14 July 2009

Hollywood is Like High School with Money by Zoey Dean

Flap Copy from ARC: "Tewnty-four-year-old Taylor Henning has just landed her dream job as an assistant at a major movie studio. But when her catty coworkers trick her into almost getting fired, she realizes that the old saying 'Hollywood is like school with money' just may be true. The thing is, Taylor wasn't exactly a social butterfly in high school - how is she supposed to do any better the second time around?

That's when she meets her boss's popular 16-year-old daughter, Quinn, and has an epiphany: Maybe this teenager can teach her how to use her queen bee tactics to succeed in the Hollywood popularity contest. Quinn comes up with a plan to teach Taylor one lesson a week - everything from 'Fake it 'til you make it' to 'It's never your fault' - and soon Taylor finds herself winning the war against rival assistant Kylie. Until, that is, she's directed to steal Kylie's boyfriend, and something happens that's not in the game plan: Taylor falls for the guy. Now she must do the impossible - harness her inner mean girl while staying true to herself."

Obviously the premise of this book first struck me as a knockoff of The Devil Wears Prada. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to discover that this was not another tale of assistants putting up with impossibly awful bosses; rather, Taylor's boss was not the problem - she's the kind of classy lady you would want to work for - instead it was Taylor's fellow assistant who turned out to be the complete psycho.

Taylor's character wasn't wildly appealing, but the story was funny, fast-paced and truly captured the lives of many assistants. I was interested, I wanted Taylor to prevail over her seemingly-insane roommate and her shallow judgemental co-workers - even when the story took some unrealistic turns, I was rooting for Taylor to win. I definitely recommend this book as a quick and fun summer read.

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