25 January 2013

Book Review: Red Carpet Burns by Georgia Cassimatis

Title: Red Carpet Burns
Author(s): Georgia Cassimatis
Genre(s): Chick-Lit, Memoir, Travel
Publisher/Date: Harlequin Enterprises Australia / February 1, 2013
Series: Stand Alone

Disclosure: I received a review copy via the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Case Study
What if "The One"...Isn't?

After meeting the gorgeous and charismatic Simon, Georgia Cassimatis swaps her fabulous life in Sydney for Los Angeles, risking it all for a chance at love. Georgia soon finds out, however, that Simon is not the man he seemed to be, and she has left her entire world behind for a loveless marriage with a man who is intent on making her miserable.

LA is a tough town — especially for a girl with no friends, no money and no job — but Georgia finds her way through the liars, fakes and cheats to become a successful celebrity journalist and soon realises she’s fallen in love again — this time with her new home town…LA. 

The Game's Afoot
I have to say, Red Carpet Burns was somewhat deceptive. Going in, I was expecting this deliciously gossipy piece of fiction set to the background of the latest and greatest Hollywood drama; however, it is none of those things. Red Carpet Burns is more of a cautionary tale for persons looking to risk it all and make it big in Los Angeles. Georgia Cassimatis is not a fictional gal---she is both the author and main focus of this book. She tells the tale, her tale, of how she risked everything in the name of love, making the move from her native Sydney to the land of the movie star.

Both jobless and friendless when she gets there, Georgia is forced to rely on beau-turned-hubby, Simon. But we quickly learn that things seemingly too good to be true (namely, people), are just that. Simon is a nasty, selfish excuse for a man whose verbal and emotional abuse makes both Georgia and the reader cringe. How could Georgia could be so complacent and naive about him? Everyone saw right through him and they all warned her. I totally get that it can be hard to see a loved one's faults but, c'mon. I sometimes had to wonder whether her lack of sense was due to denial or if it was the work of embellishment. And believe me, I know that sounds harsh but I just don't get why women put up with that shit. Abuse is never cool in my book.

All the nastiness aside, we see Georgia try to climb the Hollywood ladder one rung and friend at a time. And this is where things start to get better for her (and the reader). Georgia speaks to you through the book as if you're her best friend, each chapter acting as a perfunctory snippet into her work woes, dating life and close friends. I guess the problem here is that she has a tendency to ramble, often getting off track from the chapters initial subject. It makes the book feel more like a free-writing journal than a coherent story. She delivers too many unnecessary explanations and makes too many unwarranted assumptions about what we know or should know and it could get annoying. I get the feeling that this is one of those books that's written more for the people who are a close part of her life than for those of us who aren't. Now don't get me wrong, there are certainly entertaining moments but I just thought they were too far and few between for my overall enjoyment.

I guess my biggest problem with Red Carpet Burns was that there wasn't an overarching theme tying all of her stories together. I mean, isn't that kind of the point? I feel like each individual snippet should leave you with some sort of overarching insight. The only thing I really got out of it was, that by the end, she both simultaneously loved and hated LA. I want something deeper from a memoir than that. The chapters didn't flow effortlessly into one another and the stories often felt forced. Plus, there is no discernible gossip to be found! By the end, Cassimatis teases us with barely-there insider info, but it's not enough to save the book from feeling the Hollywood burn.

Summary Prognosis
Red Carpet Burns is somewhat misleading in its name. While the book does take place in Hollywood and has it's fair share of drama, it's missing all of the juicy gossip expected to back up its name. Overall, I found it a pointless read, lacking in depth and that deeper insight that draws me in to memoirs as a genre. Yes, there are entertaining tidbits throughout, but there wasn't enough to keep me completely satisfied or sympathetic to the author and her story.

Rating: ★★

Read It: Booktopia
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website | Harlequin Books


  1. That's too bad :( Too many unnecessary explanations would annoy me too. Great, honest review. It does sound like a book written for people who already know her.

    On a different topic, I have to tell you, they are filming scenes for Catching Fire by my job! I saw the film crew today. *squeal* I blogged about it :)
    Enjoy your weekend.

    1. Yeah, I thought so, Naida. Oh well, you can't win em' all I guess.

      OMG! OMG! OMG! Can I come visit you (and perhaps sneak my way into a job)?!


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