Lucky Stars Hardcover – Apr 11 2003
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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.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on July 11 2004
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... Read morePublished on July 8 2004
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... Read morePublished on June 20 2004
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. Read more
This book written by Jane Heller is passably entertaining. It reminds me of a made for T.V. romantic comedy. Read morePublished on July 20 2003