Fivestar, by Mardi McConnochie

It all begins with an ad in the paper: Singer/dancers wanted for girl group. Soon, Daryl, the group’s creator and would-be manager, has his group of five girls, from different backgrounds but with one dream – to be famous:

Jules is the natural leader, outgoing, cheeky, bursting with energy and life.
Claudia is the cruel and beautiful fashion queen.
Ellie used to do competitive gymnastics. Now her obsessions need another outlet.
Sam is the one who can actually sing, and writes songs.
And Suzy is the girl next door, with her ponytails and optimism.

Together the girls become Fivestar, make their own reality TV show and become overnight superstars. Sound a bit familiar? It is, but deliberately so. The year is 1993 and the novel set in times and circumstances similar to those of England’s Spice Girls and other early reality television show stars.

Fivestar takes the reader inside the world of pop music and reality TV and back to the world of the early 90s, as the Fivestar girls ride the wave of success and sink to the lows of yesterday’s news. It is funny, sad and often real and will especially appeal to those who were in their early 20s in those years.

The one slight flaw in this book is that with so many main characters and shifts in perspective it is at times hard to find empathy for the girls. Having said that, readers will still be absorbed by the story itself.

A good read.

Fivestar, by Mardi McConnochie
Harper Collins, 2005