Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beneath The Glitter- A Book Review

I recently took the last part of the CPA exam. As per my usual, end of stressful study session routine I decided I needed to empty my brain and read some fluff. My first choice was Emily Giffin's "Baby Proof" (separate review coming on that). It didn't fit the bill; it wasn't exactly the right degree of "fluffy". Since the buzz among the girls I follow on twitter was about the new book coming out by the “Fowler Sisters” I decided to give it a read.

For those unfamiliar, the Fowler sisters are Elle and Blair. Elle is about 24, and Blair is 19. The girls originally from the south-east became what some would call “Youtube Famous” around 2009-2010. Both girls have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, a separately run-website, and contracts with a lot of pretty decent brands. They have a lot of loyal followers, and a lot of people who dislike them. I would classify them as a D list celebrity. They really are only ‘famous’ among those who know them, and while that is a large following, it’s not huge compared to the everyday celebrity by any means. If you’re interested, and haven’t heard of them you can find them under the names “AllThatGlitters21” and “JuicyStar07” on youtube.

On to the book, the easiest way for this might be to play ‘the “pro-con” game, and let you draw your own conclusions. 

-  --The relationship among the sisters feels like the type of things real sisters might worry about. Am I being too clingy, is she trying to mother me, why does she care so much about my life, etc. I am not incredibly close with my sister, but these are the kinds of things I feel towards my closest friend, so I can believe it.
-     --The prologue is intriguing. You find yourself wondering what might be going on, and how it got to that point.
-The w
riting is colorful. If you’ve seen Elle’s videos you’ve picked up on the idea that she wants to convey certain feelings a lot of the time, a feeling of whimsy, coziness, or sophistication. Love her or hate her, she can get her point across. I felt that way with the book as well. She was able to really convey the type of scene she had in her mind.

-      --So as to not give away too much of the plot line, there is one character who seemed too fairy-tale to me. He is always there and able to come to one of the character’s rescue. (If you do read this, or have read it, it would be Sophia’s rescue). I understand that a lot of books that fall into this genre have unbelievable characters, and normally I am okay with it, but this one…. He was just over that line. I didn’t like it.
-        --I felt myself reading this book, waiting for the story to begin. I thought it was kind of interesting that it focused more on their ‘lives’ and careers outside of ‘youtube’ but- it felt like the story fell on all the blank pages after the last chapter. I felt like the actual story started, right where the book ended.
-        --I felt a little bit like I was reading a blog from time-to-time. I understand it was a first novel, but something about the writing novel reminded me more of one of those books that is all in text messages and emails, than it was a standard novel. I didn’t like that feeling.

I would give the book a solid 2 stars. It was by no means the worst book I’ve ever read. However, at the end of the day, it just felt a little bit… boring. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good. It felt like I was reading a blog, or a letter home to a friend, about what Blair and Elle actually spent their day doing- because let’s be honest- the story of “Ava and Sophia London” is the story of Elle and Blair Fowler. I would kind of put this in the category of “Feels like it was an extended short story written by a high-school freshman”. The book is set up to have a sequel, and at the end of my Kindle Copy it says that it’s due out in summer 2013, right now the jury is still out on whether I’ll read it. However, if I had a 13 year old daughter, I wouldn’t stop her. It is exactly the book I would expect a 13 year old to read. Unfortunately I’m 23, so it’s just a little bland for my taste. That being said, no one ever said their target audience was stuffy-CPA-candidates. In fact, I can assure you, it wasn’t.

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