Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Better Off Famous?

Better Off Famous?

A Novel

Jane Mendle

St. Martin's Griffin




Fame is awesome, right? Partying every night at the hottest clubs. Hanging with the coolest stars. Having your picture in every magazine. Yeah, that's what Annie Hoffman thought too. Until she became a celebrity.

In Better Off Famous? by Jane Mendle, all Annie ever wanted for her sixteenth birthday was a driver's license and a spot at Julliard's prestigious high school violin program. Well, she got neither. But as luck would have it, a casting director for fall's hottest new television show happens to be at the Julliard auditions, and Annie wows him. He thinks her look is exactly what his show, a teen soap set at a posh New York school, has been missing. And just like that, Annie gets cast as the naive "new girl," and her life is turned upside down.

Sure, the perks are great, the wardrobe is awesome, and her tutor is a super hot genius… but being stalked day and night by paparazzi out to catch her in her worst light---not so fun! Can Annie learn to balance her life-- and her partying-- before the press, and the public, write her off for good?


Chapter 1

The sweat began, as always, in my palms. It was 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 13, and my drippy hands had now existed, ex utero, for precisely sixteen years and five hours. I wiped my palms on my tank top and smiled weakly at the driving...


Praise for Better Off Famous?

“A likable, flawed heroine helps set apart this fairly formulaic book about the trappings of fame. When narrator Annie Hoffman's great-aunt invites her for a visit to New York City, the talented violinist from Alabama secretly auditions for Juilliard. Instead of an acceptance from the prestigious music school, though, Annie gets another offer: she literally runs into a television producer, who invites her to audition for a new teen show (the role just happens to be for a Southern good girl who plays the violin). As Annie is catapulted to stardom, she hangs out with celebrities, receives an amazing gown for free and, less pleasingly, is stalked by the media...Mendle (Kissing in Technicolor) convincingly builds Annie's transformation from nice small-town girl to big-city wild child (after she blows off young fans in one of her first diva acts, she feels bad, saying to herself, "Maybe I could complete my transformation into Cruella DeVil by ingesting live newborn puppies"). There's never any doubt about the path Mendle or her narrator will take, but the amusing narration and wishful premise will keep readers following along.” —Publishers Weekly

“Sixteen-year-old Annie Hoffman, a talented violinist, lives in a small town in Alabama. When she receives a surprise invitation from her great-aunt to visit her in New York City, Annie has the opportunity to audition for Juilliard, but she is not accepted. At first, she is devastated but then, through an extraordinary series of coincidences, she lands a part on a hot new television series, Country Day, playing a wholesome young Southern girl who is a violinist. At first Annie is bedazzled by her new status as a celebrity and all the perks that accompany it, but as she becomes accustomed to the lifestyle, she starts taking everything and everyone for granted, including her new boyfriend. An outrageous incident of bratty behavior leads to tabloid headlines (Lindsay and Britney, anyone?), and Annie finds herself trying to salvage her reputation and recover her sense of self. This is a fun read, despite the implausibilities in the plot. Like Zoey Dean's "A-List" series and Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" books (both Little, Brown), there is the requisite mention of designer labels and hot clubs, but this is much more a cautionary tale about the hazards of fame and fortune. There are also quite a few sly digs at the artificiality of the television and celebrity worlds. Recommend this one to your Meg Cabot fans.” —School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jane Mendle

Jane Mendle is the author of the critically acclaimed Kissing in Technicolor. She is also a PhD candidate in psychology at the University of Virginia. Better Off Famous? is her first YA novel.

Jane Mendle

Jane Mendle

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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