Picks and Pans Review: American Star

updated 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jackie Collins

The best Collins novels, infused with a cheerful vulgarity and raunchiness, are embarrassing to pick up, impossible to put down. But here the author of Hollywood Husbands and Hollywood Wives seems merely to be going through the motions. At 624 pages, the slow motions.

The surprisingly uninventive story centers on Nick Angel (né Angelo), a compelling, brooding, green-eyed kid from the wrong side of the trailer park. Nick eventually meets Lauren Roberts, a beautiful, aloof, straight-A student whose parents refuse to let her have anything to do with him. Naturally, they fall in love. Naturally, true love doesn't run smooth as he becomes an actor and she a model. There is also a slack subplot involving Nick's half sister, Cyndra, an aspiring singer who, like her brother, doesn't always exhibit the best judgment. (Simon & Schuster, $23)

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