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Lucky Stars [Mass Market Paperback]

Rachael F. Heller
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 16 2004
Stacey Reiser left Cleveland for Hollywood to pursue an acting career—and to escape her lovable but meddlesome mother, Helen. But her plan backfires when the widowed Helen sells her house and follows Stacey to tinsel town, invades every aspect of her daughter’s world and drives her crazy. As in eye twitch crazy. Insomnia crazy. Acid reflux crazy. “If only Mom would get a life,” Stacey wishes after her mother has called for the zillionth time that day to nag her about her clothes, her hair, her lack of a wedding ring. “If only she’d get a life and stay out of mine.”

How could Stacey ever imagine that Helen would get a life – the very life Stacey craves? Just as Stacey's career takes a dive, a twist of fate lands Helen in a television commercial that catapults her to stardom. Now it’s Helen who’s the media darling and Stacey who’s the meddler. And while Stacey is hoping for a commitment from her boyfriend, it’s Helen who snares the catch of the century. Or does she? Helen’s new beau isn’t what he seems, and it’s up to Stacey to expose his shady past before it's too late. But it’ll take the acting job of a lifetime to do it, not to mention a whole lot of heart. Lucky Stars is a novel that’s as keenly observed as it is entertaining, and it will have mothers and daughters laughing out loud and nodding in recognition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This frolic by Heller (Female Intelligence) may be the spiritual descendant of Freaky Friday, but she delivers her story in fresh language, with singular energy. Stacey Reiser comes to Hollywood to become an actress. It also doesn't hurt that L.A. is far both from her native Cleveland and from Helen Reiser, a feisty, 66-year-old know-it-all widow who's marvelous as a walk-on in your life but impossible as a mother. But Helen ups and moves to L.A., too, the better to nag 34-year-old Stacey about her split ends and unmarried state. Through a cascade of events that begins with a bone in a can of tuna and one of Helen's legendary complaint letters to the corporate office, Helen ends up where Stacey always wanted to be: the rich and famous star of a commercial and the darling of the talk-show circuit. She even has a dashing suitor, Victor Chellis, with a fully staffed estate in Beverly Hills. Naturally, Helen's whirlwind ascendancy takes place just as Stacey's career tanks. Reviewing her performance opposite Jim Carrey in Pet Peeve, almighty movie critic Jack Rawlins tells his TV audience that Stacey has the "subtlety of a sledgehammer." Stacey rapidly becomes the old Helen, nagging Mom about her wardrobe and the dubious Victor. Only Stacey's acting talent and a nail-biting car chase can restore mother and daughter to their proper roles. It's spirited, effortless entertainment with a winning premise and plenty of references to Hollywood stars and the latest TV shows.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Heller writes the kind of uncomplicated and popular novels that make it onto lists like "People's Beach Book of the Week." Here, in the former book publicist's tenth novel, we meet Stacey Reiser, a struggling Hollywood actress. Nearly 35 years old, Stacey is still plugging away waiting for her big break, in the meantime making do with commercials and part-time retail jobs. Her love life is sorely lacking, and on top of all that, her nosey, loud-mouthed, interfering mother, Helen, has just moved to Hollywood to be closer to her. Things only grow worse when Helen finds a bone in a can of tuna and writes a nasty letter to the tuna fish company. The company invites her to their cannery for a visit, and the abrasive and plainspoken Helen is soon offered a starring role in the company's new ad campaign. Meanwhile, Stacey's career continues to tank. What's more, Helen now has a boyfriend, while Stacey continues to have man troubles. This is light reading at its finest. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I loved my mother, really I did, but there were times when she drove me nuts. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Heller's Best Book Yet April 8 2004
By HeyJudy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think that I have read all of author Jane Heller's novels. Some of them, I've liked a great deal and some of them...well, I didn't like a few of the others at all. Now, I safely can say that I enjoyed LUCKY STARS the best of her books.
What makes LUCKY STARS so good? For one thing, Heller's writing, but her prose always is lively and reliable. So there must be an additional element and, here, it's the story. The tale of aspiring actress Stacy Reiser rings true, and the turns that Stacy's life takes seems plausible, if unlikely. Yet that's the point of fiction, to take the unreal and make it real, and Heller makes this transformation beautifully here.
By a quirk of fate, I've followed Heller's path in a literal sense, living in a New York area suburb when she did, relocating part-time to the same area of South Florida at the exact time she moved there and moving, yet again, to Los Angeles at just about the same moment. Thus, it is with authority that I can say that no one captures the rhythms of a community better than Jane Heller does in her books, and LUCKY STARS is no exception.
After reading LUCKY STARS, one will have a true sense of what life is like in Los Angeles for those aspiring to their big breaks in the entertainment industry, the "company" for which this large city is little more than a company town.
As always, Heller's story is quick and endearing, her dialogue crackles and there's a laugh on every page. The supporting cast is wonderful, too, particularly Stacy's mother and best friend.
LUCKY STARS is a terrific and easy read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining Dec 28 2003
This book is about a thirty something woman who moves to Hollywood to become a star. Her bored, lonely, overbearing, nagging, widowed Mother moves across country to be close to her daughter. In a typical Jane Heller way, her Mother becomes an overnight sensation. And the mother/daughter roles become reversed. THe daughter starts worrying about the mother in a nagging, overbearing way.
The book has some very funny moments as we see the daughter become a pain, and as we see a plain midwestern Mom become hip. But in the begining, the mother (Helen) was too much of everything. I got so annoyed with her at one point I almost put the book down. It's a little too in your face, and I understand why Heller did this, but I still didn't like it.
My favorite thing about Heller's books are her strong 30 something characters. I always like seeing woman who are vulnerable, but still persevere, who are not gorgeous, but have healthy attractive looks. And who are fine living without a man. This is Heller's greatest strength, and it makes Stacey Reiser a good, beleivable, and funny heroine.
A fun, fast paced read- try it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well-paced book with excellent characters May 3 2003
Okay, those of you who know me know we're really going into uncharted territory here when I am reading a romantic mystery. My usual formula for evaluating a mystery or suspense novel is explosions X karate battles = Great Book. LUCKY STARS however is a romantic mystery, which is to say it's light on the mystery and heavy on the romance and life situations, though the touch on those topics is actually pretty light, too.
It's what I call a poolside (as opposed to beach) book. I have a friend who has a closetful of books like this, by authors of whom I've never heard; my friend has friends who have a closetful of these books as well and they trade them around and around. There's a heck of a fan base here and, while the writers who mine that base aren't exactly as well known as the Parkers and the Burkes and the Grishams, they have their serious fans. And after reading LUCKY STARS by Jane Heller, I can see why.
This isn't deep or tricky stuff. The heroine of the piece, Stacey Reiser, moves from Cleveland to Hollywood, seeking fame and hopefully fortune as an actress. It is not incidental that, in the process, she also leaves her mother Helen behind. Helen, however, decides to move to Hollywood to look after Stacey. Her meddlesome ways would be bad enough all by themselves. To make matters worse, though, Helen suddenly finds herself to be an overnight Hollywood sensation, with all of the trappings that go along with it, such as fame, fortune and romance --- all of the things that Stacey has been working for but that continue to elude her. Suddenly, their roles are reversed and, when Helen's boyfriend, who seems to be the perfect catch, arouses Stacey's suspicions, it's Helen who resents the meddling. Stacey's suspicions are well placed of course and it's subtly obvious she is right.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jane Heller does it again!! April 17 2003
By Ellen
Jane Heller has a nack for always keeping her books new and fresh.
Stacy Rieser is a budding star and she is trying so hard to make it in Hollywood. She goes on some auditions and lands a really great part in a movie that a famous movie critic pans. He makes mention of her part and how terrible she was in the movie. While she is realing in her self pity - her mother who is a very possive and intrudes on all aspects of Stacy's life, moves from the midwest to Hollywood. She is a constant complainer, and whiner and she is making tuna for her daughter and she finds a bone. She complains to the company who invites her to the plant to look over the factory and she makes such a scene that they LOVE her and NEED her for their new advertising compaign. Stacy is now going crazy.
Stacy gets a job in a retail shop and she inadvertently meets the critic who gives her a rotten write up. She lets him know that she is annoyed and he feels bad that he eventually invites her out to dinner.
The Mother, Helen, is now a HUGE star ( just like the "wheres the beef lady) and she meets a man who wants to marry her. Stacy is now over protective of her mother and goes out to prove that the mother's boyfriend is a murderer.
I liked the book alot, I would recommend this book to anyone.
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