Hancock Park

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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 eliteschools, and at night she deals with sparring parents—all without the help of her best friend, who just moved across the country. So when the coolest girls in school suddenly take an interest in her, Becky hopes her life is about to ...

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Hancock Park

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Overview

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 eliteschools, and at night she deals with sparring parents—all without the help of her best friend, who just moved across the country. So when the coolest girls in school suddenly take an interest in her, Becky hopes her life is about to take a turn for the fabulous.

Written by someone who has seen it all, Hancock Park follows the crazy lives of Hollywood teens, as one girl tries to stay sane in the middle of it all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in Los Angeles, teenage author Kaplan's debut details 16-year-old Becky's struggles with her parents' divorce and her social life after her best friend moves to New York. Readers (and Becky) learn of her intelligence when she takes an IQ test and has high results, but little in her observations and narrative suggest a genius to accompany that score (her involvement in the Model UN at all-girl's academy feels forced). Her desire to be popular fluctuates between her scorn for the Trinity, the popular girls in her junior class, and her joy at hanging out with them ("I had gone out with an extremely attractive, very popular boy, and I was friends with the most popular girls in school. Life was good"). Slowly, Becky makes some positive changes-she switches from a prescription-happy psychiatrist to a more effectual one, and realizes her new boyfriend is a jerk. Her problems will resonate with and be familiar to readers, though her personal growth feels rushed and does not build in a realistic way. Ages 14-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
Gr 8–11—In this debut novel, Kaplan has created a teenager who actually talks, thinks, and acts like one. Angeleno Becky Miller, 16, like most of her friends, has parents in "the business": Mom has a talk show and Dad is an entertainment attorney. Although both of them have good intentions and love their children, they have little time to interact with them on a daily basis. Becky and her younger brother pretty much manage their own lives. The stress of this lifestyle really affects her, and she shows signs of OCD and severe anxiety, which heavy medication only partially relieves. Becky knows that she needs to keep her life together while everything else, including her parents' marriage, is falling apart, but it's tough when you don't have much control over such matters. This pivotal semester is a true test of her character and endurance, and as she stumbles through, readers will relate to her difficulties and cheer for her successes. Kaplan is an author to watch.—Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Despite her glitzy surroundings, Los Angeles junior Becky is plagued by troubles. Her parents are divorcing, her best friend has just moved to New York and her shrink is overmedicating her. An impulse session at the salon leaves her blonde, something that gets her noticed by a trio of popular, semi-mean girls. Soon she finds herself partying, teasing the one girl who's been nice to her and landing her first boyfriend. While Becky's stock soars at school, her unstable home life complicates her sense of mental balance and aggravates her already-stressed nerves. A host of quirky side characters, including Becky's grandmother, floats in and out of the novel, never staying long enough to make any impression on readers. Story lines drop in and out, as well, and the pat ending, in which Becky confronts her evil friends, is straight out of a teen movie. Neither light enough to live up to its Hollywood-style cover and flap copy nor serious enough to compete with the likes of more literary problem novels, this is a forgettable, superficial, all-around disappointment. (Fiction. YA)
People
“Perfect poolside reading.
People Magazine
"Perfect poolside reading.
People
“Perfect poolside reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061246524
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Isabel Kaplan was born in Los Angeles, where she attended Marlborough School. She is now a student at Harvard University. This is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nothing Special

    This book was not that great. The plot was rather basic and seeing the author was only 16 when she wrote this (18 when she published it), you can kind of tell. I don't understand the purpose of this book. I thought it was going to be similiar to "The A-list series" or other fiction books talking about the famous and glitzy LA life; this isn't the case with this book. The reading level seemes very basic, and the chapters were very short, so it makes me think "Hancock Park" should be for people who are under 12 years of age. If you can find this book at a library, then go for it, if you are truly that bored with your life, but I wouldn't spend money on it. There are much better books out there. I just finished this book, and it was honestly a waste of time. "Hancock Park" is average at the very best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

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    Posted May 20, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

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    Posted July 10, 2009

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