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The Princess of Pop: Truth or Dare    by Cathy Hopkins order for
Princess of Pop
by Cathy Hopkins
Order:  USA  Can
Pulse, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Becca is a dreamer. She never really commits to anything, changes her mind often, and usually quits when things begin to get difficult. When she doesn't win the lead in the school play, she chooses not to attend rehearsals for the lesser role. But a game of 'Truth or Dare' with her friends changes everything.

Becca and her friends Cat and Lia accept a dare to try out for the 'Pop Princess' contest (England's version of American Idol). Becca knows she has a good singing voice, but she's terrified she will make a fool of herself in front of the judges. With her father out of work, money is tight, so she's not even sure how she will manage to get to the contest in the first place. When the competition intensifies, will Becca find what it takes to stick with something to the end?

This is the second in Cathy Hopkins' Truth or Dare series. Each episode is told from the point of view of a different teen, so we get to know another one better every time. Becca's transition from being flighty and flaky to developing a more mature outlook on life is realistic and evolves at a natural pace. Fans of American Idol and similar musical competition shows will find this a fun story from the point-of-view of someone experiencing it firsthand. The tension about 'who will win' keeps us turning pages.

The depth of emotion, as well as the underlying moral to the story (not being afraid to dream, sticking with commitments), makes The Princess of Pop much more satisfying than a typical teen novel. It also manages to be entertaining and humorous, the ideal blend for a successful book.

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