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Celebutantes Paperback – February 3, 2009

2.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After listening to Gigi Bermingham's reading of the novel from young Hollywood insiders Hopper and Goldberg, it comes as no surprise to learn that the veteran stage and television actress earned both an Ovation Award and an L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award for performing her solo play Non-Vital Organs. Bermingham juggles the colorful cast of over-the-top characters in this gossipy tale with finesse. As the Hollywood ambassador for her best-gay forever friend and designer Julian Tenent, protagonist Lola Santisi earnestly seeks to heal the scars of her dysfunctional Tinseltown upbringing and overcome career-deficit disorder during Oscar week. Bermingham proves particularly delightful in her portrayal of Lola's nemesis, actress Olivia Cutter, whose mercurial outbursts and oddball phobias manage to generate shock value even by the jaded standards of contemporary celebrity misbehavior. The upbeat musical interludes at the start and end of each CD also help sustain the glitzy ambience. Fans of Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada provide a natural audience for this entertaining production.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

“New York has 'Bergdorf Blondes,' 'Sex and the City' and 'The Nanny Diaries.' And now L.A. has 'Celebutantes'...” ―Los Angeles Times

“Witty and revealing... a walk-up to that blessed event: the Oscars. You'll feel like you were there.” ―People (3.5 stars)

“A frothy serving of chick lit... delectable.” ―Entertainment Weekly (A Summer Reading Must Paperback)

“A fast-paced satire of Hollywood's awards season in all its crazy glory.” ―New York Daily News

“A witty and humorous read that takes a revealing look at what really goes on inside the lives of young Hollywood.” ―Star Magazine

“Gawker.com meets Glamour in this insider's look at Oscar week penned by L.A. junior royalty….There's up-to-the-minute star chatter and fashion name-checking throughout.” ―Publishers Weekly

“A featherweight Tinseltown send-up with a surprisingly well-balanced heroine.” ―Kirkus

“A terrifying comedy of Hollywood royalty: Celebutantes proves that A-list vanities are still the preserve of the very beautiful, the very brave, or the very, very silly.” ―Plum Sykes, author of The Debutante Divorcee

“In Hollywood, Academy Awards week is a bigger deal than Christmas week is elsewhere. I've been attending for over thirty years, and the excitement and craziness has never abated. In Celebutantes, two daughters of Hollywood, Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Hopper, take us through the Oscar rituals of that mad and magical week with all the inside knowledge that they have grown up knowing. They are remarkably adroit and witty story tellers. Beneath the utter sophistication and gloriously natural name-dropping, there beats a very warm heart.” ―Dominick Dunne

“Stylish intrigue, glamorous machinations and such juicy fun. No one but Hollywood insiders like Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Hopper could tell the tale so perfectly.” ―Michael Kors

“A hilarious ride through the bumpy Hollywood Hills, complete with a trillion genius nuggets of true insider dish and a silver screen ending.” ―Jill Kargman, author of Momzillas

“Fashion, film stars and great fun―a young insider's view of Hollywood!”” ―Anjelica Huston

Celebutantes is a witty, incisive, under-the-sheets look at the chaos that is Oscar week. I loved it.” ―Jackie Collins

“An irreverent satire on Hollywood celebrity, delivered with a keen eye for the absurd, Celebutantes is a wise and witty page-turner.” ―Arianna Huffington

“Nothing is stranger than reality and the reality of Hollywood and our celebrity obsessed culture is brilliantly captured in Celebutantes. Amanda Goldberg and Ruthanna Hopper, both Hollywood insiders, use their wicked sense of humor and keen insight to craft a piercingly intelligent, funny and at times tragic satire of modern-day Hollywood. The authors simultaneously elevate the lives of the beautiful and the famous while also pointing out the emptiness and absurdity of contemporary values.” ―Tom Ford

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 Reprint edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312362307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312362300
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,892,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you've read "The Devil Wears Prada," "Bergdorf Blonds," "The Nanny Diaries," "The Second Assistant," or any book of that kind then you've essentially read this book, only it was probably better because those books I actually finished. I love a good beach read book, but this is so badly written that I had to keep telling myself "just read five more pages and see." On page 56 a drugged-out, aging British rock star starts shaving her bikini area using a disposable razor and a cup of Diet Coke . . . what the??? The final paragraph on that page literally starts with the words "Could it get any worse than this?". . . this is where I decided that I really didn't care to find out.
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Format: Paperback
While chick lit isn't my preferred genre, I do LOVE glitzy escapism done right. The best of the genre are equal parts guilty pleasure and smart, witty commentary. I had to read this for work and was excited about it - the cover is sassy, the concept is timely with our tabloid-obsessed culture, and it's written by Hollywood royalty who promise an insider's look - should be fun right? Sigh. Here's another case of entertainment industry nepotism for you.

The writers fall short of expectations that weren't high to begin with. They jump on the bandwagon of high class hijinx but say nothing that we don't already know, plus the writing is EXHAUSTINGLY PAINFUL. The draining prose keeps this cute premise from being any fun. Entire chapters are devoted to name-dropping and brand references, but not to advancing the story. The plot is paper-thin, or, in my parody of their writing style, "thinner than the last remaining limited edition gold Dolce & Gabbana Motorola Razr I wrestled out of ScarJo's well-manicured hands (varnished with Chanel Black Satin Polish, natch) at last year's Vanity Fair Oscar Party gifting suite." If you can stand that cluttered prose, you and your four brain cells might have fun with this.

For those who always defend these types of books by saying "enjoy it for what it is" - my question is, how can you enjoy something that is 300 pages of nails on chalkboard? Just because it's not trying to be heavy and literary doesn't mean it automatically succeeds as light entertainment. These writers are further examples as to how it's easy for the well-connected to succeed in business without really trying.

Skip the book and watch the far superior video trailer.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book at Target one night after work knowing that I would be calling in sick to work the next day (I really am sick). Two weeks ago I visited LA for the first time & had read "You'll Never Nanny in this Town Again," on the plane ride back to the midwest. THAT was a great read after getting a brief glimpse into the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. I was hoping Celebutantes would be an easy, fun read too, but, although I'm an avid reader(just finished City of Thieves), unfortunately I'm at page 55 & am deciding this in not the page-turner I was hoping for, & for some reason the characters are confusing to me. I'm not sure if these girls really have Hollywood ties or have made all these scenarios up, and unfortunately I don't care even though I was in the mood for this type of book. I've never read the Nanny Diaries but I'm thinking it will at lest be a better written, light, frivolous read....
Note to the writers: an index about your characters would be helpful. You mix so many real actors with names I've never heard of & I have no idea if they're real people or not, or who they're supposed to be. Perhaps your California friends get it but I don't live there so I'm confused, & I'm sure many non-Californians who try to read your book are too!
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By NYC reader on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVED this book -- especially the audio version. Gigi Bermingham's narration is a tour de force. This book is completely entertaining -- well written, great characters, just hilarious. I'm at a loss to understand the negative reviews. Highly recommend!
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Format: Paperback
This book was written by two authors, which alone should tell you that there is something wrong. The two "authors" are actually not writers at all, they are some sort of Hollywood production persons. This book was so horribly written, and none of the characters have any kind of depth, that I could not finish the book. The "authors" deliberate name dropping and product placement is so intentional that it is distracting. There was absolutely no exploration of the characters and the plot was so thin as to be nonexistent. I would have been very upset if I had actually paid for the book, but a friend had left it at my place. I'm actually thinking that she left it on purpose since I can't imagine that anyone would actually want to own this book. Candace Bushnell does a much better job of creating a fantastical yet realistic and entertaining perspective of an ambitious woman in a superficial world, and I would highly recommend her books instead. I would skip this read if you value your time since I swear it was written by the girls who sold me girl scout cookies last year.
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Format: Hardcover
I admit it, I read and watch too much tabloid gossip. I picked up Celebutantes hoping to distract myself from a much dreaded plane flight. I also enjoy books by Hollywood "insiders" hoping to match fictional characters with thier real-life counterparts. It didn't take too many pages to make me forget the matching game, and just concentrate on Lola Santisi's attempt to secure a "star" to wear her best friend Julian's designs on the Oscar's red carpet. Liberally populated with real names and over the top characters, the book focuses on Lola's attempt to not only to help Julian, but her struggle to get over her addiction to disasterous relationships with actors. Aided by her friends Kate and Cricket, both seeking thier own Hollywood dream, Lola plunges headfirst into the scramble to procure a star for Julian. She is also trying to cope with her family's near hysteria driven by her father's nomination for a Best Directing Oscar and hopes to once regain his place as a force in the industry. Filled with inside, good natured pokes at Hollywood's obsession with the next big thing and self importance, Celebutantes is a fun, fun read. By the end of the book I was trying in vain to stifle my snorts of laughter as I tried to finish this impossible to put down book at work. A rolicking good read.
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