“Amber’s Guide for Girls” “covers petty topics” and “asks meager questions,” teenage reviewer says

Amber Mariano’s new book Amber’s Guide for Girls pretty much sucks, according to a reviewer. The only surprise there is that someone actually took the time to read it.

Free-Lance Star correspondent and high school sophomore Jordan McDaniel gives Amber’s book the big thumbs-down, basically eviscerating it. Although Jordan writes that Amber’s “book has good ideas on how to reach your dreams, … she also covers petty topics such as music, fashion and being a kid.” The book’s “chapters are very short and have generalized information; there are inspirational words but nothing new.” Somehow, that’s not surprising.

Worse, “she repeats herself throughout each section.” In addition, “She tries to create a ‘reflection’ area after each section in order for the reader to decide what was important and what she learned, but Mariano asks meager questions that add little to the book’s content.”

Is there anything valuable at all? Amber does write about “dealing with fame. Not many people talk about how their lives change with stardom, or about how they try to deal with everyday happenings on top of newfound glory,” Jordan writes. But best of all, the review tells us that Amber “Mariano employs pictures and different fonts throughout.”

‘Survivor’ star doesn’t blaze any new trails in new book [The Free Lance-Star]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.