Recommended for ages 13+
Brooklyn Brant isn’t your ordinary 16 year-old with a blog. She’s determined to break into celebrity journalism, and has a blog – Deadline Diaries – that’s gaining some momentum. When she gets call from Simone, the assistant to white-hot teen celebrity Taylor Prince, claiming that Taylor’s been kidnapped and needs help, Brooklyn has the opportunity of a lifetime handed to her. Using her police officer dad’s investigative techniques, she launches her own investigation – but as she gets too close to the truth, could she find herself in danger?
Taylor Prince has it all – fame, fortune, screaming fans – but she just wants one night as a normal teenager. Her Sweet 16 party has no security, no press, just friends and a really, really cute guy that her assistant set up for her. She has no idea how vulnerable she is until she’s abducted at her own birthday party and wakes up in a strange place, where she’s told she’s been put in rehab for her own good.
Told in dual narratives following Brooklyn and Taylor, Ken Baker creates a story that shows readers that what we see isn’t always what we should believe in the world of celebrity journalism; we also get a chilling look at medical quackery in chase of eternal youth. It’s a mystery that touches in social issues like drug and alcohol abuse, OCD, dealing with grief and loss, and faith.
Baker, an E! news correspondent, has likely seen and heard about stories like this and more, and his writing is fast-paced and keeps the pages turning. The chapters revolving around Taylor’s abduction were interesting, even disturbing at points, but I had trouble connecting with the book overall because there’s a lot of pontificating. The main antagonist has an unhealthy Peter Pan/youth fixation and talks at length about it. Taylor’s attempts to play along come off as just letting victimization happen to her. Brooklyn tends to preach when she’s not suffering an attack of OCD.
It’s a good, light read for teens who may not gravitate to most realistic fiction, but enjoy a celeb fix.