Bebe Barkley has never released a sex tape. She’s not America’s Next Top Model. She didn’t get pregnant at 16, and has never auditioned for American Idol. In fact, she’s holed up in a hotel room at the Waldorf in New York City, totally depressed. But even though she doesn’t know it yet, she’s about to become famous. A former equestrian rider, Bebe had a bright future until a tragic accident changed everything. Now she’s unable to return to her old life, yet incapable of moving forward.
Follow her as she ventures from New York to LA, the City of Broken Dreams, where she will find everything she’s ever wanted, only to risk losing the things she truly loves. Join Bebe in her heart-stopping journey in Becoming Famous.
When it comes to Bebe’s journey to fame, I find myself a bit torn. The story is fast paced and at times funny. But Bebe herself, is not really a likable character. Some of the things she does leaves a really sour taste in your mouth and it’s hard to process, because while I liked the story, I didn’t like the main character. This is a shame, because it’s not like she’s supposed to be an antagonist. Then I could grade her on how bad or evil or even bitchy she is. She’s supposed to be a rising star and obviously the star of this novel.
I didn’t mind Bebe initially. She seemed like a likable, yet realistically flawed character. While living in New York City, she seemed to really care about her friends and trying overcome all of her personal baggage from her past. But then she draws up paperwork to be the executor of her friend, Blue’s (aka Billy) estate. There’s no discussion between the two about this and he was gay, so it’s not like they were in a relationship with one another. So that’s a bit odd, right? Then his mother dies, he falls into a deep depression and she has him sign the paperwork. Once again, there’s no discussion and it’s not even clear that he had any idea of what she was having him sign. So when they find him dead a few days later and she’s acting like she’s lost her best friend, but announces what this mysterious paperwork is… I was utterly disgusted. Her excuse for knowing he would kill himself was something about a soul as beautiful as his, not being long for this world. Are you kidding me? That’s creepy and if I were a detective or a DA, she’d be under investigation for his death. Especially when she suddenly hops on a plane and moves across country. I’m sorry, but none of this was realistic and it caused me to completely distrust this character.
If that’s not enough, she also spends most of the book talking about how she never showers or changes her clothes. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Because maybe a big A-lister could get away with that kind of behavior in Hollywood. But I highly doubt a nobody from Connecticut (though she lies and says she’s from NYC) would be able to get away with that kind of behavior. And it’s certainly the type of behavior that would have been splashed all over the tabloids once she did start becoming a star.
And then there’s the damn horse story. If I have to read about her losing her beloved horse one more time, I might just hit something. The funny thing is, it’s supposed to be tied to the death of her brother. Or at least I think it is? It wasn’t really clear and apparently this is a sequel to the book that explains everything. But only one time when she’s telling her sob story does she bring up her brother and his broken neck. Yeah, I would definitely believe it if it came out she was a psycho serial killer. Because this girl, who I was supposed to love, is despicable.
I wanted to like this story and perhaps if the main character hadn’t been so off putting, I would have. But there were no truly redeeming qualities about this girl. From breaking up with her boyfriend while he’s still in the hospital after being shot, to her constant bitching about her former BFF Finn and her bitchatude. Because trust me, the pot was sure calling the kettle black on that one. I guess you could say, I just don’t get it.
So, let me point out the positives, because it looks like all I’ve done is complain about the main character. Which ironically was my only real issue with the book.
The author uses a style of writing that can be really hit and miss for people. If you are looking for depth and a continuously growing story line, this isn’t the book for you. However, her more streamlined way of moving from plot point to plot point allows the book come off as light and makes it a fast read. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just don’t expect a lot of detailed scenes or plot development. It’s the kind of story you want when you don’t want to get so bogged down by all the details. Also, I enjoyed many of the one off adventure of Bebe. For example, on New Year’s Eve when she drugs (I kid you not, this woman knows no bounds.) her neighbor. No, the drugging part I didn’t enjoy, but I did think the scene following where they go to a parade and the girl is dancing on the cop car was funny and entertaining. Especially when the neighbor begins dating that cop. In fact, had they left out the drugging part, it would have worked even better in my mind.
It’s a shame because I wanted to like this story. But the truth is, if you don’t like the main character, it’s hard to like the story. I would have rated this book higher, had the character just been different. But I don’t trust this character and I don’t believe this character’s version of the story. Sadly, Bebe Barkley is probably one of the worst characters I’ve ever read. Had she been placed in a different position of being an antagonist, I could easily see my opinion being different.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.