I really love Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s novels, every time that I need a fix of something really good to read I go and blindly pick up any of her novels and read it because usually they are excellent. So when I started reading What I did for Love I was expecting something completely different, or at least more genuine. What I found in this novel made me think that Susan ran out of ideas for a novel and took a much publicized celebrity story and made a novel out of it.
This is the story of America’s Sweetheart Georgie York, better known for her work as Scooter on the TV series “Skip and Scooter”, a TV series that ended a long time ago but everybody still remembers. The book starts when paparazzi are chasing Georgie to show her the picture of the sonogram of the baby that her ex-husband and his new wife are expecting (they are both actors too). It has been a year since her divorce but she is still hurt by all the publicity; what happened was that she was married to this super handsome and famous actor, they were both rich and famous, but then while Lance, the ex, was filming a movie abroad he fell in love with the gorgeous and humanitarian actress Jade. Long story short, he asked Georgie for a divorce, moved in with Jade and started a new life travelling to save the world.
On the other hand we have Bramwell, he is the Skip of “Skip and Scooter”; unlike Georgie he made a mess out of his career: he did drugs and alcohol and his wild behaviour led to the end of “Skip and Scooter”, needless to say he has a bad boy reputation in Hollywood. However, a decade has passed and he has grown up a lot and is trying to build a new reputation and a new career.
This is the point where those two reunite, of course they can’t stand each other but they are in a situation –they end up married a la Britney Spears, or better yet a la Ross and Rachel -that forces them to act and live as a couple in love if they want to save their careers. The thing that they did to feed the paparazzi is crazy. You may disagree with me on this, but this part of the story made difficult for me to connect with them, there was a point when I just wanted too stop reading because they acted like they didn’t have personalities especially Georgie, whose relationship with her father got on my nerves.
I don’t have to tell you which celebrities this story resembles, do I? The whole Jen-Brad-Angelina thing in annoying and I don’t even want to start with all the monologues about “poor little rich and famous girl”. I get that in must be hard to live with the pressure of everybody knowing what goes on in your life but she is incredible rich, she has a successful career and spent the whole book complaining and heartbroken, and let me tell you this Lance, the ex, in a complete jerk.
I do have to say that there are several parts of the book that I enjoyed, Chaz is amazing and her story is heartbreaking; the interaction between Georgie and Bram is sometimes nice; they reach a point when they get to know each other pretty well and finally separate themselves from Skip and Scooter’s characters, the way that Georgie takes control of her life and her career in also a good thing, and even when the plot is not particularly original the writing is top notch and the story is fairly enjoyable. This is a book for people that already know Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ work, if you have never read any of her books I recommend you to star reading the Chicago Star Series or Ain’t She Sweet, because this book is definitely not good first impression material.
Review by Marie
How did this happen? Georgie York, once the costar of America's favorite television sitcom, has been publicly abandoned by her famous husband, her film career has tanked, her father is driving her crazy, and her public image as a spunky heroine is taking a serious beating.What should a down-on-her-luck actress do? Not go to Vegas . . . not run into her detestable former costar, dreamboat-from-hell Bramwell Shepard . . . and not get caught up in an ugly incident that leads to a calamitous elopement. Before she knows it, Georgie has a fake marriage, a fake husband, and maybe (or not) a fake sex life.It's a paparazzi free-for-all, and Georgie's nonsupporting cast doesn't help. There's Bram's punk-nightmare housekeeper, Georgie's own pushy parent, a suck-up agent, an icy studio head with a private agenda, and her ex-husband's new wife, who can't get enough of doing good deeds and saving the world—the bitch. As for Georgie's leading man, Bram's giving the performance of his life, but he's never cared about anyone except himself, and it's not exactly clear why.Two enemies find themselves working without a script in a town where the spotlight shines bright . . . and where the strongest emotions can wear startling disguises
HarperCollins e-book, January 27, 2009