There's No Place Like Home (Secrets of My Hollywood Life #6) by Jen CalonitaMarch 1, 2011; Poppy
After her brilliant run on Broadway and surviving the harsh concrete jungle of New York City, seventeen-year-old Hollywood "It Girl" Kaitlin Burke is back in L.A. starting a sitcom with her former-nemesis-now-BFF, Sky. The show is a huge success! In fact, maybe a little too huge, Kaitlin realizes, after a bad run-in with aggressive paparazzi puts her boyfriend Austin in danger. She wishes, once again, that she could have a normal life.
But what Kaitlin doesn't realize is that her Hollywood life has had a positive influence on just about everyone she loves, and it takes a minor car accident and a nasty concussion to truly grasp how lucky she is. In Jen Calonita's sixth and final Secrets of My Hollywood Life novel, Kaitlin learns at last about the price of fame, the unending upside of friendship, and that there really is no place like home-even if it's Tinseltown. (courtesy of Goodreads)
*Depending on how careful you are about spoilers, I do give a barebones synopsis of the entire book. But with this type of novel, you know how it's going to end. It's only the journey that matters. So I don't think the spoilers are objectionable.
The final installment of Secrets of My Hollywood Life, one of my favorite light, chick lit series. I'm sad to see the books come to an end, although I'm excited to see what Jen Calonita has in store for us next.
That being said, There's No Place Like Home was not my favorite book in the series. I didn't dislike it, but it wasn't what I wanted out of the final book either.
The book starts out like all the others. Kaitlin has tons of things on her plate. Her pushy mom only makes things worse, encouraging Kaitlin to do too much and making her seem like she's attention-hungry. Kaitlin's friends (which now includes her former rival Sky) want her to put her foot down and set some limits. But Kaitlin can't say no. Especially not to her mom.
Enter Stage Right...a head-on collision and an It's A Wonderful Life alternate universe. Kaitlin is now from a poor family, in a fancy school, and hated by everyone except her star-crazy friend Liz.
I admire Jen for doing something different with this book - for taking chances. It would be easy to coast along with what you already knew was successful. And there was nothing wrong with the alternate universe. In fact it was a great plot device. It showed Kaitlin what was wrong with her life and what was right with it. It convinced her to grow a backbone and start standing up for what she wants. But...I just didn't enjoy it. I love reading about Kaitlin's crazy family and star-studded life. Even though there are still celeb moments in Kaitlin's alternate life, it wasn't the same. Thankfully, the alternate universe doesn't last forever and I was very happy with the ending.
There's No Place Like Home was an enjoyable read even though it wasn't what I wanted. I love Kaitlin for all her foibles and cowardliness. I love that she is a normal girl in a crazy world. I love that she is endlessly loyal to her friends and somehow knows to do the right thing even if she stumbles a bit on the way. While this was probably my least favorite book in the series, I still think everyone who enjoys these books should read the last one and would still recommend people to pick up all six books.