Katie Stewart

Sloane Crosley is a familiar name to many readers of nonfiction, both for her self-deprecating essay collections and her contributions to the New York Times. Now she lends her insight and sense of humor to the world of fiction in a debut novel, The Clasp

Kezia, Nathaniel and Victor, three friends from college, are reunited at the extravagant wedding of a mutual friend. Though they have been semi-estranged since graduation, all their college feelings resurface in the present day. Victor harbors feelings for Kezia; Kezia is infatuated with Nathaniel; and Nathaniel is absorbed with himself. Victor, never at his best in social situations, separates from the reception and wakes up to the groom’s mother slapping him the next morning. Her abrupt wake-up call transitions to the story of a valuable necklace that disappeared during the Nazi occupation of France. Consumed with the idea of finding this necklace, Victor sets out on a journey that takes not only him, but also Kezia and Nathaniel, from Miami to New York to France. All three friends experience a level of self-discovery along the way. 

Crosley is an innate storyteller and writes with her signature wit and flair. Each character’s flaw—whether it be Victor’s apathy, Kezia’s need to be needed or Nathaniel’s self-absorption—is relatable, and The Clasp speaks to flaws in humanity and friendships in a charming and realistic way. This novel entertains even as it provokes internal examination of one’s own relationships.

 

This article was originally published in the October 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Sloane Crosley is a familiar name to many readers of nonfiction, both for her self-deprecating essay collections and her contributions to the New York Times. Now she lends her insight and sense of humor to the world of fiction in a debut novel, The Clasp.

After 15 years and 18 books, best-selling author Meg Cabot rewards loyal readers with what they’ve been waiting for—the wedding of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia and Michael Moscovitz in her latest novel, Royal Wedding.

The momentous occasion is marked in true Cabot fashion with twists and turns fans won’t see coming. Mia has grown, evolved and matured over the course of the series in the same way the readers have.

We pick back up with Princess Mia five years after her college graduation, in New York City, where she runs a teen community center, attends royal obligations and still finds time to see Michael. However, Princess Mia’s life is turned on its head by a series of surprises from Michael, her father and a well-meaning 12-year-old. Some of these surprises are joyous and others are challenging, but Princess Mia finds a way to handle all obstacles with the class and spunk that she has demonstrated throughout the series.

Cabot’s ending to this delightful tale of a nerdy high school student’s journey to becoming a princess is completely satisfying, and Royal Wedding is sure to please fans who have been with Princess Mia from the beginning. Princess Mia’s journey may have ended with this novel, but her sass, intelligence and loving nature will linger with readers for years to come.

After 15 years and 18 books, best-selling author Meg Cabot rewards loyal readers with what they’ve been waiting for—the wedding of Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia and Michael Moscovitz in her latest novel, Royal Wedding.

The story of a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood is familiar to most. However, Shanna Mahin turns this common tale into a simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story. Oh! You Pretty Things gives readers a glimpse of the destruction that celebrity (and the obsession with it) can cause in day-to-day life. Encompassing humor, wit, irony and sheer sass, this story shows that even in glitzy Hollywood, life can be filled with hardships.

We follow Jess Dunne on her journey from barista to B-list celebrity assistant to A-list celebrity assistant. She is a woman who actively chooses a complicated way of life. Whether it’s a complex mother-daughter relationship or an exhausting semi-friendship with her celebrity boss, Jess seems to always be either picking herself apart or letting other people do so. Although fiercely loyal and protective of her friendships and her bosses, Jess struggles to stand up for herself in ways both little and life-altering.

Oh! You Pretty Things is not only an accurate portrayal of life in Hollywood but also an accurate portrayal of life’s ups and downs. Though the setting is familiar, the plot developments are unique and surprising. Don’t expect a perfect Hollywood ending. Mahin’s intelligent and approachable story will grip you from beginning to end.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

The story of a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood is familiar to most. However, Shanna Mahin turns this common tale into a simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story. Oh! You Pretty Things gives readers a glimpse of the destruction that celebrity (and the obsession with it) can cause in day-to-day life. Encompassing humor, wit, irony and sheer sass, this story shows that even in glitzy Hollywood, life can be filled with hardships.

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