This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Susan Lobban
Tanya Travis loves living the celebrity lifestyle. She has her own daytime show, a musician boyfriend, adoring agent and cellulite (oh well you can’t have everything!) But after an interview with Hello sets off a disastrous chain of events, she is left with nothing.
Now, instead of being famous, she is infamous for showing her less than perfect bottom on Twitter. The only option left to get Tanya’s life back on track is to sign up for Celebrity Spa Trek. Trapped in Nepal alongside a sex addict, her glam ex-assistant and no smart phone, Tanya is determined to come out on top.
Tanya is the host of a daytime show which makes Jeremy Kyle look tame, however she longs for the gravitas of a BBC primetime slot. As is often the case, life imitates art and the host’s life is as messed up as her guests. Her love life reads like a feature on the show, as her gold digging boyfriend is sleeping around and may have got someone pregnant. Tanya is exactly what you would imagine a TV presenter to be, over the top and over indulged. Desperately trying to cling to her youth and wanting to keep current, I thought it was funny and very believable that Tanya’s assistant wrote her tweets for her and that they only contained a fraction of the truth.
One aspect of Tanya’s life I did not like was her cleanliness OCD. I know nothing about OCD, but washing in Lemon Flash until your skin bleeds is not something I want to read. I did not feel it matched the light tone of the rest of the book.
After a series of unfortunate events, Tanya’s star wanes and her personal heartbreak becomes public knowledge on the ‘twittersphere’, so she is forced to take part in the lowly Celebrity Spa Trek. The second part of the story, which I enjoyed the most, follows Tanya in Nepal with a mixed bunch of z-listers. The lothario, young sex kitten and middle aged star looking for a comeback are exactly who we would expect to be there. I found that as each new character joined Tanya on the Spa Trek a real celebrity popped into my head.
Stripped of the luxuries she relies on, Tanya’s celebrity façade crumbles and her true self emerges. It is in the Nepal jungle that Tanya achieves the impossible and actually becomes endearing to the reader, particularly when she reveals her regrets in life. I was rooting for Tanya to rise above all the celebrity nonsense that surrounded her and she did not disappoint.
Sue Watson’s version of a reality show is just as funny and entertaining as the ones we watch on TV, if not more so. It is a hysterically, light-hearted look at the ups and downs of celebrity life with lively characters that jump off the page. Leave the humdrum of everyday behind and lose yourself in this tale of stardom.