Friday, June 27, 2014

Novel Review: Hancock Park by Isabel Kaplan

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: 2009
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Becky Miller lives in the best neighborhood, goes to school with the children of movie stars, and has her psychiatrist on speed dial. She may live in the City of Angels, but this sixteen-year-old's life is far from perfect.

By day, Becky navigates the halls of one of L.A.'s most elite schools, where the mean girls are a special breed of mean, and at night, she deals with sparring parents, a grandmother who is man-crazy, and a younger brother, Jack, who answers only to J-zizzy. As Becky's life comes crashing down around her, she struggles to put it back together and learn to grow up while trying to stay sane.

Isabel Kaplan dishes the dirt on the children of Hollywood's elite--from Spago delivered to campus at lunch and shrinks who dole out psychotropic drugs as though they're candy to parent-free parties at the Four Seasons--the lives of Becky and her creator, Isabel Kaplan, are like no other, and yet strangely, just like everyone's.

The Cover:

This cover is all right. It's not particularly appealing, and it doesn't really make me want to pick the book up, but it does actually kind of fit the book.


  • "I’ve always liked getting my hair done because no matter how I look when I walk in, I know that I’ll look much better when I walk out. […] Also, I like to wait as long as I can between haircuts because that maximizes the effect of each one. There’s nothing exciting about getting my hair trimmed an eighth of an inch, because I won’t look any different. But if I cut off three inches, I could become an entirely different person in a matter of minutes.” (Hardback, pg. 43)
  • "But was it bad that I sort of, kind of wanted to be one of those ogled girls? I could still maintain my self-respect while dressed like a slutty fairy-tale character, right?” (Pg. 121)


This was a pretty mediocre book. It wasn’t too bad, a little interesting and funny at times, but also forgettable.
I enjoyed the characters; I liked Becky, her thoughts on things, and how she matured. I related to her at some points, and understood her struggle with her parents and friends. I didn’t grow overly attached to any of the characters, but I did like some of them. There were some really thoughtful and funny moments. It was a fast read, too.
I liked it, but didn’t grow too attached, and it was, sadly, easy to forget.

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