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The Fame Game
The Fame Game and Me
by Kimberly Greene
Hi, I’m Sam, welcome to my blog! Some people dream of being famous. Well, I am – and it’s a total nightmare! My sister Danni is a big-time Pop Princess, so I spend most of my life trying to figure out the rules to this freaky Fame Game! Danni’s discovered it’s tough at the top since a rival pop-diva started competing for the #1 spot. And I’ve just found out an Amazing secret about our family. I only hope our life in the limelight won’t make things even Crazier – but I guess that’s showbiz, right?
Kimberly Greene has toured the world as a singer, dancer, actor and director, performing for audiences on stage, in concert halls, and even in the Vatican City for the Pope. She now teaches and runs her own company, promoting an empowering blend of entertainment and technology in education. Kimberly lives in California where her rare free moments are spent walking her two dogs or chasing after her two cats. "My Sister's a Pop Star" is her first novel.
THE FAME GAME AND ME
Click click click, clack clack click.
Confession Time: I am about to commit a serious blogging blunder. See, I know putting too much into a single blog entry makes it tough for the reader to follow. Yet, I trust that MY blog readers are smart enough to handle a big, fat, juicy entry. Of course, I’ve no idea if anyone is actually out there reading this at the moment, but I know I do have one loyal fan, my BEST friend Olga (“Hellooooo Lady O!”).
Sam’s almost-thirteen-year-old fingers stopped blazing around the keyboard of her beloved, battered laptop. She reached under her desk, around the wastebasket, and into the small nook where she kept a couple of cans of orange cream soda. Her mom’s anti-soda rule was majorly non-negotiable, so Sam was careful to keep her stash of treasure carefully hidden. She took one last huge mouthful of fizz, then returned to her typing with such focus, she forgot to swallow.
If your life is as crazy as mine – well, if it is then I feel really sorry for you (LOL) – but you’ll totally understand why I have so much to discuss today. Here’s a quick breakdown of this MAJOR posting:
#1 – I’m so wigging out that it’s already almost the anniversary of the official start of the weirdest year of my life. How often – in a single 365-day period – does a girl have to deal with her big sister becoming a global pop star, her family moving from a tiny apartment to a huge mansion, and her entire life getting put on display in a reality TV show?? (Actually, we’ve only got the mansion because of the TV show.)
#2 – My big sis, Danni, is getting a totally nasty and undeserved public pounding from a new pop singer named Harley. Horrible Harley is dissing Danni in all the magazines, so Danni’s upset all the time now, which is seriously uncool.
#3 – Lastly – and SO-NOT-LEASTLY – I’m tickled purple (purple is my fave colour, you know) that FINALLY I’ve gotten an invite to Olga’s family Day of the Dead party!! YES!! I’m off-the-charts excited (even though I don’t really know what a Day of the Dead actually is – but I’ll find out) because I get to hang with my best friend all day, and the only thing I like better than hanging with Olga is daydreaming about My Perfect Moment. That’s this vision I have of me being out in a big field, riding my own horse, at sunset, while eating a waffle cone filled with chocolate-chip-cookie-dough ice cream! Although, now that I’m thinking about it, add in Olga riding next to me on her horse, and there you have it – total perfection! But back to today – you see, the reason it’s such a huge deal for me to get invited to Olga’s party is because her mom, Giselle Victorio (yes – the beautiful, German fashion model) is super-protective and private about her family. Even though I know she likes me, I’m still an “outsider”. It’s gotten even worse ever since my family got into this wacky reality TV show called The Devine Life. Now Mrs. V is always worried whenever Olga and I hang out because of all the video cameras in my house and the camera crew that follows my family 24/7. But even before our TV show, Mrs. V wanted to keep her family celebration a relatives-only event; I guess when you have a big family, that makes sense. When it’s as small as mine, a “family-only” event means sitting around staring at the same two people you see every breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Sam suddenly remembered that her mouth was full of fizzy orange soda. For a moment, she feared the soda would go up her nose, but she managed to swallow it down. Man oh man, she thought, when I start writing, I totally forget about everything else in the world. It’s a wonder I don’t have to remind myself to keep breathing!
“Calling Samantha. Come in, Little Bit.” A piercing voice was zinging out of the intercom. “This is your mother speaking.”
Sam rolled her eyes. Duh! Of course it was her mom. No one else used the intercom, and even if anyone ever did, no one else on the planet spoke with the same blend of Southern sweetness and Don’t mess with me steeliness as Rose Devine.
“Sam…?” the voice continued. “You know that your sister and I love you more than anything on this earth, don’t you?”
This was odd. Sam crinkled up her nose as she wondered what her mom was going on about.
“Because we are still down here in the dining room, waiting,” Rose said gingerly. “No matter how upset you may be, you at least owe us the courtesy of a response.”
What? Sam felt as if a heavy brick had just fallen on her head. Her mom was waiting for a response? To what? Let’s see… Today I got up, got dressed, tried to leave for the stables, but Mom ordered me into the dining room for a family meeting – which, of course, was being videoed for our reality show. I went to the dining room: Mom and Danni were there, as was Robert, with his huge, ever-present, icky-white “I’m Danni’s super-important music agent” grin. Danni was crying because Harley had said something harsh about her on TV last night. I got the text message from Olga inviting me to her family’s party today. I told Mom about the invite, she gave me permission to go, and I raced up here to write in my blog and text Olga. Uh-oh, maybe the meeting wasn’t over!
“Now, Little Bit,” Rose continued, “I truly empathize with your disappointment about your sister and I not joining you at the Victorios’ today, but still, when I asked if you understood why we couldn’t join you, when I explained that the meeting this afternoon was crucial to Danni’s career, you could have at least said something.”
Oh! Sam gritted her teeth. When I asked Mom for permission to go to Olga’s family party, she thought our whole family was invited! She thinks I’m up here because I’m upset that she and Danni won’t be at the party with me!
Sam reached up and pressed the “talk” button on the intercom.
“Sorry, Mom!” Sam needed an excuse for running away from the table, but she didn’t want to embarrass her mother by explaining that neither she nor Danni were on the guest list. Ah! “I wanted to let Mrs. Victorio know right away how sorry you were not to be able to attend the party today, so I ran up here to send your regrets by e-mail. I completely understand that business has to come before playtime, but I knew that you’d want me to let Mrs. V know, because leaving her hanging would be so uncool!”
She released the “talk” button and waited for her mother’s reply.
“Oh. That’s very mature… I’m proud of you for being so responsible, Little Bit.” Rose’s voice had a tinge of uncertainty in it, as if she wasn’t quite sure if her daughter was being genuine or not. “But you know better than to leave the table before being excused; please come back so we can officially finish our family meeting. Mom – out.”
Feeling equal parts of relief and guilt, Sam sighed. She wanted to tell her mom that ever since the Devine family had become the subjects of their own reality show, every family meeting had become a painfully long, ridiculously fancy, mega waste of time. Watching Rose, Danni and Robert pretend to be discussing important stuff, when really they were totally playing to the cameras, was just icky.
She sighed and prepared to head downstairs, but then a bell dinged loudly from her computer and pulled Sam’s focus back to the screen. It was an e-mail alert from a newstracker that she’d set up to give her a heads-up any time Harley said or did anything newsworthy.
Sam groaned as she read the flashing headline. Harley Proclaims End of “Puky Princess Pop”.
Sam crossed her fingers in the hope that it wouldn’t turn out to be another direct attack on Danni, while reaching for the mouse and clicking on the hyperlink. Immediately, a small video clip appeared. It showed a tough-looking girl with a badly dyed black Mohican and a bunch of nose rings; she was chatting with a handsome young man.
“Hey,” Sam cried out at the cute guy, “Marty Meister! You always interview Danni! What are you doing with Harley?”
Marty was standing in a studio full of teenagers. The nasty-faced girl sat on a stool, leaning forward, looking as if she was going to pounce on somebody.
“Ms. Harley Jean Pinkus,” Marty spoke directly into the camera, “what was it that motivated you to become a pop singer?”
Harley sneered, “I got sick of all the cheese on the radio. You know, pointless pop puke sung by pretty, pointless, pop princesses – like Danni Devine! Gag! I turned on my radio and thought that if I heard one more lame song, I’d go mental! So, I wrote a killer song, cut a demo, and now I’m the real deal: a pop star who sings from the gut. The day of the puky pop princess is over!”
Then the crowd cheered as Harley stormed around the studio singing her hit song, pumping her arms in the air, and giving high fives. The screen faded to black, emphasizing the sound of all those teenagers in the audience chanting, “Harley! Harley! Harley!”
Sam’s stomach began to whirl. She hung her head and said a silent prayer that Danni wouldn’t hear about this latest attack. Suddenly the bedroom door flew open and Rose Devine scurried in. Wrapping her arms around her daughter, she inadvertently squished Sam’s face against her bosom in one of her super-strong mom hugs.
“Mom!” Sam struggled to get the words out. “Can’t…breathe!”
Still hugging, Rose’s voice crackled with emotion. “I’m sorry I was so callous, Samantha.”
“Mother…” Sam gasped, “…killing me!”
Rose bobbed her head in agreement. “I know, I understand, Little Bit. I do! That’s what I wanted to say to you back in the dining room. Lately, the pressure of all this bad publicity and the hurt it’s caused Danni has been killing me too.”
Sam managed to sputter, “You’re killing me!”
Rose finally understood. “What? Oh!” She released her daughter. “Sorry! Sorry!” She shook her head. “There’s too much going on right now. Your sister is feeling the stress of public embarrassment and it’s draining the life right out of me. Please don’t be angry with us! I feel awful about not being able to join you at Olga’s family thingy today, but we have to do something to rebuild Danni’s public image; I’m hoping the meeting today will be a first step in that direction.”
Before she could answer, a stupendously loud hunger grumble roared straight out of Sam’s belly. It was so noisy that Rose couldn’t help but giggle. It snapped her out of her serious mood. She gave Sam an affectionate pat on the head, sighed and stood to leave.
“Little Bit, I want you to go to the party and have a wonderful time. However, you’re not allowed outside of this house with a rumbling tummy. Grab a bite before you head off.”
Sam nodded. “Will do, Mom, but I don’t want to fill up. Olga says there will be tons of food at the party.”
Rose strode towards the door. “Well, okay then. Have fun!”
“Thanks, Mom,” Sam called out. “Love you.”
Turning back, Rose smiled and said, “Love you too, Sam. But if I ever see another can of soda pop in this room, I will put you up for sale on eBay.” Then she blew a kiss and left the room.
Sam whipped around and saw the contraband next to her computer.
Gulping the last drop, she tossed the can in the wastebasket and carried on blogging.
My mom ROCKS. As if taking care of Danni and me isn’t enough, she also finds the strength to manage Danni’s music career – which means she has continual dealings with Super Music Agent Robert Ruebens (blech). Here’s a question: why isn’t big-shot Robert handling this horrible-Harley mess? How can he let somebody like her go on television and say terrible things about Danni? I didn’t like it when Danni first got famous and folks on TV said how much they “loved her”, but this, her being dissed in front of millions of people, this is sooo much worse!
Gotta go! I’m off to snag a quick bite to eat and then – Olga’s! Can’t wait to find out what this “Day of the Dead” thingy is really like. Details soon – PROMISE!
As Sam hit the “post” button to publish her blog on the World Wide Web, she heard a familiar dinging noise. Looking up at the corner of her computer screen, she discovered an instant message from Olga. The tiny text box read:
FROM: LADY O
C U @ my house!!!
Sam typed super-fast. She hit the “send” button and ran downstairs as her reply appeared in the same little text window.
FROM: HORSE GRRL
B there soon!!
Just when Sam has got used to her sister Danni's pop-star status, and being constantly followed around by a TV Camera Crew, her life is bad-mouthed in the press by rival singer Harley, and Sam discovers that they have a granddad they never knew about.
Sparkly and pastel covered, Kimberley Greene’s two books about pony mad Samantha’s experiences as a sister to teen pop star Dani are enormously appealing to nine to twelve year olds. But these books have added value. Green hopes that Sam will be ‘inspirational to the kid who’s not the Queen Bee’. For those who are tired of the ‘mean-girls’ American high-school scenario, these books will be very welcome.
Celebrities and reality TV are the hottest topics and Sam tells it like it is, in hilarious style, from the glamour and the backstabbing, to the truth behind the scenes. A hilarious follow up to "My Sister’s a Pop Star".
This is a mixture of reality TV combined with an online diary telling the tale of Sam. Sam’s story is that her sister Danni is a pop diva and has attracted a great deal of media attention culminating in a film crew moving in and making a film about their family life. Sam is trying just to lead a normal life amidst all this excitement but is finding things increasingly difficult. Then Sam finds out something really interesting about her family history and realises that they might well have relatives that they have lost touch with.
Part of the rest of the story is the quest to trace the relatives and what happens when they meet. This is set in against the background of the pop duel between Sam’s sister and Harley – a rival singer songwriter. It all ends happily ever after with the rivals ending on friendly terms and all the problems sorted out. A nice funny light read which will feed the reading hunger.
Cherie Gladstone - School Librarian Journal
This is a really good girls’ book. Sam tries to help her famous pop sister Danni against her arch-rival Harley, but causes as much mayhem as she does good. A lot of this book had me laughing out loud. At over three hundred pages it is a longer book than I would normally read, but it had me gripped from beginning to end.
Teen Titles - Caitlin Macfarlane
This is actually a very good book for boys and girls, despite the very girly cover. Sam is the little sister of Danni Devine, major pop star. She's the kid everyone wants to be, yet she wishes she was normal. Read this book if you want to know more. 10/10 a definite winner!
News 4 Kids by Highfield Junior School
This novel was probably my favourite of the series. It was well written and the novel produced a new problem for Sam to ‘help’ with, rather than her just moaning about having TV cameras follow her all the time. This novel is funny and the main character, Sam, is witty and some of her thoughts made me laugh out loud! My favourite character was Sam because she kind of reminds me of, well, me when I was about...nine! She’s funny and witty and if she was real, I would definitely be her friend! I give this book 5/5.
The Mile Long Bookshelf Blogspot - reviewed by 11-year-old reader
Do you agree or disagree with the reviews below? Why not write your own?
this book was super duper cool!!
I so love this book that I read it like a thousand times and still don't get bored by it. I always want to keep on reading and to think about what's going to happen next. This book is really amazing.....
krishna, 29th December 2008
I really enjoyed reading this book to my children - whenever I stopped they begged me to keep going, and I enjoyed the book as much as they did! The characters were so interesting and well-developed that you felt as if you knew them - they became your friends and you couldn't help but cheer on the good guys and boo the bad guys who, in the end, turned out to be pretty great. This was a fun, entertaining and informative read and we are looking forward to the next one. Bravo!
M. Weiner, 21st October 2008
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