- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (April 5, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0689860595
- ISBN-13: 978-0689860591
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,143,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pop Princess Paperback – April 5, 2004
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Pop Princess, Rachel Cohn's third novel, will no doubt please some American Idol fans, but it is bound to leave fans of her cutting edge debut, Gingerbread, cold.
Wonder Blake is a fifteen year old frustrated chanteuse, stuck dreaming her pop star dreams in a small sleepy Cape Cod town while mopping the floor of the local Dairy Queen. Enter Gerald Tiggs, or "Tig", as he is known in the biz, the former manager of Wonders older sister Lucky, who died tragically in a car accident two years earlier. Tig overhears Wonder wailing away on her Walkman at the DQ, and offers her a record deal on the spot. And the rest, as they say, is pure pop fantasy. Wonder vaults to insta-fame on the strength of her single, the appropriately titled "Bubble Gum Pop." In typical Britney/Christina fashion, she is tempted by drugs and alcohol, dissed by a famous diva, and caught between the boy next door and a mysterious stranger she meets on tour. All the while, Wonder longs for a return to the quiet life she used to have and the wise counsel of her beloved deceased sister.
Sound familiar? It should: Wonders story could have been lifted wholesale from just about any episode of VH1s Behind the Music. What happened to the sly, sarcastic, hipper-than-thou-voice Rachel Cohn penned in her breakout hit Gingerbread? With Pop Princess, Cohn is in danger of losing her individual voice as much as her bubblegum snapping protagonist. Rather than breathing new life into a tired genre, Cohns conventional, lighter-than-air read will surprise no teen, and provide about as much escapism as a night in front of the tube with Randy, Paula and Simon.--Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up--Light, frothy, and delicious, this novel documents 15-year-old Wonder Blake's rise to fame and fortune. When the story begins, she's a not-very-popular high school student slaving away at Dairy Queen. She is "discovered" by an old friend of the family--the same man who managed her older sister Lucky's music career until Lucky was killed in a tragic accident. Wonder releases a single and catapults to fame, but predictably discovers that the life of a pop princess is not a bed of roses. She must still deal with family problems, romantic dilemmas, and the shallow world of the music industry, where she is viewed as a product to package and sell. She is tempted by parties, drugs, and drinking but quickly learns that they don't mix with her new career. Her love life is more difficult to navigate. Wonder falls for a college student and loses her virginity to him, but the boy next door proves attractive as well. Nothing about the novel's conclusion will surprise readers, but the twists and turns on the way are so much fun that no one will care. It's pure fantasy fulfillment, a pleasurable read with enough substance to make readers care about the main character and cheer her on. With a gorgeous cover and major teen girl appeal, this is sure to be a winner.--Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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As a child TV star, Wonder had amazing dance and singing talent. Now fifteen and living in a dead-end town on Cape Cod, she desires nothing more than to get out. Suddenly Wonder has the chance of becoming a pop star, and even though it may not be exactly her dream, anything that will help her out of Devonport will work for her. Wonder gets a whole new look and her first single "Bubble Gum Pop" becomes a huge hit. But, as she ends her first tour as an opening act for pop sensation Kayla, she starts to realize that maybe this isn't the life she wants. Since the death of her older sister Lucky, Wonder's family is falling apart, she can't find a guy that likes her for who she is, and she has to do many things that she doesn't want to do just to look good for the record company. Maybe her old life wasn't so bad after all. In the end, however, it's the heart and soul that count, and Wonder's journey back to the average life brings her closer to the important stuff she'd overlooked all along.
Wonder Blake is an interesting individual. She is a completely different person after her pop life experience. At the beginning of the novel, Wonder is a bit self-absorbed and waits for everything to come to her. She has a hard time fitting in with the kids because of her past as a star and a "summer" and not a "townie". Many times, Wonder wishes that her sister Lucky was there for her, and is often found thinking that things would be completely different with her still alive. For example, when Wonder returns home after her single, "Bubble Gum Pop" explodes, her parent's marriage has disintegrated and she tells her younger brother Charles that it wouldn't have happened if Lucky was still alive. In reality, her parents had been planning to split up before Charles went to high school and that they would be happier for it. After her pop career is over, she realizes that she had thought that Lucky's death was the greatest loss to her personally, and she had never given thought about how much Charles loved her or missed her too. Also, she starts treating Henry, the boy next door, with the respect he deserves. At the end of the novel, Wonder is dramatically different, especially in her perceptions of others.
In Pop Princess, the setting is very relevant to the course of events. Since the novel is set in the United States, there are many more entertainment opportunities and a bigger market for pop singers than anywhere else in the world. The book would only be slightly different if it had taken place on the West Coast, and only because of the cities. Los Angeles would have probably taken the place of New York, and Boston might be Santa Barbara or some other city. The sleepy town of Devonport also allowed for an undesirable place that Wonder would presumably want to escape. Also, the metropolitan area makes her dreams more realistic. If the story had been set in South Dakota, for example, Wonder probably wouldn't have had the same career or opportunities.
Wonder, the protagonist, knows tragedy. She has watched her family unravel since the death of her amazing sister two years earlier. Her sister, Lucky, a rising pop star, was killed by a drunk driver and her parents just haven't bounced back. Having left their jobs, the family moves to their beach house. Making the shift from summer person to year-rounder isn't easy on Wonder. She has gained weight and become the target of the most popular girl at school. She is motivated to get out of Devonport since she has seen nothing but bad happenings for her family since they moved there. Wonder will do almost anything to get back to Boston, including pursuing a career in music. The antagonist, which could be Wonder's family, does not want Wonder to leave. The rapidly dissolving Blake family has suffered enough loss already. Now that the parents are getting divorced, Charles does not want to lose his sister too. They try not to let Wonder be sucked into the pop-culture whirlpool, but to no prevail.
The theme of Pop Princess is to enjoy what you have. Wonder is so caught up in wanting to leave Devonport that she overlooks the fact that her life isn't so bad after all. Thankfully, Wonder discovers that the price she pays to be molded and redefined by record executives and the media isn't worth losing herself.
With so many teen pop superstars out there these days, Rachel Cohn has written a novel that will attract girls young and old to the excitement of the show buisness. Readers will get a story of a young girl struggling to rise to the top. Readers will experience Wonder's ups and downs as she sees the true cost of being a celebrity.Pop Princess also portrays a fantastic message that will get through to teens who are fans of stars like Britney Spears and who wish that they were in their place: being an ordinary teenager isn't that bad.
SO...that's my book report on Pop Princess. I hope it helps someone!