Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book Review: Gloss: Summer Scandal by Marilyn Kaye

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447223993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447223993
It's the summer of 1964 and the four Gloss interns are back in New York. Sherry is working at Gloss when she gets involved in the civil rights movement and finds herself falling in love with someone she never expected to, Donna is caught up in the world of high fashion and Upper East Side rich kids, Pamela is desperate to become an actress, no matter what it takes, and Allison is finding out that going steady with a teen heart-throb isn't all it's cracked up to be. The girls are discovering that following your heart sometimes means that you can't follow your dreams . . .

It’s the summer of 1964 and the four summer interns are back in New York. Sherry, Donna, Allison and Pamela are reunited and things couldn’t be more different for all of them. The four are all set with new challenges as they embark on new jobs and relationships. 

Allison is learning that dating a teen heartthrob isn’t all its cracked up to be…and you’re never really dating just him, but everything that comes with being famous. Pamela is desperate to break into fame and will do anything to get it, no matter who she stomps on to do it. Donna is living her dream job and has to put up with a nightmare boss to do, and possibly ignore some of her morals along the way. And Sherry is trying to make a name for herself in the magazine, but someone is determined to ruin the magazine itself. 

I absolutely adored this book. I have to admit I haven’t read the first in the series, but it didn’t ruin the second for me. The characters are introduced in a vivid way with just enough backstory to stop things from being confusing. The four girls could not be more different who, although they come together with this great bond, have four very different stories to tell. 

There is a very serious heartbeat to this book. Set in the middle of the sixties, there are many class and race issues that are raised. Sherry befriends William, a black man who is a student at Columbia University. Sherry is a southern girl and back home things aren't quite as liberal and forward thinking as the people in New York. She is a sympathiser and quite simply just wants equality for everyone, regardless of their sex, skin colour or social standing. Sherry is met with quite a bit of distrust when she tries to join a few groups who want equality and it is at one of these meetings that she is introduced to William. 

Donna mets Jack and there is instant attraction. It is later that she finds out his surname is Vanderwill and comes from one of the most wealthy families in the city. Neither of them care, but his mother isn’t pleased Donna doesn’t come from better stock.

Gloss: Summer Scandal is awash with interesting characters and I loved the gritty story lines. Despite these hard-hitting topics, it is, for the most part, a light-hearted read. Best read outside on the grass wearing large vintage sunglasses with the sunshine beating down on you and a frosted glass of lemonade.

Many thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for the review copy.


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