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Samantha’s CBRIII Review #26 – Spoiled, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Even if you don’t care a whit about celebrities and/or fashion, I still hope you are a fan of Go Fug Yourself. The Fug Girls’ writing and sense of humor is a thing of beauty, and their frame of reference ranges from high literature to the worst in television. As such, when I heard they were publishing their first YA novel, I was super-excited. No doubt it would be all the things I loved about their website, in book form. A win-win situation.

Spoiled is the story of Molly Dix, a teenager from Indiana who, upon losing her mother to cancer, learns that her father is, in fact, Brick Berlin, the biggest movie star in Hollywood. With the support of her best friend, Charmaine, and her pseudo-boyfriend, Danny, she makes the decision to move to LA to live with her father. Once there, she enters full-on celebrity culture immersion. Her half-sister, Brooke, is the quintessential starlet-in-training: she wears this season’s Louboutins, worries more about her blowout than her SATs, and plans on being the biggest actress since Streep. She is also not in the least bit thrilled at having her hayseed “sister” show up to steal her thunder. Soon, it’s out-and-out war, but of course, this being a coming of age novel, everything works out in the end.

In terms of writing and culture, Spoiled does not disappoint. It’s hilarious and dead-on in its satire of the stereotypical celebrity culture. The characters are the tiniest bit one-dimensional, but enjoyable overall. I actually liked some of the supporting characters (the punk-haired, vegetarian, “cause grrl” Max was my favorite) more than the main characters. The plot was somewhat predictable but with relevant and unique twists, and overall the writing was really solid; none of that over-use of adverbs you often find in first novels. Really, my only complaint would be that ultimately, these teenagers are just a bit too well-adjusted. When they solve their problems, they sound a little too much like adults.

Still, that doesn’t detract from the fun and carefree tone of the book, and as a YA novel, it’s got everything you could want. I even found myself wondering if the Girls are planning on a sequel. I’d totally sign on for more Brick-isms, Molly & Brooke productions, spats with mean girl Shelby, and just more of that trademark snark we’ve all come to love. Long live the Girls of Fug, and congratulations to them on their debut novel success!

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