Hollywood High (Hollywood High Series #1)by Ni-Ni Simone, Amir Abrams
London Phillips will diet as her mother demands. She'll even date the billionaire her mother has chosen for her. But she won't give up her secret hottie,
They're the daughters of celebrities--the kind all the teen mags gossip about! But the It Girls of Hollywood High are about to discover that fame has a price. And no friendship--or romance--is safe. . .
London Phillips will diet as her mother demands. She'll even date the billionaire her mother has chosen for her. But she won't give up her secret hottie, Justice Banks. She and Justice plan to elope--right after he becomes a hip-hop superstar. All he has to do is seduce a media mogul's darling daughter, Rich Montgomery, and a record deal is his! But he better remember London is really his girl. . .
Rich is so lucky to have a BFF like London. It was London who introduced her to dreamy Justice. Little does she know that her new heartthrob is about to cause a media explosion that will change this spoiled princess's life forever. . .
Spencer Ellington hates to see a billionaire go to waste. That's why she's hooking up with London's boyfriend, Anderson Ford. London may not be in love with Anderson, but she believes he'll do anything for her. Just wait till she finds out the only thing Anderson is doing is Spencer. . .
Heather Cummings wants in with the It Girls to secure the spotlight for her actress mother.
But when she stumbles upon a secret about the father she never knew, she discovers she has ties to the clique so scandalous it may just bring Hollywood High's in-crowd to their knees!
"Simone tells authentic stories of teen life in the 'hood better than any other author currently writing contemporary YA street lit." --Library Journal on Teenage Love Affair (starred review)
Read an Excerpt
By Ni-Ni Simone Amir Abrams
Dafina KTeen BooksCopyright © 2012 Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams
All right reserved.
Listen up and weep. Let me tell you what sets me apart from the rest of these wannabe-fabulous broads.
I am fabulous.
From the beauty mole on the upper-left side of my pouty, seductive lips to my high cheekbones and big, brown sultry eyes, I'm that milk-chocolate dipped beauty with the slim waist, long sculpted legs, and triple-stacked booty that had all the cuties wishing their girl could be me. And somewhere in this world, there was a nation of gorilla-faced hood rats paying the price for all of this gorgeousness. Boom, thought you knew! Born in London-hint, hint. Cultured in Paris, and molded in New York, the big city of dreams. And now living here in La-La Land—the capital of fakes, flakes, and multiple plastic surgeries. Oh ... and a bunch of smog!
Pampered, honey-waxed, and glowing from the UMO 24-karat gold facial I just had an hour ago, it was only right that I did what a diva does best—be diva-licous, of course. So, I slowly pulled up to the entrance of Hollywood High, exactly three minutes and fifty-four seconds before the bell rang, in my brand-new customized chocolate brown Aston Martin Vantage Roadster with the hot pink interior. I had to have every upgrade possible to make sure I stayed two steps ahead of the rest of these West Coast hoes. By the time I was done, Daddy dropped a check for over a hundred-and-sixty grand. Please, that's how we do it. Write checks first, ask questions later. I had to bring it! Had to serve it! Especially since I heard that Rich—Hollywood High's princess of ghetto fabulousness—would be rolling up in the most expensive car on the planet.
Ghetto bird or not, I really couldn't hate on her. Three reasons: a) her father had the whole music industry on lock with his record label; b) she was West Coast royalty; and c) my daddy, Turner Phillips, Esquire, was her father's attorney. So there you have it. Oh, but don't get it twisted. From litigation to contract negotiations, with law offices in London, Beverly Hills, and New York, Daddy was the powerhouse go-to attorney for all the entertainment elite across the globe. So my budding friendship with Rich was not just out of a long history of business dealings between my Daddy and hers, but out of necessity.
Image was everything here. Who you knew and what you owned and where you lived all defined you. So surrounding myself around the Who's Who of Hollywood was the only way to do it, boo. And right now, Rich, Spencer, and Heather—like it or not—were Hollywood's "It Girls." And the minute I stepped through those glass doors, I was about to become the newest member.
Heads turned as I rolled up to valet with the world in the palm of my paraffin-smooth hands blaring Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" out of my Bang & Olufsen BeoSound stereo. I needed to make sure that everyone saw my personalized tags: LONDON. Yep, that's me! London Phillips—fine, fly and forever fabulous. Oh, and did I mention ... drop-dead gorgeous? That's right. My moment to shine happened the day I was born. And the limelight had shone on me ever since. From magazine ads and television commercials to the catwalks of Milan and Rome, I may have been new to Hollywood High, but I was not new to the world of glitz and glamour, or the clicking of flash bulbs in my face.
Grab a pad and pen. And take notes. I was taking the fashion world by storm and being groomed by the best in the industry long before any of these Hollywood hoes knew what Dior, Chanel, or Yves St. Laurent stood for—class, style, and sophistication. None of them could serve me, okay. Not when I had an international supermodel for a mother who kept me laced in all of the hottest wears (or as they say in France, haute couture) from Paris and Milan—Italy, that is.
For those who don't know. Yes, supermodel Jade Phillips was my mother. With her jet black hair and exotic features, she'd graced the covers of Vogue, Marie Claire, L'Officiel—a high-end fashion magazine in France and seventy other countries across the world—and she was also featured in TIME's fashion magazine section for being one of the most sought-out models in the industry. And now she'd made it her life's mission to make sure I follow in her diamond-studded footsteps down the catwalk, no matter what. Hence the reason why I forced myself to drink down that god-awful seaweed smoothie, compliments of yet another one of her ridiculous diet plans to rid me of my dangerous curves so that I'd be runway ready, as she liked to call it. Translation: a protruding collarbone, flat-chest, narrow hips, and pancake-flat booty cheeks—a walking campaign ad for Feed the Hungry. Ugh!
I flipped down my visor to check my face and hair to make sure everything was in place, then stepped out of my car, leaving the door open and the engine running for the valet attendant. I handed him my pink canister filled with my mother's green gook. "Here. Toss this mess, then clean out my cup." He gave me a shocked look, clearly not used to being given orders. But he would learn today. "Umm, did I stutter?"
"Good. And I want my car washed and waxed by three."
"Yes, ma'am. Welcome to Hollywood High."
"Whatever." I shook my naturally thick and wavy hair from side to side, pulled my Chanels down over my eyes to block the sparkling sun and the ungodly sight of a group of Chia Pets standing around gawking. Yeah, I knew they saw my work. Two-carat pink diamond studs bling-blinging in my ears. Twenty-thousand-dollar pink Hermès Birkin bag draped in the crook of my arm, six-inch Louis Vuitton stilettos on my feet, as I stood poised. Back straight. Hip forward. One foot in front of the other. Always ready for a photo shoot. Lights! Camera! High Fashion! Should I give you my autograph now or later? Click, click!
The scarlet-red bottoms of my six-inch Louboutins gleamed as the butterfly doors of my hot pink Bugatti inched into the air and I stepped out and into the spotlight of the California sun. The heated rays washed over me as I sashayed down the red carpet and toward the all-glass student entrance. I was minutes shy of the morning bell, of course.
Voilá, grand entrance.
An all-eyes-on-the-princess type of thing. Rewind that. Now replace princess with sixteen-year-old queen.
Yes, I was doin' it. Poppin' it in the press, rockin' it on all the blogs, and my face alone—no matter the headline—glamorized even the cheapest tabloid.
And yeah, I was an attention whore. And yeah, umm hmm, it was a dirty job. Scandalous. But somebody had to have it on lock.
Besides, starring in the media was an inherited jewel that came with being international royalty. Daughter of the legendary billionaire, hip-hop artist, and groundbreaking record executive, once known as M.C. Wickedness and now solely known as Richard G. Montgomery Sr., President and C.E.O. of the renowned Grand Records.
Think hotter than Jay-Z.
Signed more talent than Clive Davis.
More platinum records than Lady Gaga or her monsters could ever dream.
Think big, strong, strapping, chocolate, and handsome and you've got my daddy.
And yes, I'm a daddy's girl.
But bigger than that, I'm the exact design and manifestation of my mother's plan to get rich or die trying—hailing from the gutters of Watts, a cramped two-bedroom, concrete ranch, with black bars on the windows and a single palm tree in the front yard—to a sixty-two thousand square foot, fully staffed, and electronically gated, sixty acre piece of 90210 paradise. Needless to say my mother did the damn thing.
And yeah, once upon a time she was a groupie, but so what? We should all aspire to be upgraded. From dating the local hood rich thugs, to swooning her way into the hottest clubs, becoming a staple backstage at all the concerts, to finally clicking her Cinderella heels into the right place at the right time—my daddy's dressing room—and the rest is married-with-two-kids-and-smiling-all-the-way-to the-bank history.
And sure, there was a prenup, but again, so what? Like my mother, the one and only Logan Montgomery, said, giving birth to my brother and me let my daddy know it was cheaper to keep her.
So, with parents like mine my life added up to this: my social status was better and bigger than the porno tape that made Kim Trick-dashian relevant and hotter than the ex-con Paris Hilton's jail scandal. I was flyer than Beyoncé and wealthier than Blue Ivy. From the moment I was born, I had fans, wannabes, and frenemies secretly praying to God that they'd wake up and be me. Because along with being royalty I was the epitome of beauty: radiant chestnut skin, sparkling marble brown eyes, lashes that extended and curled perfectly at the ends, and a 5'6", brick-house thick body that every chick in L.A. would tango with death and sell their last breath to the plastic surgeon to get.
Yeah, it was like that. Trust. My voluptuous milkshake owned the yard.
And it's not that my shit didn't stink, it's just that my daddy had a PR team to ensure the scent faded away quickly.
Believe me, my biggest concern was my Parisian stylist making sure that I murdered the fashion scene.
I refreshed the pink gloss on my full lips and took a quick peek at my reflection in the mirrored entrance door. My blunt Chinese bob lay flush against my sharp jawline and swung with just the right bounce as I confirmed that my glowing eye shadow and blush was Barbie-doll perfect and complemented my catwalk-ready ensemble. Black diamond studded hoops, fitted red skinny leg jeans, a navy short-sleeve blazer with a Burberry crest on the right breast pocket, a blue and white striped camisole, four strands of sixty-inch pearls, and a signature Gucci tote dangled around my wrist.
A wide smile crept upon me.
I stepped across the glass threshold and teens of all shapes and sizes lined the marble hallways and hung out in front of their mahogany lockers. There were a few newbies—better known as new-money—who stared at me and were in straight fan mode. I blessed them with a small fan of the fingers and then I continued on my way. I had zero interest in newbies especially since I knew that by this time next year, most of them would be broke and back in public school throwing up gang signs. Okay!
Soooo, moving right along.
I swayed my hips and worked the catwalk toward my locker, and just as I was about to break into a Naomi Campbell freeze, pose, and turn, for no other reason than being fabulous, the words, "Hi, Rich!" slapped me in the face and almost caused me to stumble.
What the ...
I steadied my balance and blinked, not once but four times. It was Spencer, my ex-ex-ex-years ago-ex-bff, like first grade bff—who I only spoke to and continued to claim because she was good for my image and my mother made me do it.
And, yeah, I guess I'll admit I kind of liked her—sometimes—like one or two days out of the year, maybe. But every other day this chick worked my nerves. Why? Because she was el stupido, dumb, and loco all rolled up into one.
I lifted my eyes to the ceiling, slowly rolled them back down and then hit her with a smile. "Hey, girlfriend."
"Hiiiiii." She gave me a tight smile and clenched her teeth.
I hit her with a Miss America wave and double-cheeked air-kisses.
I guess that wasn't enough for her, because instead of rolling with the moment, this chick snatched a hug from me and I almost hurled. Ev'ver'ree. Where.
Spencer released me and I stood stunned. She carried on, "It's so great to see you! I just got back from the French Alps in Spain." She paused. Tapped her temple with her manicured index finger. "Or was that San Francisco? But anyway, I couldn't wait to get back to Hollywood High! I can't believe we're back in school already!"
I couldn't speak. I couldn't. And I didn't know what shocked me more: that she put her hands on me, or that she smelled like the perfume aisle at Walgreens.
OMG, my eyes were burning ...
"Are you okay, Rich?"
Did she attack me?
Say something ...
I blinked again.
Did I die ...?
"Umm, girl, yeah," I said coming to and pinching myself to confirm that I was still alive. "What are you wearing? You smell—"
"Delish?" She completed my sentence. "It's La-Voom, Heather's mother's new scent. She asked me to try it and being that I'm nice like that, I did." She spun around as if she were modeling new clothes. "You like?" She batted her button eyes.
Hell no. "I think it's fantast!" I cleared my throat. "But do tell, is she still secretly selling her line out of a storage shed? Or did the courts settle that class action lawsuit against her for that terrible skin rash she caused people?"
Spencer hesitated. "Skin rash?"
"Skin to the rash. And I really hope she's seen the error of her ... ways ..." My voice drifted. "Oh my ... wow." I looked Spencer over, and my eyes blinked rapidly. "Dam'yum!" I said tight-lipped. "Have you been wandering skid row and doing homeless boys again—?"
"Homeless boys—?" She placed her hands on her hips.
"Don't act as if you've never been on the creep-creep with a busted boo and his cardboard box."
"How dare you!" Spencer's eyes narrowed.
"What did I do?!" I pointed at the bumpy alien on her neck. "I'm trying to help you and bring that nastiness to your attention. And if you haven't been entertaining busters then Heather's mother did it to you!"
"Did it to me?" Spencer's eyes bugged and her neck swerved. "I don't go that way! And for your information I have never wandered skid row. I knew exactly where I was going! And I didn't know Joey was homeless. He lied and told me that cardboard box was a science experiment. How dare you bring that up! I'm not some low-level hoochie. So get your zig-zag straight. Because I know you don't want me to talk about your secret visit in a blond wig to an STD clinic. Fire crotch. Queen of the itch, itch."
My chocolate skin turned flaming red, and the South Central in my genes was two seconds from waking up and doing a drive-by sling. I swallowed, drank in two deep breaths, and reloaded with an exhale. "Listen here, Bubbles, do you have Botox leaking from your lips or something? Certainly you already know talking nasty to me is not an option, because I will take my Gucci-covered wrist and beat you into a smart moment. I'm sooo not the one! So I advise you to back up." I pointed my finger into her face and squinted. "All the way up."
"The only commitment I have to the word better, is that I better stay rich and I better stay beautiful, anything other than that is optional. Now you on the other hand, what you better do is shut your mouth, take your compact out and look at the pimple-face bearrilla growing on your neck!"
And I waited for something else nasty to slip from her lips. I'd had enough. Over. It. Besides, my mother taught me that talking only went thus far, and when you tired of the chatter, you were to slant your neck and click-click-boom your hater. But, never with the hands, that was so unlady like. Instead, one was to clip their nemesis with a threat that their dirtiest little secret was an e-mail away from being on tabloid blast. "Now, Spencer," I batted my lashes and said with a tinge of concern, "I'm hoping your silence means you've discovered that all of this ying-yang is not the move for you. So, may I suggest that you shut the hell up? Unless, of course, you want the world to uncover that freaky videotaped secret you and your mother hope like hell the Vatican will pray away."
All the color left her face and her lips clapped shut.
I smiled and mouthed, "Pow! Now hit the floor with that."
I can't stand Rich! That bug-eyed beetle walked around here like she was Queen It when all she really was, was cheap and easy. Ready to give it up at the first hello. Trampette should've been her first name and Man-Eater her last! I should've pulled out my crystal nail file and slapped her big face with it. Who did she think she was?
I fanned my hand out over the front of my denim mini-dress, shifting the weight of my one-hundred-and-eighteen-pound frame from one six-inch, pink heeled foot to the other. Unlike Rich, who was one beef patty short of a Whopper, I was dancer toned and could wear anything and look fabulous in it. But I chose not to be over-the-top with it because unlike Rich and everyone else here at Hollywood High, I didn't have to impress anyone. I was naturally beautiful and knew it.
And yeah, she was cute and all. And, yeah, she dressed like no other. But Trampette forgot I knew who she was before Jenny Craig and before she had those crowded ass teeth shaved down and straightened out. I knew her when she was a chunky bucktooth Teletubby running around and losing her breath on the playground. So there was no way Miss Chipmunk wanted to roll down in the gutter with me 'cause I was the Ace of Spades when it came to messy!
Excerpted from Hollywood HIGH by Ni-Ni Simone Amir Abrams Copyright © 2012 by Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams. Excerpted by permission of Dafina KTeen Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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this was a really good book because it made you feel like you were in the book. I would recommend this to anybody that likes a funny and realistic book. I would also recommend reading the other series.
Pretty terrible look. It seems like it would have a good story line but things are so out of order and random that you can't follow anything. Plus the writing is terrible. A little heavy with the Ebonics and slang. Nothing even really happens in the first novel and you have no real idea where the story is going. Save yourself some time and pass on this novel
Reviewed by Valerie Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Four girls, London, Rich, Spencer, and Heather, going to Hollywood High wearing their bling, roaring up in customized cars, and flashing their smiles…underneath all the glamour are four very selfish girls trying to outdo the other. London’s father is a high-profile lawyer and her mom a supermodel. Rich’s parents are a poor rapper turned business mogul and her mom a former groupie. Spencer’s parents are never around and her closest family is the housekeeper. Heather’s mom is a washed-up wannabe drunk and won’t tell her who her dad is… As you get to know the girls and all their drama, you find out that they are selfish because it’s all they know. There are no nice family vacations with loving parents and siblings. There are no memories of being tucked in at night after being read to. There are daily scale weigh-ins with sighs of disappointment from a mom, mother-daughter fights involving pills and booze, as well as lonely nights with no parents around. At school, it’s on! The girls are constantly watched and in the middle of all sorts of drama involving boys, cell phone pics, videos, and who is with who. As you read their stories, each chapter told by a different girl, you begin to care for them and hope that they can make it through the maze of their lives. At the end, a reference is made to watch out for more from Hollywood High which would be great as many questions are left unanswered. I did find that the story flowed and I enjoyed it but did feel a disconnect from the girls’ lavish lifestyles. Also, for mature teen readers 16+ due to sexual situations. Favorite Quote: My life was nothing about me. It was all about them. Their money. Their image. Their dreams. Their wishes. Their plans for me.
I will definitely NOT be recommending this book for purchase in our school library! Wow-it's bad enough with all the reality shows misleading our young, impressionable girls. Books like these, that show to be popular you have to be mean, have sex at a very young age, lie, and believe that rules do not apply to you, should be outlawed. The only positive feature of this book-the author finally allowed the girls to speak (and think) intelligently-I'm desperately hoping that girls down there in the posh neighborhoods and schools of Hollywood do not speak like that! Terrible book and writing.
She call her self pretty please
I have the book is good and funny i like books with drama and funny stuff i let my friend borrow my book i kno she gonnia like it
Ok i am there
Loved this book!
I give it a 4 because in the begining it was boring. But closer to the end it got really good. I would reccomend this book, if you got good patience.