Reviewed by Rian Montgomery:
Callie Lambert has just moved to Hollywood a few months ago and has been trying to land a job as an actress. In the meantime, she works as a waitress, goes on auditions and poses nude for sexy magazine spreads. She has two good friends to commiserate with – a gay stylist and another aspiring actress who appears to have a substance abuse problem. Callie just wants to be discovered, but she seems to be at a dead end, despite her gorgeous brunette good looks and talent… until she finally, through a combination of meeting the right people and performing a fantastic audition, lands a part on a risque horror movie.
Things slowly begin looking up. She befriends her insanely beautiful female costar and begins dating a famous and absolutely gorgeous British singer/performer. But things are far from perfect. New acting offers aren’t exactly pouring in; her new man may be cheating on her and her friend with the substance abuse problem is becoming more than she can handle. After a devastating event happens to her new costar and good friend, Callie is suddenly thrown into the limelight in a much bigger way than she was prepared for. But after all, fame was what she wanted, right…?
I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, so I’ll stop here, but this is one of those “Girl goes to Hollywood to become a star, becomes one, then realizes it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be” kind of story lines, but with a different twist than most. It was a good read until about halfway through. For some reason, after that the story line sped up to warped speeds (one example is where an entire year passed from one chapter to the next) and I kind of lost the feel for the characters.
However, it is worth mentioning that the main character Callie was a strong female type that didn’t allow herself to be pushed around, and I really enjoyed that. (There are too many chick lit novels where the main characters spend about 90% of the book being treated like a doormat and enduring it). Callie was thankfully nothing like that. She seemed to learn from her mistakes and continued to move forward with her life.
One thing I found odd but amusing was how many times throughout the book that the reader is reminded of how gorgeous and thin the main character is.
Overall Hollywood Strip is a good read and has some surprising plot twists and turns to keep you turning pages. There is enough fun, bad behavior, glam and romance (with some steamy romantic descriptions thrown in for good measure) to please anyone who enjoys a good Hollywood and fame-inspired chick lit novel. Recommended for a fun summer read!