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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
3.0 out of 5 stars just ok July 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read Ms. Heller's Best Enemies and Name Dropping, I had high hopes for this book. I like her style of writing: romance/comedy/mystery all in one. This book started off well, but somewhere in the middle I just got tired of Stacey's constant complaining about EVERYTHING! Enough already! I managed to keep reading and closer to the end, I got into it again. I wouldn't buy it, check it out from the library. It's worth reading if your a fan of the author. This won't stop me from reading her other books. Hopefully they will be better.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre July 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read Hellers books before and have loved them so I was anxious to read this one as well. I really enjoyed the first half of the book dealing with the mother - daughter struggles but lost interest with the corny second half dealing with the mothers loser boyfriend. Not up to the same standards as her usual work.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment... June 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read several of Heller's novels, I was looking forward to reading Lucky Stars. However, I found it to be a disappointment: the dialogue was contrived, the characters were flat, and the plot itself was slow. Heller describes her heroine, Stacey, as savvy, intelligent, and street-smart, but she is portrayed as completely the opposite. She is too quick to fall for whatever information she finds on the antagonist, Victor Chellus, and is even quicker to tattle-tale to her mother. Her romance with Jack Rawlins is completely unbelievable, given the fact that he is portrayed as a pompous jerk in the beginning--he fell for her too easily, and the whole thing comes off as entirely contrived. The book has its moments, but overall, it was a big disappointment. My advice? Save your money--not to mention your time--for something more enjoyable and worthwhile.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fell A Bit Flat May 9 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was amusing in a Jane Heller kind of way. However, it wasn't quite as good as her usual fare.
Helen started out so annoying that I couldn't care less about her. And Stacey was such a wimp where her mother was concerned that I found it nearly impossible to care about her either, especially after she succumbed to going on a tour of a tuna fish factory just because her mother bullied her into it. Grow a spine, woman! I thought the romance with Jack had potential, but it was introduced so early and nothing really happened there either to make me care much about it.
The whole thing was very predictable with no twists and turns to surprise you even a little bit. It was a busy read, more than an enjoyable read as Ms. Heller's books usually are.
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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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