Author: Denene Millner
Review: What can I say about this book? Hummmmm…..I’m thinking really hard because this is a tough one. First off you need to know that this book is a novelization of a movie, Sparkle, starring Whitney Houston, Jordan Sparks and a host of other actors. That said, I hope the movie is better than this book. The characters fell flat, the mother was mean, uncaring and hard to like. Sparkle was naïve to the point of almost stupid and her sisters were polarized to the extreme. Now I don’t want to give the book away, but the ending was not only predictable…tears of happiness for Sparkle….but also to perfectly wrapped up in a little package with a pretty bow. Real life is not so neat and clean. Also, the whole fight scene at the home of the oldest sister was ridiculous.
Spoiler Alert***** Do not read any further if you want to be surprised. If I killed someone by accident I think I would have a hard time moving on in my life…maybe that’s just me. Well the character in this book did it, let someone else take the blame and hopped in a car to attend medical school. What? Not a bit concerned, or remorseful or maybe upset about the person that she loved going to jail for the rest of her life? Crazy…or maybe I don’t understand family loyalty to the extreme. This made the story hard for me to swallow. Guess what? The mother even became more human and likeable after all…imagine that? What a surprise….NOT!
The ending was over the top and you saw it coming from the first page. I realize that the novelization of a movie is going to be shorter and lacking in character development. But this book was short, 256 pages, and yet it felt like it went on and on and on….and not in a good way. Too little character development, too little motivation for most of the things that happened and I did not connect with anyone in this book. I kept thinking, ‘Are they serious?’
See the movie, but don’t waste your time on the book. So don't judge the movie by its book...or maybe do.
Publisher: Published August 7th 2012 by AtriaBooks
Quick Review: 2 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: THEY HAD A DREAM. SHE HAD IT ALL. Detroit, 1968. The Motown sound is sweeping the nation. Girl groups are hotter than ever. Over their mother’s objections, three beautiful sisters—Delores, Sister and Sparkle—are taking the local music scene by storm. But their dreams are bigger than Detroit. Their manager, Stix, is just as ambitious and will do whatever it takes to make it to the big time, even if it means using the girls—and his love for Sparkle—as the foundation of a new musical empire.
Behind the music and lights, the recording industry is a ruthless and unforgiving place, just as Mama had warned her girls. Sister, with her good looks and voice, is the natural headliner of the trio, yet her complicated personal life threatens to overshadow her talent; Delores has her sights set on a different kind of life outside the spotlight; and young Sparkle must push past her deepest fears if she is to fulfill her destiny—does she really have what it takes to go all the way?
Riveting and soul-stirring, this timeless tale reminds us of the unbreakable bonds between family, the high price of fame and what can happen when we dare to show the world how brightly we can sparkle.
Author Biography: Denene Millner is the Reality Check columnist and a contributing editor for Parenting magazine, for which she provides witty, engaging, mom-to-mom advice on ethics and etiquette in everything from childrearing and marriage to work and friendship. Millner also is a contributing writer for Essence; an associate editor for the travel magazine, Odyssey Couleur; and contributes articles to a plethora of magazines, including Health, Entertainment Weekly, Real Health, Money, and Ebony, among others. Her extensive television experience includes regular appearances on the The Today Show, CBS Early Show, CNN, MSNBC, VH1, WABC Eyewitness News and Good Day New York.
Prior to writing the column, Millner was Parenting's Articles Editor from 2003 to 2005; in addition to her responsibilities as toy editor for the annual "Mom-Tested Toys of the Year" section, she wrote and edited feature stories and several sections of the magazine, including "Ages and Stages", "Reality Check", and "Play Time."
Prior to Parenting, Millner worked for Honey magazine for three years, serving as Features Editor and, most recently, Executive Editor. Prior to Honey, she covered politics and entertainment at the New York Daily News for nearly eight years, carving a niche as one of the few journalists to write knowledgeably about African-American culture. Queen Latifah, Halle Berry, Lena Horne, Terry McMillan, Don Cheadle, Spike Lee, Vivica A. Fox, Ice Cube, Brian McKnight, Mary J. Blige, and Jada Pinkett Smith are just a few of the artists that she has profiled. Before her stint at the Daily News, she worked for three years as a general assignment and political reporter for The Associated Press.
In addition, she is author of The Sistahs' Rules: Secrets to Meeting, Getting, and Keeping a Good Black Man, and co-author with her husband, Nick Chiles, of the best-selling advice book series, "What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know," and the novels Love Don't Live Here Anymore, In Love & War, and, A Love Story. She is also co-author of The Angry Black Woman's Guide to Life, and the novel, The Vow, which received a coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly, and was named one of Borders Best of 2005. Her book, Dreamgirls, the novelization of the Tony Award-winning Broadway play-turned-big screen film starring Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Beyonce, was released in December 2006. Her latest offerings, the first in a teen book series Hotlanta, and a children's picture book on the historic March on Washington, were published in the spring and summer of 2008.
Denene is a graduate of Hofstra University and lives in Atlanta with her husband and their two daughters and son.