To me, the best part book blogging is when you get a copy of a book (Advanced Reader Copy) before they go on sale. Not only do you get to read something you are looking forward to much earlier than other people; more importantly, you also get to form your own opinions about the book, if you are smart enough to stay away from the early reviews that other bloggers have posted.
When I was offered the chance to review Between You and Me: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, I said yes to the ARC solely due to the quality of their previous books. Like everyone else, I loved The Nanny Diaries. I’ve reviewed and hosted a giveaway for their book Dedication. I loved how Dedication was set in the music industry; and after seeing that Between You and Me was, too, I had hoped that this book was going to be as good as Dedication, if not better. I wish I could tell you I adored Between You and Me, but I can’t, and I need you to keep reading to understand why.
While reading the book, I kept getting this funny little tickle in my brain, as if I had heard or read something about the characters of Logan Wade and her cousin Kelsey before. All I could remember about the book was that it was about a pop star, and the book was set during her concert tour. After the first third of the book, I had to stop reading so I could check my email about the book. I realized that I had heard parts of the story before, as the book was a fictionalized tale about Britney Spears. I know, how in the heck could I miss this important detail, especially after this line: “Inspired by the life of mega pop-star Britney Spears, Between You and Me is a fictional examination of the life of a pop icon.”I still don’t know how I missed that. I’m blaming my peripheral vision loss, lol.
This is the first thought I had about the book, as I wrote the following on Goodreads, right after finishing the book. “The book was much better before the singer in it went down in flames, because I didn’t realize it was a fictionalized take on Britney Spears epic meltdown. Been there, done that. It did make me feel much sorrier for Britney, though.”
While the book was interesting, and it had my complete attention until the massive train wreck started happening to Britney, err, Logan Wade, I became sad while finishing it, because I did not want to read about Britney Spears and her life anymore. I still feel bad that this girl (now a woman) is still forced to perform, because she clearly has a mental illness. Jamie and Lynne Spears literally disgust me, and it was no surprise that reading a fictionalized book about them gave me a stomach ache. However, I don’t think everyone will have my same reaction to this book, because not every person in the world is a huge pop culture fanatic like I am, and has heard or read every detail about Britney Spears already. Plus, I have that whole crazy family thing going for me, and my life experience makes me sympathize with Britney way too much, since she still has to put up with them in her adult life.
There were enjoyable parts to this book, thankfully. I liked that Kelsey had a repressed memory from her childhood. I liked that she was in struggle both romantically and professionally, due to the relationship and work she performed for her famous cousin. As a lifetime music lover, I always enjoy reading about the process of songwriting and performing. Who doesn’t like all that drama? Reading about the lack of life Logan and Kelsey had while on tour, as well as what a day in the life of an assistant to a pop star is like was also quite fascinating. And, I certainly enjoyed reading about the rise up from poverty to massive wealth. I think if you enjoy pop culture, Britney Spears, music or chick lit in general, you may want to give this book a chance. But, if you are burnt out on all things Britney, consider yourself warned. You will feel sorry for her, and how things get blown out of proportion in Hollywood. I’m going to leave you with this quote, which Emma and Nicola wisely chose to start off the book.
“Michael Jackson was born in August 1958. So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was six he became a superstar and was perhaps the world’s most beloved child. When I was six my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick. I never had a mother, but he never had a childhood.” –Madonna
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
There will be a special collection of celebrity curated fashion and accessories inspired by the main character of Between You and Me–Kelsey Wade. From red carpet ready accessories to the perfect sunglasses for hiding from the paparazzi, it features pieces chosen by Ali Fedotowsky, Monet Mazur, Kelly Bensimon, Molly Sims, and Nancy O’Dell. Check it out at OpenSky.com.
To win a copy of this book, visit Goodreads.com. Giveaway ends June 15, 2012.
To purchase a copy of this book, visit Amazon.com now.
To find out more about Emma and Nicola, visit their website, EmmaandNicola.com.
To visit Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin’s Facebook page, click here.
To visit Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin’s Twitter page, click here.