Monday, November 15, 2010
This is from a review I wrote for the MOPS group I'm affiliated with:
Star Island received unanimous thumbs down from our fabulous group of reading ladies. The reason we are fabulous is because even though we all grew tired of the read, we were still able to have a good discussion.
Star Island is about the paparazzi and a young child singing star named Cherry Pye. We all grew tired of her antics, her self-centered, destructive lifestyle. We were frustrated by her parents who obviously made career choices for their daughter not out of her best interest, but out of their own greed.
There wasn’t one “good” person in the book. The author, Carl Hiaasen, claims that good characters are boring. He also was critiqued for being a good writer of situation versus storyline. I would agree. Some of his situations were quite bizarre....like the one in which one of his despicable characters poops in another despicable characters washing machine.
One writing technique that we all thought was clever is that Carl Hiaasen uses characters from previous novels and reintroduces them into other book plots. But this wasn’t clever enough for us to say the book was worth reading.
Our discussion turned to actors, and those actors that seem to do it for the art and career of acting versus those who seem to be in the business of fame. Some of the actors we mentioned that we appreciate because their personal lives seem to stay out of the tabloids were: Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, and Will and Jada Smith. There were others named, but I should have taken better notes to remember them all.
We contrasted these named stars with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Lindsey Lohan, and Brittany Spears.
We also concluded that none of us have any desire to get out kids into singing our acting careers, and that there is great value in a normal, obscure childhood.
The reason I love our group is because no matter what the book, we always have a good time and have good things to think about and discuss.
Our next book is First Comes Love, then Comes Malaria. I’m in the middle of this humorous memoir about a woman’s time in the Peace Corps. She is nothing like Cherry Pye!
(One member of our book group was completely disgusted by this read, but would probably like me to mention that Carl Hiaasen’s young adult book Hoot is quite good....and clean.)