I’m not normally a big fan of chick lit, but this one was written by a past editor of Dolly and Cleo. As a media student, I always like to get a little insight into the world of women’s magazines, even from novelisations.
The main character, Nina, is incredibly one-dimensional – from the outset she has very few flaws and every mistake she makes is blamed on the high pressure of her job. Not only that, but in a 263 page book, spread out over the course of eighteen months, Nina rises through the ranks to editor after starting out in hospitality and interning. It just seems ridiculous that anyone, no matter how good they are at their job, could rise so rapidly.
I got confused constantly by the pace of the novel. It would skip three months and they would be recapped in flashbacks. This happened every time a major event occurred and it just made the whole book extremely disjointed.
While I was expecting a little insight into the magazine industry, all the book seemed to convey is that people working in the sector are vapid and the job is too high-stress. I don’t think it gave an accurate representation of the wider industry in Australia – even The Devil Wears Prada has a wider range of characters and it is stereotyped to the max!
The side characters were just that – on the side. Her cousin Tess suffers depression and anxiety after moving home from a few years in London, which makes Nina realise she needs help herself at the end of the novel. The boyfriend, Jeremy, is the perfect Australian hunk, with a work ethic to boot! But we never find out much more than his supreme attractiveness and relative success. And Johan, the gay friend who drifts away and then comes back at the end to give Nina the catalyst she needs to get out. Way too stereotyped and bland.
I honestly thought that someone who lived in magazine world for so long – the author, Gemma Crisp – would write a better novel than this. It was disjointed and the plot was pretty dreadful. I only persevered because I was on a long train ride. It just goes to show that not all kinds of writing are created equal – a journalist does not a novelist make.