By Marilyn Kaye, published by Macmillan.
Goodreads synopsis: New York, 1963.
Fashion, music and attitudes are changing, and there’s nowhere in in the world more exciting. Sherry, Donna, Allison and Pamela have each landed a dream internship at Gloss; America’s number-one fashion magazine.
Each girl is trying to make her mark on New York and each finds herself thrown head-first into the buzzing world of celebrity, high-end fashion and gossip. But everything isn’t as glamorous as it seems – secrets from the past threaten to shatter their dreams.
They’re finding out that romance in New York is as unpredictable and thrilling as the city itself.
GLOSS was a seriously great read. I requested a copy because it looked like a really good introduction for me to a genre I don’t normally read. I wasn’t quite sure if I would enjoy something that wasn’t fantasy/set in the modern era, but GLOSS was brilliant!
The story started off with Sherry, the first of the four new interns at the 60’s fashion magazine, GLOSS. I didn’t really like her character from the first chapter. She was portrayed as the kind of girl who was popular, and a bit of a show-off. However, as I got to know her a bit more throughout the story, I grew to like her much more. The same went for Pamela, another intern. The other two protagonists, Alison and Donna, I really liked straightaway because of their unique personalities that made them different to the other glamour-loving GLOSS interns. All four main characters were likeable once I’d gotten to know them. I felt sympathy for them and they really did feel like real, three-dimensional people that lived off of the ages. They all had brilliantly developed backgrounds that were just so realistic- one especially was terrifying. Everything about them was in detail, also the author has written their stories perfectly. The novel’s focuses were shared out equally between the four interns with chapters that had switching between characters.
I think the idea was really great, and there’s really not anything like it on YA store bookshelves at the moment. The story is set in 1963, where fashions are changing rapidly and four teenage interns are about to start summer working at the offices of GLOSS, the biggest teenage fashion magazine of the decade. I’ve never really ever come across Young Adult books set in the sixties, despite it being a pivotal decade for teenagers. GLOSS has captured the era perfectly and effectively. It’s the perfect setting for the characters and the plot. The offices are in New York City, where each of the girls have their own place of interest to explore. I think that the setting was really effective because the four teenagers discovered so much about the city that never sleeps- the good and the bad aspects.
The plot played out really well, and I enjoyed it so much. The plot covered teenage love life, sixties fashion, journalism, and so much more in a brilliant story-line. I think that the flashbacks to Donna’s past were really gripping and moving. They added a kind of haunting hint of nostalgia to a bit of the plot. The other events played out really well. Many parts were very shocking and unpredictable- a lot of things were going on at once between all four characters but I think that just pulled me in and kept me reading.
Overall, GLOSS was such a great read, and I’d really recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction and real-life dramas. At some points, it felt modern. At others, it was like a flashback to the most brilliant musical, fashionable moments of the nineteen-sixties. The whole story, I think, was probably really hard to pull off- four different girl’s separate adventures in one book could have easily been confusing and too jam-packed for a single novel. However, I think Marilyn Kaye has written the book really, really exceptionally well. From a teenager’s point of view, it was uplifting, gripping, and shocking all at once. I loved all of the characters, especially Donna, and I was thinking about them long after I put the book down. A great read for teenage girls with an interest in vintage fashion or pursuing a journalism career!
My Goodreads rating: 4/5!
I received GLOSS from the publisher, in exchange for a review.