The Woman in the Movie Star Dress by Praveen Asthana is not what I expected. Based on the description I thought this was a paranormal book, but it turns out to be more of a romance book. Genevieve (main character) parties, takes drugs, drinks, and sleeps her way around town wearing beautiful, vintage dresses (that were worn by movie stars and she does not own them).
Genevieve was born Daisy Bear Nightcloud, but changed her name after The Incident! Genevieve lives at home with her father, Jimmy and brother, Travis. She works at Hollywood Clothing Store where they sell clothing that was in movies. Genevieve’s mother killed herself. Genevieve came home from school early one day and found their neighbor, Cameron Scott sexually assaulting her mother, Laura. After the trial (he got six years) Laura could not stand the rumors (was it assault or an affair) nor her husband’s looks of reproach and killed herself. Now Genevieve has to handle her alcoholic father who also does peyote and her brother who is bent on getting revenge when Cameron gets out of jail.
Genevieve handles life by living in a movie dream world. She only wants to go out with guys who look like movie stars. Genevieve is obsessed with old movies and dreams of what her life could be like (all based on old movies). Genevieve has self-confidence issues and decides to see if old clothes carry the essence of their previous wearers (like Barbara Stanwyck, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, etc.). Based on an old Indian ritual that her father told her about (involving wolves, peyote, dancing, and a fire), Genevieve starts experimenting by taking peyote. She then puts on the clothes of a certain actress and goes to a party. Genevieve believes that the “chi” of the previous owner changes her into that person. She then hits on different men at parties and sleeps with them.
One day a beautiful red dress and hat come into the shop. They previously belonged to Margaret Brooks (had a little boy) who murdered her husband and his lover. The dress looks like one Marilyn Monroe wore in a movie. The dress is then sold to another woman who also has a little boy and a philandering husband. Genevieve comes to the conclusion that she needs to get the dress back before the woman kills her husband.
Genevieve has three different men at the end. Which one is the right guy for her? Cameron Scott, who raped her mother and has been in jail; Todd, she grew up with him; or Renzo, the mysterious guy who sells murder memorabilia. Why would anyone consider dating the man that attacked her mother?
I was looking forward to this book. It is an interesting idea that the essence of an owner can linger in their clothes and affect the next person who wears them. The book, though, is more like a New Adult romance (sort of). I was never convinced that the dress actually affected Genevieve (more like it was the drugs). I was disappointed with the book. It was like the author could not decide what kind of book to write and combined a couple of books in one. It was just okay. I give The Woman in the Movie Star Dress 2 out of 5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley (thanks to the Publisher) for an honest review.
The Woman in the Movie Star Dress is available on Kindle Unlimited.
Thank you for visiting and reading my review. I am currently reading Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer-Seeley. It is a charming cozy mystery. Have a great night and Happy Reading!