TomKat is that you?

Just in time to grab and throw into your tote bag and take with you to the beach or pool comes MOVIE STAR: A Novel BY LIZZIE PEPPER (Viking) by Hilary Liftin. It’s a fun summer read ripped from the headlines about a faux diary by a Katie Holmes-like celebrity.

Lizzie Pepper is an up and coming star from the Midwest who goes into what she thinks is an audition for a Rob Mars film. Rob Mars is the biggest movie star in the world. But the meeting’s actually a setup to see if Lizzie and Rob have chemistry. She falls in love with him and he believes she “completes” him.

Soon they’re engaged and that’s when Lizzie is also introduced to the cornerstone of Rob’s life, a religious/cult-like group called the “One Cell Studio” which teaches the “Whole Body Principles.” He doesn’t directly push her into joining the group, but by now, everyone around her is a “One Cell” member and she’s rarely in contact with her old best friend, Aurora or her parents.

The management and film companies run by “One Cell” arrange the perfect optic to announce Lizzie/Elizabeth and Rob to the world at the Venice Film Festival and from there they are the paparazzi’s “It Couple.” Soon Lizzie finds out she’s pregnant and her life gets more secretive, isolated and she interacts only with “One Cell” members at the LA center.

When she hears her four-year old son speaking the “Whole Body Principles,” she wakes up and starts to notice other odd things that don’t make sense and decides “One Cell” and their “Whole Body Principles” will not work for her and she must take her children and leave. But that’s easier said, than done.

I watched HBOs recent special, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” which was just nominated for a Primetime Emmy. Ironically there was no mention of TomKat in that; I’m sure due to legalities. But reading this FICTIONAL account of “Lizzie Pepper” was surreal, having that special fresh in my mind.

For all things Hilary, check out or Hilary at her twitter @ hilaryliftin

Thanks to Netgalley for providing a kindle copy of MOVIE STAR: A Novel BY LIZZIE PEPPER for an honest review.

Check out for more of my reviews and to check out my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

Have a great weekend.


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