Katie Sandford is thirty years old (though she’s more likely to admit to twenty-five) and has just landed herself an interview for her dream job – writing about music for her favorite magazine. However, she can pretty much kiss that job goodbye when after celebrating the night before, she arrives to the interview late, drunk and then actively vomiting in the rest room. So no one is more surprised than her when they call her back a couple weeks later with a second chance. The catch? She needs to complete an undercover assignment for their gossip magazine, and write an expose on Amber Sheppard, the young Hollywood starlet who is currently in rehab. Katie jumps at the chance and heads to rehab. By the time her thirty day program is completed, Katie realizes that she may have gained more that she expected during this assignment… and that she will be effectively throwing it all away by writing the expose. What is she going to do?
Granted, the story outline for this book is a little predictable. I’m sure by reading that little synopsis you have already formed ideas about what will happen in the book. I did too. But the thing is, the details are fresh, fun and had me turning pages much faster than I expected. I liked the characters very much. Katie was fun, even if a bit dense at times. Amber was unusual in that she underwent personality changes that worked with her actress persona, as emotional reactions to her environment, and as an unbalanced addict. I love unreliable characters, and she kept me guessing as to her trustworthiness. Katie’s relationship with her family, both in the past and the present created an unusual twist to the story that was fun, cringe worthy and very enjoyable to read.
Katie does some serious growing in this book, especially as it starts to dawn on her that maybe she actually should be in rehab. It takes her awhile to start really making the right choices, and I loved her for that. Of course, no women’s contemporary fiction would be complete without the handsome love interest – which was a story line that played out perfectly in my humble opinion. This is a fun book and I would recommend it not only to those who already love women’s fiction (sorry, but I hate the term “chick-lit”), but also to those who primarily read contemporary YA and are looking for something a little out of their comfort zone. I am also going to keep my eye out for the author’s next book, due out later this year.
by Catherine McKenzie
William Morrow, 2012
Source: Publisher for honest review
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