I have loved this book for over a decade. It's one of those "guilty pleasure" books, like if you're addicted to watching "The Bachelor" for some reason. This novel is just a train wreck ready to happen, and you know it. And it can be cringing sometimes. But the best part is that it's a mixture of rumors and happenings that weren't necessarily well-known to the fans of Christina Aguilara, Jessica Simpson, and Britney Spears in their early years. The names, personalities, and happenings just have been jumbled up. The novel is called Confessions of a Back-Up Dancer by Anonymous (not that Anonymous, but Tucker Shaw), and I've loved it since I was a young teen. Get ready, y'all.
Summary (from the always good Goodreads): "glamour. access. scandal.
Ever wonder what your favorite pop divas are like AFTER the cameras stop rolling? What do they do behind closed doors? What are their parties like? What do they think about? What do they fight about? What do they really want? And who do they REALLY hook up with?
Kelly Kimball spent a summer as a backup dancer for Darcy Barnes, the biggest pop star in the world. Kelly's got the real story on Darcy, her life, her family, and her entourage -- and she's spilling it here for the first time. If you think the life of a superstar can't possibly be all it's cracked up to be, you're wrong. It's all that and more. And it's all inside Kelly's tell-all diary: Confessions of a Backup Dancer."
Now, this is supposed to be an anonymous, but real, backup dancer who told Tucker Shaw all of this, but it's not. However, it reads like it's a true backup dancing world though, and like the whole thing truly happened. All the events and personalities that you didn't know until years after this book are certainly convincing of the book's authenticity though. It's all jumbled and kinda confusing if you over-analyze if it's true or not. So, you know, don't over-analyze this book -- it's too fun!
So not only are you getting a look behind the scenes, but you're getting it from the point-of-view of a teen girl who has a true passion for dance, and realistic home life. It's hard at home, where her stepfather and step-sisters drive her insane, and she's protective of her younger brother in all ways. I really understood both sides of that, especially being protective of one's brother, so this book and Kelly in general, really stuck with me. She worked hard to get where she was at, and she also was strong when I know I would have broken. When she becomes a backup dancer, she grows up even faster, and the life seems more glamorous than it truly is. Thankfully, her bff at home is there for her when there are times that she doesn't know what to do or who to trust. The novel portrays both superficial and true friendships, and just how close those two truly are.
This novel reads as a blog, and just as a personal narrative as well. It's very well-written, with just enough "teen" to be convincing of her age. I love the settings, the rushes you feel with Kelly as she gets into "the zone" in her dancing, and how she truly tells it like it is. My favorite is that this novel contains just the gossip that we all want to hear. The costumes described are cool as well. There is just a lot to like about this novel, no matter what age you are.
In Conclusion: Read it, Baby!
5/5 Odd-Looking Male Backup Dancers (+1 Janet Jackson)
Wishing you all happy reads!