Authors: Zoey Dean
Tags: #Girls & Women, #Los Angeles (Calif.), #Sisters, #People & Places, #Performing Arts - Film, #Family, #Film, #Motion pictures - Production and direction, #Dating & Sex, #Performing Arts, #Friendship, #Siblings, #United States, #Juvenile Fiction, #Fiction, #Lifestyles, #fame, #Interpersonal Relations, #Social Issues - General, #Social Issues - Friendship, #City & Town Life, #Social Issues, #Social Issues - Dating & Sex, #Motion pictures, #High schools, #Schools, #General, #Children's Books - Young Adult Fiction, #Children: Young Adult (Gr. 10-12), #Production and direction
The A-List: Hollywood Royalty #2: Sunset
To my parents, Debra and William, for never making my epic dreams feel too big for me and
for helping me feel like the star of my own life. Oh, and for genetically gifting me with good
looks and a quick wit.
All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
--Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond,
I'LL GRANT YOU THAT
Myla Everhart's black SUV pulled up in front of Beverly Hills High, and immediately, her
driver, Charlie, came around to open the door. Myla sighed and stepped out onto the school's
front walkway. At least she'd gotten to come in late. After a terrible, sleepless weekend, she'd
gotten her mom, megastar Lailah Barton, to call the attendance office and tell them Myla would
be missing her first few classes, citing "female troubles." Worked every time.
Myla walked toward the front doors, faking a bounce in her step. She could almost hear the
whispers of the students gathered on the front lawn between their second-and third-period
classes. Normally, Myla loved when people talked about her. Relished it, in fact.
As long as what they were discussing fell along the lines of:
* How she'd snagged a limited edition pair of Louis Vuitton peep-toe pumps.
* How her long ebony hair maintained its shimmer.
* How she'd rocked Gucci on the red carpet for one of her parents' new movies.
* What an impossibly beautiful and perfect couple she and Ash Gilmour made.
But she and Ash were officially broken up. She strode down the path at the center of the front
lawn, staring down the curious eyes of the student body. She knew exactly what today's Myla
Fun Fact was.
Myla Everhart, caught making out with Lewis Buford, the biggest slimeball asshole at BHH.
Caught by Ash, that is. Ash, who was mortal enemies with Lewis.
Myla held her head high, gliding across the BHH grounds in her new Miss Dior silver
stilettos. Yesterday she and Ash had called a truce, vowing to be civil to one another. True, it
was better than him hating her forever. But it wasn't exactly the outcome she'd been looking
But at least she had her girlfriends. She was on her way to meet them now. Billie Bollman,
Talia Montgomery, and Fortune Weathers could be counted on to take her mind off things.
Myla usually chose retail therapy over "Why doesn't he like me?" wailfests, but today, she
needed to unload some baggage, and knew her besties would be there to carry it for her.
Her friends were waiting for her in their usual spot, a sunny corner just outside the main
entrance to BHH. A light breeze drifted by, and the white Moonstone rosebushes lining the
paver-stone pathway swayed, their dancing, curvaceous shadows flickering over the girls.
They were huddled in a circle, like a football team with great taste in couture, but looked up and
gave gleeful shrieks as Myla approached.
"Omigod, omigod, omigod," Talia cried, bouncing on her strappy mulberry Fendi platforms.
Myla couldn't wait for her glossy brown hair to reach shoulder length again after an ill-fated
bob. "Did you hear?" She tightly wrapped her thin, tan arms around her buxom chest, as if her
petite frame couldn't contain her excitement.
Myla shook her head. She wondered briefly if some new rumor about her and Lewis had
surfaced, but decided to play it cool. "No, what's going on?"
"Two words..." Fortune Weathers chimed in purposefully. She stepped between Talia and
Myla, adjusting her black satin Chanel headband so that it rested over her canopy of blond hair.
"Grant. Isaacson." She arched one slightly overwaxed brow to punctuate the news, looking like
the star of a 1950s commercial for dish soap.
Billie Bollman tapped her bubble-gum pink ballet flat against the brick wall, her smile two sizes
too big for her long, horsey face. "He's
," she squealed, twirling a strand of her fine, white
blond hair. "Somewhere. This is so much better than the time JT performed at your birthday
Myla suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. Grant Isaacson was all the current hotness if you
were a girl between ages twelve and eighteen who couldn't find a real boyfriend. He'd only
acted in two movies. Lucky for him, a beyond-hot love scene with Kristen Bell in Martin
, a crime drama about a suburban pizza delivery boy who outwits the mob,
had made the film a categorical success with the unlikely teen girl demographic. Grant--a pale,
high-cheekboned hipster with permanently mussed dark brown hair--was master of the glower,
a sleepy-eyed, purse-lipped glare that most teen girls believed could only be improved if he
took off his shirt. Personally, Myla thought his famous look was just a lame attempt at Derek
Zoolander's Blue Steel--without the comedic timing.
"Oh-kay," Myla said finally. She was so not in the mood to feign giddiness over a random
celebrity sighting. She could eat breakfast with the world's hottest on-and off-screen couple,
Lailah Barton and Barkley Everhart, every day if she wanted to. Nicknamed Barbar by the
press, her adoptive parents reigned supreme in Hollywood. There were no celebrity sightings
to outrank them--except maybe their unspoken rivals, Brangelina--and no news more coveted
than that of whatever they did next: charity in the third-world, adopting another malnourished
child as a souvenir from an impoverished country, or even something as minor as sitting next
to one of their old flames at the Oscars. Of course, nothing beat the news that they were
bringing home their sole biological child after sixteen years of separation. They'd done just that
two weeks ago, when Myla returned home from Paris to find Jojo Milford sitting at her dinner
table. Jojo was Barbar's
kid, and Myla, who'd been adopted from Thailand years ago, had
instantly detested her. Probably because their parents just couldn't get enough of their bio-kid.
After a few weeks of putting Jojo through the wringer, Myla was finally coming to terms with
Jojo being here, even liking her a little. Maybe because, for all the attention Jojo was getting, at
BHH Myla was still the queen. And that was what counted. "So what about him? He goes here
Talia's eyes widened. "I can't believe you haven't heard," she whispered, as though ashamed
Myla would be so out of the loop. "He just got cast as the best friend in
reshooting a lot of it here this week. I guess they want it all to feel like a real high school."
Myla, Billie, and Fortune all turned to Talia, surprised. Her attention span was often so short
she didn't finish reading text messages. Talia shrugged. "I read
Myla shook her head, her golden Alex Monroe dragonfly earrings swinging.
a lame teen movie that she wouldn't have been caught dead seeing even when she was eight
years old. And if it was being reshot, it was probably a solid bomb. "Why would I bother
reading up on a movie with Fairy Princess in it? Do I look like I spend free time arranging my
Bratz doll collection?" The only reason anyone her age knew about
was its A-list
collection of stars: Kady Parker was the industry's newest wild child, even if she had never
gone full Lohan. Hunter Sparks was the tabloids' latest favorite player, and cover reports of his
conquests sold almost as many mags as new baby rumors about her parents. And Amelie
Adams was the ultimate good girl. She had a loyal little-kid following from her long-running
, and the entire world seemed to be awaiting her eventual fall with
sick, rapt attention. Myla had been lying when she pretended to be ignorant of the movie. Her
little sisters, Ajani and Indigo, were
-obsessed and Myla had promised to take
when it came out. Though she'd definitely wear a disguise.
"You would know because Grant Isaacson is the hottest guy on earth," Fortune said, a little
bitchily. "You don't
like you live in a cave."
"Yeah, I get it. He's filming a movie here," Myla said hastily, making a mental note to
reprimand Fortune later for her impudent tone. But right now, she was impatient to move on.
They needed to address a more important topic: how Myla could wish Ash a happy birthday
next week, in a heartfelt but not desperate way. "So what?"
"We have the perfect plan is what," Billie chirped.
"You're looking at Amelie Adams's and Kady Parker's new BFFs," said Fortune, drawing out
pauses between the letters. "We get close, and we get Grant."
Myla gave Fortune her most sympathetic half-smile. The plan was so lightweight, it would
barely qualify for an item on Myla's to-do list. "But why go to all that trouble just to land an
actor? Just have one of our parents phone in a favor."
Talia's jaw set in a hard line. She and Myla had been friends long before Fortune and Billie
because Talia's mother, Peg Montgomery, owned Montague's, a high-concept brasserie that
was a Barbar favorite. In fact, it had been the famed locale of Barbar's hush-hush wedding
ceremony and reception. "Who would phone in the favor? You? Just like all those times you've
helped when your parents are shooting?"
"I've called in favors," Myla fired back, instantly feeling defensive. It was the truth: Freshman
year, her girlfriends had requested bit roles in Barbar's remake of
It's a Wonderful Life.
Sparks had had a supporting role, and at the time, they'd been into
. So maybe it hadn't
really worked--Myla had forgotten to ask until the last minute, and they'd only gotten to visit
the set, on a day that Hunter wasn't even there. But the fact that she'd gone out of her way for
them was what mattered. Where was the loyalty?
"Anyway, Grant will see right through that, Myla," Billie scolded. "It has to be real. And the
Lacey twins are off filming their stupid show, so they're out." Moira and Deven Lacey were the
school's acting double-threat, and had just announced a junior-year hiatus as they left to film
their hit CW show,
School for Scandal
, on location at a Connecticut boarding school. After
bragging nonstop about their minor roles in
, they apparently didn't think the parts
were worth sticking around for.
"Okay," Myla said, feeling like she might shrink into the pleats of her Marc Jacobs dress. She
was used to the occasional snippiness from Fortune and Talia, but Billie was unfalteringly
loyal. She'd trade couture for Walmart separates if Myla insisted. What the hell was going on
today? Myla lifted her chin proudly, trying to pretend this mini revolution didn't bother her.
The bell chimed, signaling that class was about to start.
"It's okay, Billie," Talia whispered, leaning her petite frame into Billie's athletic one. "She'll
Myla's friends fell into step together, forming a previously unheard-of line ahead of her. Two
paces behind, Myla felt like the left-behind caboose on the runaway train of her life.
THE PUKE HEARD ROUND THE
hat fucking bitch just puked in my mouth!"