June 11, 2014

Review: Confessions of a Wild Child by Jackie Collins


Confessions of a Wild Child takes you on trip and navigates the teenage years of a wild child who will eventually rule an empire. Even at 15 Lucky follows her own path, and it’s a crazy ride taking the reader from a strict girls school in Switzerland to an idyllic Greek island, a Bel Air estate, a New York penthouse, and a shuttered villa in the South of France.

Nobody can control Lucky. She knows what she wants and she goes for it with no holds barred.

Lucky at 15 – a true revelation.

Yes. It’s true. I’m a sucker for Jackie Collins’ trashy Hollywood romance novels. I’ve been reading them since I was about 13, sneaking them from my mom’s bookcase and hiding them under my mattress. I quickly got sucked into the deliciously sexy and sinister worlds of Gino “the Ram” Santangelo and his intelligent and smolderingly beautiful daughter, Lucky. So when I heard that there was a prequel coming out about Lucky’s teenage years … man, I was all about it! Sadly, I was extremely disappointed in every possible way.

It’s not often that I give a book a 1 star rating. I can usually find something redeeming about a book that I have bothered to finish. The only other exception has been Sweet Valley Confidential (DO NOT get me started on that pile of poop!) But this will be the second book that I honestly just couldn’t find anything I liked about it. This is NOT the Lucky Santangelo that I fell in love with. The voice is all wrong. Yes, I’m aware that it’s supposed to be a teenage Lucky, but still. This selfish little brat is not the same character that would become the woman to run the Santangelo empire. Aside from that, the time frame is all wrong. While “Confessions of a Wild Child” does not actually specify when the book takes place, it reads like a bad 1980’s novel. But Lucky was born in 1950, which means that it should be taking place in 1965. I understand changing the feel to make teenagers relate more, I suppose. But it completely changed the tone of the original story, not to mention the original feel of Lucky.

But my biggest issue with this so-called book? If you have ever read Chances, then you already know the whole damn story. There are maybe two new details that we “learn” by reading this novel. #1 Lucky had a friend in boarding school who died (soon after she was no longer needed in the story) and #2 Olympia and Lucky actually see each other one more time after their excursion to the South of France (which actually interferes with what both Olympia and Lucky have stated in previous books).

What really bothers me most is that it feels like a giant slap in the face to all the loyal fans. It feels as though Jackie Collins couldn’t bother to actually come up with an original story so she tore apart the flashbacks from Chances, through them all in one book and extended the length by including Gino’s point of view and dragging out some of the details, adding maybe three new scenes and calling it finished. I hate to say this about any author, especially one that I have loved for a long time. But it actually comes across as a cheap and fast way to jack up the price on a crappy book and tease all us fans with the temptation of an actual new story of Lucky’s early years. So much more could have been done with it. Why not show us her early married life? Or some new details about discussions she and Olympia had. Or her childhood memories of Dario and Gino? Anything would have been welcome.

Want my advice? Skip the book, check out Chances and read that. Not only is it a better written novel, it includes every important part of Lucky’s childhood and teen years that you would learn from this sub-oar book. If you have to read it? Check it out of the library. It’s honestly not worth the money to purchase. Disappointing all around.

What books featuring a beloved character have let you down? Did you read anything else from that author afterwards? Leave a message in the comments!