Marjorie Plum was the most popular girl in high school but now a decade into her adult life, things aren’t going so well. Her friend and flatmate Vera dumps her to move in with her boyfriend, her horrible boss fires her from a job she despises anyway and she can’t even move in with her parents, because they want to renovate her old bedroom. So instead Marjorie has to find a new direction, moving in with a quirky new flatmate, dating an old high school friend, mentoring a young teen and looking for a new career.
This story, set during 2012 when President Obama was contesting his second term, centres around the concept that for some people, their high school days may actually be the best years of their lives. For twenty-something Marjorie, what happens when she starts failing at life? This is an interesting read that will resonate with many facing a similar transition.
In this charming and witty debut, Beatrice Bernstein, an Upper West Side college student, gets herself mixed up with some not-so-kosher characters while living in student housing at The Dorchester. While Beatrice has lived a sheltered life, full of art and not much else, it seems as though the wonderfully, captivating socialite Veruca Pfeffernoose has lived so much more. So, it's no surprise that Beatrice is so enthralled with the socialite and the chance to travel outside of New York. In exchange for glamorous parties, free products and international escapades, Beatrice must ghost write the socialite's blog and make it sound as though Veruca is up to date with the latest and greatest on the art scene. It sounds easy enough, but Beatrice is often told what to do, what to wear and how to act. Soon enough she finds herself distanced from her own friends and family and enclosed in a world of shady dealings and strange magical occurrences. In addition, Beatrice is totally infatuated with Ben, Veruca's gorgeous boyfriend. But obviously, he's off-limits, making it so much harder for Beatrice to hang out with Veruca and her super snobby H.O.S. crew. Will Beatrice see the truth before it's too late or is her desire to hang with the popular kids more important than her real family and friends?
With lots of mystical elements (that are sometimes a little too over the top) and a cast of really charming and whimsical characters, this is an excellent debut that shows the lengths one girl will go to break out on her own and feel free. (AS)