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Review: Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

T e e n  I d o l by Meg Cabot (Twitter)
Release Date: 7/26/05 (Paperback)
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Age Group: Young Adult (13+)
Pages: 293 
Other Books: The Mediator series, The Princess Diaries, Avalon High...
Coming Soon: Abandon
Source: School Library
Go Buy It: AmazonBarnes&Noble 
Overall Feelings: Fun. Light. Fluffy.

Synopsis- "High school junior Jenny Greenley is so good at keeping secrets that she's the school newspaper's anonymous advice columnist. She's so good at it that, when hotter-than-hot Hollywood star Luke Striker comes to her small town to research a role, Jenny is the one in charge of keeping his identity under wraps. But Luke doesn't make it easy, and soon everyone—the town, the paparazzi, and the tabloids alike—know his secret...and Jenny is caught right in the middle of all the chaos." Goodreads»»
Quick Thinking: Teen Idol is most definitely an entertaining, satisfying novel, one that refused to go down the very predictable road as far as determining love interests go. It had well-developed, amusing characters, a not-so-original plot written in an appealing and clever way, and incorporates an ending that bestows The Reader with a warm, contented feeling. The heroine is "nice little Jenny Greenley, everybody's best friend" (286), so the story leans toward the comical when Jenny stops being the nice, sweet girl everyone expects her to be and instead morphs into the girl lingering inside waiting for the chance to emerge.

My Thoughts In-Depth: *Warning: May not be spoiler-free.* I picked this novel up assuming it was going be a typical celebrity-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love themed young teenage novel, but I was pretty far off. I mean, it was still a light and cute read, but it didn't head straight toward the utterly predictable which is probably what I like most about Teen Idol.

Jenny's that girl who helps everyone in need of it, it's ingrained. So, getting to know her, watching her transformation happen as she moved from a nice, always-ready-to-help kind of girl to a powerful, ready-to-rule-the-school girl, was fun and wonderful. Jenny grows on The Reader, because she's not annoyingly pleasant and kind, but just straight out genuine, making her a lovable character.

The characters, though amusing and entertaining, didn't possess that umph, that extra special something that allows The Reader to really get to know them, to discover their thoughts and emotions... But because of these characters the novel possessed a great deal of humor... There were several times where I chuckled a little or sat there shaking my head at all the adolescent drama. Luke, the celebrity in disguise attending Jenny's school, was quite the surprise. When I think celebrity, I hate to admit it, but snob does come to mind... Instead, I got this hunk from L.A. who's noble and wise. And Scott, Jenny's love interest, is really sweet and down to earth, plus he loves to cook!

I'd definitely have to say that the romance found in the novel was my favorite aspect. Like I mentioned before, it was just such a relief to see that Teen Idol wasn't going to be like other novels with a similar premise as far as the falling in love part and all that jazz. Jenny rebuffs the totally smokin' celebrity and falls head over heels in love with the guy she's had a crush on since fifth grade... I mean, is it at all possible that it could get any more adorable than that? I think not.

This was such a nice, light novel to read, something to take pleasure in when you're in need of some good teen romance to warm your heart...Which was perfect for me because I needed a break from all the angstier ya paranormal stuff I've been poring over lately... I'm going to be keeping an eye out for Cabot's other novels, for sure!

Best Friend Foreva: Steve
When I envision him, I see this cute little adorable guy and I think, Awww! Poor guy! He's had to deal with such a hard time thanks to Jenny's best friend, Trina... I have a feeling that he and I would get along great...

Wish-He-Was-Mine: If Scott leaves Jenny to be with Luke, I'll marry their firstborn son.

Frenemy: Trina
Can't stand the girl, even after she redeems herself later in the novel... She and I would've never made it passed acquaintances.

Bonus Factor: I thought because Jenny was Ask Annie, the school newspaper's secret advice columnist, it gave Teen Idol a little special something and made it funnier.

Loved These Quotes/Scenes:
"'I'm mayonnaise,' I whispered. Then, when [Luke] looked confused, I said in a normal voice, 'I'm what keeps the sandwich from falling apart, see? It's my job. It's what I do. I smooth things over.'" (143)
"'--I knew then there was more to you than nice little Jenny Greenley, everybody's best friend. I think you're more than mayonnaise, Jen. Much more.' He'd taken the glasses off--he didn't need them anymore, since everyone knew who he really was now--and I could see that his eyes were every bit as deep, deep blue as the lake down below us.
'The truth is,' he said, 'I think you're special sauce.'" (144)
"'I quit,' Steve yelled. 'No more plays. No more musicals. And no more show choir, Trina. It's over. I'm sick of signing up for this stuff just to make you happy...' He stopped stomping on the tux and glared at her, his chest heaving up and down...
[Trina] tossed her long, silky hair back, then held out her arms.
Then she said, 'Anything you want, baby. I love you.'
And Steve, with a muffled cry that appeared to be filled with as much frustration as it was adoration, snatched her up and covered her mouth with his... to the satisfaction of everyone in their audience..." (246-247)
Extra [Meg Cabot] Linkage: Books by Meg CabotAbandon Full Jacket

Other: Read an excerpt of Teen Idol in full by clicking here and scrolling down. :)
Preview: So the guy took his shirt oft? Big deal. I had way more important things to worry about, such as Clayton High's It Couple apparently breaking up before my very eyes, and possibly—I know not solely because of, but partially, maybe—because of me.

Still, Trina's sharp intake of breath stopped me in my tracks just as I was about to race off after Geri.

I don't know why it stopped me. But it did. I stopped right where I was, then turned around, slowly.

I looked at Trina. Her gaze was riveted on Luke. And not just on his truly impressive six-pack... the light smattering of fair hair that covered his chest before snaking down that six-pack and disappearing into the waistband of his Levi's... his thoroughly impressive biceps.

Not that all of those things weren't worth staring at. Because they totally were.

No, it was the tattoo on Luke's arm, just beneath his right shoulder, that seemed to be holding Trina's attention.

The tattoo that said Angelique.
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