It’s Monday, and that stinks. Weekends > Weekdays. That’s just math right there. We’re not here to talk about math, though. We are here to talk about BOOKS! I recently finished reading Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. This was the duo that brought us The Nanny Diaries, which I enjoyed, so I was excited when NetGalley offered me a review copy of this title. Full Disclosure: I was given a review copy of this book through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My nose grows when I lie, because I’m actually Pinocchio writing under a pseudonym. Alright. That was a lie. But the rest of this review? Not so much.
This book starts out with a young Logan Wade. She’s in her 20s, living in NYC, working a stressful job, and dealing with a douchey boyfriend. When she gets a call out of the blue from her long lost (and incredibly famous) cousin’s assistant, she jumps at the chance to spend a weekend in Los Angeles in the lap of luxury. One thing leads to another, and suddenly Logan finds herself in the assistant position for her pop star cousin. That’s when things start to get a little crazy…
I don’t think it helped my opinion of this book that I read this immediately after finishing Angela’s Ashes. It’s hard to feel a whole lot of sympathy for a millionaire having a meltdown when the starvation of children is fresh in your mind. The whole premise of this book (though the authors took pains to say that it was a work of fiction and in no way based on real people) appeared to be a thinly veiled account of the fall of Britney Spears (with the occasional Lindsay Lohan moment.) Also, Logan’s love interest works for an actor who bears a striking resemblance to Matthew McConaughey (right down to the refusal to use deodorant.)
The Nanny Diaries gave a unique glimpse into the lives of the obnoxiously wealthy and the way their family lives worked. This book, on the other hand, read like a sympathetic tabloid. How tragic it was that Kelsey’s parents were controlling and abusive. How her alcoholic father traumatized her childhood. How her parents sponged off her fortune. How her desperation for love threw her into a hasty marriage and mad dash to motherhood. How there seemed to be NOBODY she could trust. Her desire for down home Oklahoma normalcy. Her public demise and her father’s conservatorship. It just felt like I’d heard the story a million times before. I found it was trite, predictable, and melodramatic. McLauglin and Kraus have proven they have the chops to produce an original story- I don’t understand why they chose to borrow so heavily from the tabloids to write this book.
I know, you guys. Harsh words. However. Just because I didn’t like this book, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you have a sincere interest in the circumstances that could lead pop stars and actresses to self destruct, you might appreciate this work. There are some funny moments, particularly in the quirks of entourages and celebrities. Being among the “normal folk,” it’s hard for us to understand how difficult the spotlight can be, or just how much work goes into maintaining such an image. Is E! True Hollywood Story still on? If you liked that show, and haven’t turned all jaded and cranky like me, this could be your new favorite book.
Between You and Me brings up a lot of dirt on tabloid culture. Do you keep up with celebrity news and gossip? Do you think that by living in the public eye, celebrities should expect invasions of privacy? Is it all part of the package, or should the paparazzi back the heck off ? Tell me about it.