Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes

I don't exactly get the whole celebutante thing. I don't watch the reality tv shows about their lives and families. I don't click through on the internet to read about anything they are doing. I don't wish them ill but I truly don't see why anyone cares about their lives. Sure, they live what looks to be an impossibly different life from the rest of us but I can't imagine it's really all that fascinating in truth. And I certainly wouldn't want to live it. But a light and frothy book about a fictional young Bergdorf blonde and the life she leads among the celebutantes and glitterati of New York like in the re-released Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes, well, that I can stomach, especially when it's presented as the funny and light weight entertainment that this fluffy chick lit is.

Our unnamed, brunette narrator, who calls herself Moi and has been described in a society column as a champagne bubble of a girl, is a fashion magazine writer but her nominal job doesn't often interfere with the privileged life of luxury she is leading. She's best friends with the original Bergdorf blonde, Julie Bergdorf, and inhabits a world of high class parties, drivers, private jets, wealth, and competitive shopping. When she and Julie notice how being engaged brings a new glow, unachievable through make-up and Botox, to their friends' faces, they set out to snag their own fianc├ęs. But the course of true love never does run smooth and it's no different for Moi. She makes terrible choices in men, all the while fending off her mother's insistence that she meet the "little Earl" who owns the manor home in Moi's small British hometown. Meanwhile she gets engaged to an emotional wacko and proceeds to date married man after married man. Much to her chagrin, each time she gets herself into a relationship pickle, Charlie, one of Julie's more charming boyfriends, comes to Moi's rescue.

The life that these pampered princesses lead is an unbelievable one although I suspect that Sykes has, in fact, captured the Park Avenue Princesses fairly true to life. Even with Moi, who is not of the same class as her friends wealth-wise, there is little focus on actual, real workaday jobs. Moi has a job, of course, but she can blithely skip work to go to Europe on a whim with a handsome man with seemingly no repercussions and the rest of her twenty-something friends can afford to "work" as fashion muses. Moi is supposed to be an Ivy League graduate but she is shockingly dumb if that's the case, as is spectacularly evident in the Advil incident.  The novel comes across as alternately satirical and straight so that the reader is never quite certain if Sykes is poking fun at this over the top lifestyle or not. Many of the characters are vacuous but still somehow come off as somehow not entirely unendearing. And because it is a ten year old re-issue, the pop culture references are decidedly dated, placing it firmly in its time. The end is completely predictable but as it's the way the reader wants the book to end, even if it is a tad unearned, that's okay. If you are looking for a guilty pleasure or are already a fan of celebutante "it" girls, this is the read for you.

For more information about Plum Sykes and the book, check out her Facebook page, or take a look at the book's page on GoodReads. Follow the rest of the blog tour or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.

Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and the publisher for sending me a copy of the book for review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


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