Cons: Incoherent plot, underdeveloped characters, bad writing, bad editing, cliché ending, boring yet continuous sex scenarios
The Bottom Line: Pam Anderson's second novel is filled with farcical situations that seem to come from the mind of a 16 year old school kid. It's bad writing at its worst.
Star Struck is a sequel to Pamela Andersons first terribly written but best selling novel, Star. While Star was clearly a thinly veiled autobiography chronicling Star Leigh Woods (and Andersons) rise to fame from a naïve Florida waitress to a naïve top model and TV star, Star Struck is a farcical, ridiculous fantasy involving an incarnation of Andersons ex-husband Tommy Lee (named Jimi Deeds in the book). The series of events that Anderson lays out for the readers are likely to cause them to shake their heads and wonder how this book managed to make it into print let alone climb the bestselling charts again. And the really scary thing is, Star Struck leaves open a possibly of yet another sequel.
While the book does sort of pick up where Star left off, because there is absolutely no timeline (Did weeks pass? Months? Years?), readers will have to just guess whether the events happened all within a short period of time or over the course of years. With the addition of Andersons brother Gerry Anderson along with her previous ghostwriter, Eric Shaw Quinn, Andersons direction takes a decided turn which will leave fans of her previous novel disappointed and will leave almost anyone reading dazed and confused. Not because the writing is complicated and needs thought but because the entire plot is so ridiculous that any reader will have to question how muck like this lands on the shelves when good writers struggle to get read let alone published.
The book jacket has a full-length photo of a naked Pam Anderson in only stiletto boots being photographed on the cover. I have never seen a fiction novels author posed suggestively on the cover of a book, but this Pam Anderson and Pam can get away with anything apparently.
The book starts out with Star waking up wearing nothing but designer boots, a huge diamond ring on her finger, and a Colt .45 gun in her hand. Did I mention she woke up on a dresser where she had been sleeping with no memory of where she was or what had happened for days? In her bed lies a man bound to the bedposts with ropes and cords. Star decides a good way to wake the sleeping man is to shoot the gun in his direction shattering a glass nightstand.
And thats only within the first three paragraphs of the book.
The stranger turns out to be rock star Jimi Deeds, whom she had met and despised in her previous novel. We find out that the two met up in Cabo and ended up on a wild drug induced spree which would bond them forever -- or at least through the entire book.
Star discovers through Jimi that she was high on Ecstasy when she married him in a civil ceremony after buying the gun she woke up with intending to rob a jewelry store. Jimi, however, had already purchased the diamond ring she wanted so that crime was averted but plenty follow.
Now a married woman albeit to man she had only met a handful of times and didnt like, Star enters into the partying lifestyle of Hollywood full force. Rocker Jimi seems to have nothing at all to do throughout the book but to protect and be by her side. They have sex continuously, yet none of the scenes are titillating or even the slightest bit graphic or romantic. The language, though, has shifted from naïve and elementary to foul and elementary in an effort, I assume, to give the book more of an edge and a sexual spin. What it does is just bore the readers with unnecessary four letter words strewn around for no reason other than to show Star is now all grown up.
Star spends her nights partying with Jimi and his friends and her days working on her two television shows. Jimi tags along with her acting as a de facto manager, shooting down scripts with any romance in them and making sure no one goes near his precious wife.
Several scenes involve video taping their lovemaking, which is taken right out of Anderson and Lees real life as everyone knows about the infamous Pam and Tommy Sex Tapes by now. However, the selling of the sex tapes is downplayed by including a murder that the two committed and caught on video on their Cabo honeymoon.
Yes, a murder. Jimi and Star have been so plagued by the paparazzi that, when one manages to get into their hotel room and snap a shot of the two together, they promptly kick him off the balcony and then, as he holds on for dear life, pry his fingers from the ledge, and video tape the plunge to his death.
There are a series of similar paparazzi killings by Star and Jimi throughout the book that make absolutely no sense and arent delved into except to say that they threw the bodies into alligator infested waters or out to sea. The murders themselves are glossed over like everything else in the book.
Star snags a starring role in an action movie and, like the star that she is, decides to do all her own stunts. After passing out while doing a dangerous stunt, she is rushed to the hospital. The result is a ruptured ovarian cyst and a miscarriage although neither Jimi nor Star knew she was pregnant.
With no emotion about the loss of a child, the two escape the hospital and run away from the producers of the movie to have even more videotaped sex on a house boat. Reality hits when Star is threatened with a huge lawsuit if she doesnt return to the movie set so she and Jimi pull themselves apart long enough for her to complete the movie which, of course, turns out to be a blockbuster.
Together the two run rampant taking on an us against the world attitude. The death of Stars mother and her beloved dog Mutley come off flat and emotionless although Anderson tries hard to show Stars deep feelings of loss for a paragraph or two.
By the time we get to a party held by Star at Jimiville with naked men shooting out of cannons, gold painted nudes serving appetizers and cocaine, and the usual orgies that are scattered throughout the book, were done. We really dont care what happens to these two freaks with their flat personas and over the top adventures.
But more is to come. Stars brother Hank, who had moved to Hollywood to be with Star and to gain success for himself, finds Jimi and Stars sex tapes and sells them to every outlet he can. But not for the sex. For the murder of the photographer caught on film. As police come beckoning, Star and Jimi manage to escape and take them on a run that OJ Simpson would envy.
With police closing in and nowhere to run, Jimi and Star decide to end their lives like they lived them in grand fashion.
I wont give away the ending but suffice to say, it is the most cliché one I have read since I picked up a 15-year-old romance novel.
The writing is noticeably sloppier in this novel and the timeline is non-existent. I have no idea how much time passed from page one to page 190. An annoying and unforgivable error is tense changes. It doesnt happen often but it should never happen in a published novel. We go from reading in past tense to suddenly reading a line in present tense.
Here is an example which does not "spoil" anything from the book (word for word with no changes from me):
Be careful, she screamed. Im pregnant.
What? Jimi says, going rigid for a moment and then turning into a wild man to try to get to her.
Im pregnant, she said tenderly as she was cuffed and led away.
With two people working with Anderson on this book, plus editors at Atria Books combing through the manuscript, that type of minor league verbage should have been caught and corrected before ever going to press.
To Sum Up
I wasnt a fan of Star because it was shallow and Anderson tried too hard to make us like the protagonist who came off as dumb as a box of rocks and taking her charmed life for granted. It was also poorly written and choppy.
Looking back, however, Star was much more real and believable than this farce called Star Struck. While the naivety is gone for the most part, Star comes off even more unlikable in the sequel. As her romps and parties and murders and sex videos emerge, not only didnt I like Star, I thought she was a lunatic in dire need of psychiatric treatment. Jimi, the only other major character in the book, is never fleshed out enough for a reader to care one way or the other about him. Anderson steers clear of infidelity, domestic violence, or even arguments between Star and Jimi to the point where it is quite obvious that Star Struck is no longer a thinly veiled biography but a fantasy cooked up by Anderson and her cohorts with a dash of reality thrown in for filler.
I love fiction and appreciate a good novel but unfortunately this was not a good novel. From the atrocious writing to the surfacy characters to the eye rolling adventures that are presented, this book makes Star look like a piece of decent writing (and thats saying a lot!).
I am not sure what direction Anderson was trying to take with this book but I can tell you that she made a wrong turn somewhere and came up with a doozy of snoozer that will bore most readers and make others shake their heads in complete confusion. She leaves the book open to another sequel and, for the sake of all of us who have train wreck curiosity and read things we know are going to cause us frustration, lets hope Anderson finds a new hobby and gives writing novels a long, long rest.
One star for Star Struck. Its one of the most poorly written and edited books I have ever read from anyone -- Janice Dickenson, Paris Hilton, and Paris Hiltons dog included.
ISBN 13: 978-0-7434-9283-6 ISBN 10: 0-7435-9283-8
** My review of Pamela Anderson's first novel, Star, can be read by clicking HERE
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About the reviewer
Patty Therre (PattyTherre)
I am a writer, editor, researcher, and reviewer as well as a fashion and beauty fanatic. I am into fitness and like to switch up things so that fitness is fun and not a big drag like it can often be. … more
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Struggling to manage her home life and her rock-and-roll artist husband's volatile temper, Star oversees the launch of her big-screen film in the face of an increasingly demanding public schedule and a video that continues to haunt her. By the author of Star. Simultaneous.