By Its Cover- Hollywood Car Wash

By Its Cover is independent book review column. Selections are mostly made based on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new favorite authors and books.

Title: Hollywood Car Wash
Author: Lori Culwell


Midwestern college student and aspiring-indie-films-actress, Amy Spencer, auditions for the lead role in a new TV series. Soon she's on an plane to California, put up in an exclusive hotel and show to the network studio where...she gets the job!

Of course they say they hired her for her acting ability, but she's quickly put through the 'hollywood car wash'- diets, hair color, plastic surgery- to make her more marketable, the enviable 'ideal'. The question ever before her is how much is she willing to give up, how far from her true dream will she go before she gets off the wild ride?

[op ed]

I got this book in a ThisNext giveaway. (My copy is signed by the author, eep!) It's an easy read, I breezed through it in about a week. Must confess that I am impressed.

Hollywood brings to mind high-priced shallowness where image is everything but almost none of it is real. This book does prove that, but plopped in the center is a girl, Amy, with a lot of character who's continually amazed by the lengths the team of people assigned to creating her brand go to to fool people and change her into a young Hollywood clone.

It's far from smooth sailing for Amy, therefore it's not a Cinderella story. Which is what I expected. It's grittier, lonelier, a touch depressing. There is a liberal helping of glam, and it comes close to name-dropping in regards to some 'oh-no-they-didn't' scandals. In general I find it hard to feel bad for celebrities but I did feel bad for Amy at times. made me smile too. She's a fighter. She kept going, she didn't give up. I liked that.

I'd read it again.