Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hollywood Car Wash

Title: Hollywood Car Wash
Author: Lori Culwell
ISBN-10: 1416587780
Pages: 307
Year Published: 2009
Genre: Chick Lit
Date Finished: June 7

From the back cover: College drama student Amy Spencer dreams of starring in independent films. When her roommate signs her up for a mysterious "television project" audition, she blows away the competition with her girl-next door looks and impressive acting chops, inadvertently getting a starring role on a major TV show and going from Michigan teen to Hollywood starlet overnight.

To keep the part she didn't even know she wanted, Amy finds herself taking a spin through the "Hollywood Car Wash" to make her more marketable. First, she'll have to lose twenty pounds (don't ask how). Then it's new clothes, new teeth, blonder hair, new friends, and a megastar, high-profile boyfriend (though hers comes with a big secret). Bombarded by jealous, two-faced colleagues, overeager plastic surgeons, and manipulative network executives, Amy slowly learns that the only way to survive in Hollywood is to lose her identity. Will Amy get too caught up by the glitz or will she get a grip on her life before it's too late?

First sentence: Really, if it hadn't been for my perky college roommate and her obsession with spinning class, none of this would have happened in the first place.

Hollywood Car Wash is about the overnight rise to fame of a University of Michigan student to a Golden Globe nominee TV actress. In a matter of an instant, Amy Spencer's life drastically changes. When her roommate signs her up for the audition, Amy reluctantly attends and to her surprise she is the "face" they have in mind for the part. Amy is whisked away to LA where she lands the lead role on Autumn Leaves.

Amy suddenly goes from poor college student to earning $500,000 by the end of season one. Amy feels very plain next to her co-workers and it's apparent they think the same about her. They are constantly commenting on her weight, not knowing the latest celebrity gossip and her lack of fashion sense. Amy succumbs to the pressure and slowly begins the "Hollywood Car Wash".
"I had been starved, my hair had been bleached and straightened, and my face had been injected, de-acned, and bronzed. My teeth had been shaved and capped, and I was eating less and smoking more than I ever had in my life. I was a rich and successful Hollywood Star. I was a Golden Globe nominee, and I had a killer wardrobe, two stylists, and a personal trainer. But. . . wasn't I still the same person inside?" (p. 142)
It's not until she signs a contract to be the girlfriend of an A-list movie star and her showdown with the paparazzi that she realizes maybe the Hollywood glam isn't worth it after all.

Recommended to readers: who enjoy a behind-the-scenes look on Hollywood. A chick lit fan will enjoy this quick, entertaining read. It's hard not to feel compassion for Amy as she finds herself swept away in the fast-lane.


  1. Love the review, but where oh where is that poor woman's head?!

  2. This sounds like a book I would love to read! I've added it to my super long list of books I hope to read eventually. Thanks for posting an awesome review!