Russell, Rachel Renee, Tales From a Not-So-Glam TV Star. Simon and Schuster Audio, 2014. (unbar.) 3 CDs. 3:45 hrs.
Nicki Maxwell has a lot on her plate. After getting an invitation to meet with a big record producer, Nicki and her friends, Chloe, Zoe, and Brandon get offered a recording contract and Nicki, her own reality show for the month of March. Not, however, before catching McKenzie, the school bully, and her friends stealing Nicki, Chloe, and Zoe’s backstage passes. Jealous and furious with Nicki, McKenzie is determined to break any chances Nicki has with dating Brandon and becoming a pop star. To add pressure on Nicki, Brandon needs Nicki’s help in writing a scholarship essay in order to stay at WCD, the expensive private school everyone goes to. As Nicki’s schedule gets filled up with vocal lessons, recording studio time, her increased homework load, and reality tv show problems, Nicki begins to wonder if she will be able to handle all the pressure. To make matters worse, she keeps forgetting to meet with Brandon. Will Nicki find a way to stop McKenzie from ruining her chance with Brandon without ruining them herself? Will she be able to handle her dream of being a pop princess?
Narrator, Jenni Barber has a unique voice and easily distinguishes the characters. The author’s and narrator’s narrative styles are complementary of each other and easily engage the reader. Although the characters are a little under-developed, they are likable and entertaining. The plot is engaging, realistic, and will appeal to elementary and middle school students who enjoy books like Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Listeners who like realistic fiction, school stories, and friendship stories will enjoy this audiobook.
4 stars, Grades 4 to 8