Published by Atria Books on 6/12/2012
Genres: Chick Lit
Amazon • Goodreads
What happens when you are followed by millions . . . and loved by none? Twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade is trying to build a life for herself far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. Until she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant— an offer she can’t refuse.
Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey in person since their parents separated them as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has grown into Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrity. But their reunion is quickly overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her parents as Logan discovers that, beneath the glossy faÇade, the wounds that caused them to be wrenched apart so many years ago have insidiously warped into a show-stopping family business.
As Kelsey tries desperately to break away and grasp at a “real” life, beyond the influence of her parents and managers, she makes one catastrophic misstep after another, and Logan must question if their childhood has left them both too broken to succeed. Logan risks everything to hold on, but when Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way, Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between rescuing the girl she has always protected . . . and saving herself.
What the hell is this shit? What did I just read? If I had wanted to read a story about Britney Jean Spears and her meltdowns, I would have perused old news articles from 2004-2008, or even better, just read Wikipedia. Maybe some old Perez Hilton articles. Because Between You and Me is the most unimaginative, ripped-from-TMZ-headlines, coattail-riding book I may have ever read.
I’d love to give you a plot synopsis, but there really isn’t one. Logan Wade is living a gray life in New York City, keeping track of the famous cousin she doesn’t talk to through news headlines, when her cousin’s assistant invites her out to LA to visit. Logan, not having seen her cousin Kelsey since they were small, because of family drama, decides to go, after which, Kelsey fires her assistant and hires Logan full-time, where they tour the world on Kelsey’s Dollhouse Tour. Hijinks and more family drama ensues.
That’s it, that’s really all there is to the plot, because everything after just feels like a slight variation on Britney Spears’ life. Now, I don’t claim to know a lot about Britney Spears, but god dammit, I have eyes and I can read all the crap the press – I mean, paparazzi – spews daily in front of our faces. Hell, you can’t even avoid it by going to legit news outlets like CNN (okay, I just gave myself a good ol’ LOL at that one…I don’t really go to CNN for real news). I had eyeballs from 2004-2008, I remember the classic curbside meltdown, the weddings and divorces (well, one divorce and one annulment, thanks Papa Spears). I recall the really lackluster and embarrassing VMA performance that shocked fans and haters alike. (For the record, I neither like nor dislike Britney, I’m ambivalent).
My favorite part of this book doesn’t even have a page number. It’s the very beginning, in “A Note To Reader.” And I’m going to quote it for you:
“This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.”
You must be kidding me, right? I like that little caveat “or are used fictitiously.” Wouldn’t want to be sued by anyone.
Let’s go over a list of “coincidental” similarities: child singer in a popular youth show, marriage to a backup dancer, divorce, invitation to star in a popular sitcom, public scrutiny over care of her child, custody battle, an awkward award show performance, car accident, public meltdowns, & conservatorship under Papa Bear, to name a few. The only thing missing from this blatant rip-off of a Spears bio is the head-shaving incident.
I had great expectations for Between You and Me. I wanted it to be epic, I wanted it to blow me away and entertain me like other Hollywood novels I’ve read. When I turned that last page, I huffed in annoyance that I could have just read this story on Wikipedia. Not to mention, the main character, Logan, felt completely inconsequential to the story. I’m going to mention there’s a romance in here, but hell, it’s hardly developed, so….you know, whatever. The only good thing I pulled away from this is that I would never want my child to be a Hollywood megastar, if that’s what it’s really like to be one. If that’s the authors’ message, then consider it received. But you could have just told me. And it’s not like I didn’t already know.
The writing is engaging, so I didn’t not enjoy reading it for that aspect. It’s a quick-pace and the dialogue between the characters is pretty good. I suppose the characters are “well-developed,” but when you’re pretty much just stealing them from real-life situations, seemingly word-for-word, they damn well better be well-developed. You’ve got a lot of material to glean, so use it. There’s also no plot, it’s literally a timeline of events told from one character’s perspective. And the ending? What ending? It just quits. And there is no resolution.
Save yourself the time and pick up a better book. You already know what happens here.
And yet, despite the empirical intimacy, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m watching her on a screen.
Disclaimers: This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange of an honest review. Blurb and photo source courtesy of Goodreads. *If you decide to purchase this book through any of these links, I do receive a small monetary kick-back.
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