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Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An impressive leap into fiction with her instantly likable heroine Calysta Jeffries.” (Essence.com)

“A true must-read for anyone who has ever devoted any of their time to watching "the stories." (SoapCentral.com)

"Juicy, gossipy, and entirely fit for the beach." (Library Journal)

About the Author

Victoria Rowell, best known as Drucilla Winters on The Young and the Restless, is the author of Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Women Who Raised Me, received The African American Literary Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439164428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439164426
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I liked about this book was that it was a fun read, in that it had a lot of juicy scandals and plots. But what I really did not like, and what ultimately makes me want to stop reading the book, is the writing style, the lack of creativity, and how silly some parts were. The writing style is so amateur it makes the Shopaholic series look like it was written by Upton Sinclair. Perhaps it's just because I don't like to hear slang words or swear words every 5 sentences. There was a lack of creativity. For example, this book is definitely the secrets of a soap opera diva because it is just that melodramatic and cliche.

The characters were so stock. The reader only has the option of loving or hating them. The villains were people who had NO good traits at all, unless you count the ability to willingly overdose on Viagra (Randall). The heroes were people who were built up to be great, awesome, and perfect. And it's just ridiculous. There were some parts of the book that made me think "Really, Victoria Rowell, really? Did you really just write that?"

It's a FUN book. Don't get me wrong.

But it is just a little too trashy. But at least it doesn't get boring... right?

I ordered this book after reading a few pages from it at Borders. But I wish I had looked over the book more carefully, because then I could've spent my money on something better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I ,miss Victoria Rowell's performance on the soap opera but she intelligently wove a story on the behind scenes of a soap. The fun was trying to determine which people she disguised in her characterizations. This is light, fun reading for the summer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tried this book, but it was so confusing I could only get to chapter ten, and had to put it down. I didn't like the arrogance of the characters,the blind items and all the other messiness. You have to be a Young and Restless fan to appreciate this book. It also was a book I couldn't learn anything from. I read to learn and to be entertained. Any book I have struggle to read, is a waste. If I hadn't brought on Kindle I could have given to others to pass around and share, now I may have to delete it, or wait until I am desperate and have nothing else to read. As they say in soaps, to be continued, maybe or maybe not. Either way it is at the bottom of my reading list.
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By Danielle on September 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I get the fact that this book mimics soap operas and their grandiose plots, characters, etc but it was just too much. I didn't care about Calysta or what happened to her, any character for that matter. I brought this book in May when it first came out. It is now September and I have yet to finish this book. I am the type of person who finishes what I start no matter how painful. I have even read and finished several other books besides this one. I think Ms. Rowel had good ideas but had difficulties executing them. I wanted to like this book. I'll agree with another reviewer, read the first few chapters before you buy this book. We all have different taste. Ms. Rowel has started a petition to get her old job back at Y&R. I wonder how much of this book is really fiction or.........
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked watching Ms. Rowell on "The Young and the Restless" and was excited to read this book. Excellent storyline and characters, full of intrigue and twists. Recommended for anytime reading!
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Format: Paperback
This book was a page turner from beginning to end. If you love drama in your books then this is the book for you. Who knew that Victoria Rowell could give such excitment not only on screen but in black and white? The way she wrote this book its like you were watching on tv, you could visualize everything that was going on. I finished this book in a weekend because I couldn't put it down. This book deserves more than five stars! Just wonderful.
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Format: Paperback
"Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva" is the perfect summer read and will be a delight not only for those who enjoyed Victoria Rowell playing Drucilla on Young and the Restless, but for anyone who loves their "stories". :-)

I liked Victoria's writing style as it came across in the characters, specifically Calysta. The novel reads like a soap opera with the suspense, scandal, and dramatic flair that one would expect. Victoria gives you the story in first person through Calysta but she also gives you breaking celebrity news a la US Weekly-type reveals. I also liked how the novel deals with Calysta's life before she became a soap star and by placing her grandmother as a strong supporting character you never forget her background. I will admit that the plot moves around a lot and it can be hard to keep up with the numerous colorful characters, but the book is based on a soap opera which has many characters. Some characters you care about and never miss their scenes and some you don't care as much so you don't invest as much in their plot line.

If I may address some of the previous reviewers' opinions that the racism dealt with in this book is unnecessary, I ask them to take a look at the programming that comes on their television sets. Please tally the percentage of African-Americans in starring roles or on shows where they are not the minority and then apply that same tally to White actors. Are the numbers just a tad different? That's what I thought. Until those numbers change, addressing racism will remain relevant in a book that is focusing on television characters. It would be misleading and unrealistic to have an African-American female as the central character in this book and ignore that fact.

I highly recommend this novel if you're looking for an escape. Although I think the storyline with Calysta's real father and deceased mother was spread a little thin, I expect that the sequel will come stronger. I definitely look forward to it.
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