Reviews for Young and the Ruthless : Back in the Bubbles
Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #2
Rowell's sequel (Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, 2010) about a soap-opera diva and her cast mates parodies the real deal with cookie-cutter characters, bad subplots and cheesy dialogue. Calysta Jeffries, star of World Broadcast Company's The Rich and the Ruthless, is back on the set after a stint in rehab, but it appears she's more popular with the viewing audience than with some members of the cast and crew. Racist co-executive producer Stanley Mercury and Edith Norman, president of daytime television, really have it in for her. They engage in a plot to add a little spice to the show and make the actress' life uncomfortable by hiring Calysta's 18-year-old daughter, Ivy, to portray her long-lost daughter on the soap. Calysta doesn't self-destruct, but mother and daughter knock heads on a regular basis, and Ivy becomes a diva both on and off the set. Plenty more is happening with the countless other characters who are part of Calysta's life, and they pop in and out of the story so many times it's hard to keep them all straight: An associate producer who's married to one of the soap's stars becomes involved in art forgery; Max Gardner arrives on the set, and sparks fly between Calysta and her new assistant director; Calysta's grandmother, a stable influence in her life, falls ill; Shannen Lassiter, yet another soap star, becomes upset with a storyline that has Ivy stealing her Latin boyfriend, Javier, who's also her boyfriend in real life. A veteran of the soap scene, Rowell swoops back and forth between snippets of scripts, first-person observations and third-person narration with such dizzying abandon, it's hard not to suffer whiplash. But like the soap operas it lampoons, the book offers readers an escape from reality, at least for a short time--and anyone prepared to overlook the author's quirky style may enjoy it for that alone. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Express Reviews
In former-soap-opera-star Rowell's sequel to Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva, actress Calysta Jeffries is reprising her role as Ruby Stargazer on the sudsy The Rich and the Ruthless. The troupe finds itself thrust into a reality show promotion at a circus and a reporter asks Calysta, "How's it feel to be part of the circus?" Her tart reply cuts deep: "Just swappin' one set of clowns for another." The catty cast is paranoid about being written out of the script while thriving on stabbing each other in the back. Calysta's problems are compounded when her 18-year-old daughter Ivy, who believes she's grown and all that, joins the show as a camera-ready star. Um, Calysta, your jealousy is showing. Better cover it up. VERDICT This chatty romp mixes comedy and juicy sex while a truly dysfunctional cast tries its best to carry on despite slumping ratings. It's a perfect sidetrack for folks addicted to their television stories and who want a behind-the-scenes peek at actors' lives. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #4
You don't have to be a fan of Rowell's former star vehicle, the CBS sudser The Young and the Restless, to relish the actress-turned-writer's giddy sequel to Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva. Dishing dirt on the shrinking landscape of daytime drama and its venal, back-stabbing, and drug-abusing stars, Rowell cheerfully gnaws the hand that once fed her in this soap opera within a soap opera. Gorgeous, talented African-American actress Calysta Jeffries returns to fictional soap The Rich and Ruthless after a stint in rehab to discover that she'll be sharing the spotlight with her equally talented and beautiful 18-year-old daughter, Ivy. But Calysta is also dodging the dirty laundry that a felonious producer threatens to air, cast mates who want to sabotage her career, and the fallout from a torrid affair. The subplots and entanglements of characters both on the fictional soap and among its preening cast--including a clever cameo by soap fan Isabella Rossellini--keep all the players on edge as they teeter between doom and salvation. It's a dizzying mess that soap devotees will gladly devour. But it's the Mississippi family and friends whom Calysta left behind--and who keep her secrets--who emerge as the most compelling cast. Their "big reveal" and a shakeup on The Rich and Ruthless add up to a cliff-hanger that begs for a sequel. Stay tuned. Agent: Irene Webb, Irene Webb Literary. (Mar. 5) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC