looking bum for a movie scene. Splitting the narrative between two main characters doesn't allow readers to learn much about the maturation of either of them, but all the touchstones of Old Hollywood are here%E2%80%94the scheming gossip columnist, the celluloid stars with devastating secrets, A-list parties at Pickfair%E2%80%94and the co-authors keep the pace going strong, especially once the story pivots into a whodunit involving a rival starlet. Ages 14%E2%80%93up. Agent: Jason Anthony, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Apr.)