Three of a Kind - Media Novels

Have you ever suddenly and unexpectedly found yourself reading a sequence of books on the same theme? I don't mean when you deliberately seek out books on a topic that interests you, but when you pick up a book to read and find yourself thinking, on page 3 or page 30, 'Well, hang on, haven't I been somewhere like this before?' The first time I can remember it happening was with a spate of books about book clubs a few years ago, and all three books had been published at around the same time. This time it was more unexpected, as not all the books are recent, although I suppose the topic is one of perennial interest.

It started with Toby Young's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which I picked up because the title intrigued me, echoing as it does Dale Carnegie's famous self-help book. I enjoyed the glamorous setting and ironic humour for a few chapters, but soon found myself losing sympathy with the main character (or with the author - it's hard to tell just how autobiographical this account of life in the media jungle is).

In contrast, the next media story I picked up hit just the right tone, but that's no surprise, since the book comes from the author of hit film The Devil Wears Prada. Lauren Weisberger's Everyone Worth Knowing follows Bette's foray into the wild world of Manhattan PR party people as she's catapulted into an unlikely relationship while she fights her equally unlikely attraction to a bouncer who turns out to be more than he seems. Like Andrea in 'The Devil Wears Prada', Bette is just the right mixture of gutsy, worldly and naive, and it's a pleasure to watch her finally finding her way through the Gucci and glamour and finding out what she has that's worth fighting for.

Much as I loved 'Everyone Worth Knowing', I was ready for a break from the media world, but then Snapped turned up on my doorstep, and with its eye-catching cover (a girl lounges by the pool in a staid dress and outrageous red heels) and catchy tag-line ('Is the It girl losing it?') I couldn't resist pushing it to the top of my to-read pile. Author Pamela Klaffke does a neat job of steering her insecure style-guru heroine along line between obnoxiously self-obsessed and endearingly bewildered by the youngsters who are jostling for her hard-earned position. As her well-crafted life falls apart, she finds herself leaning more and more on her new assistant - which turns out to be a very precarious position!

Now I really am taking a break from media novels, except to mention one more I've loved, but already reviewed last year: Nell Dixon's Just Look at Me Now. You can read the review here, and all four books are available on Amazon. If you've read any of them, I'd love to know what you thought!

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