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Bought: A Novel Paperback – May 19, 2009

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Bought: A Novel + Party Girl: A Novel + Falling for Me: How I Hung Curtains, Learned to Cook, Traveled to Seville, and Fell in Love
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (May 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061669180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061669187
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A struggling journalist covering the L.A. party circuit ponders her price while writing a feature about a high-class hooker in David's misfired follow-up to Party Girl. Emma Swanson, hungry for a promotion at Substance—a local glam rag—is young, ambitious and frustrated with her lowly beat. While researching a potential cover story on yuppie hooking, she meets gorgeous if bitchy call girl Jessica Davis, who introduces Emma to her contemporary version of the world's oldest profession. As Emma's story looks like it might come together (and Jessica showers Emma with expensive gifts), one of Jessica's friends offers Emma the editor-in-chief spot at a magazine he's about to launch. The catch: she's got to give him the hooker story. What follows is a moralizing journey of self-discovery, replete with a Michael Toms–assisted epiphany. David sets up some interesting parallels between selling your soul and selling your body, but the narrative comes off too lightweight and hokily insidery (Ron Burkle is name-checked) to really deliver on them. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Emma Swanson is a frustrated Los Angeles writer working as a party reporter for Substance magazine, which means she lines up outside red-carpet events and tries to get celebrities to give her quotes. She spots an exotic woman at various events and soon learns that Jessica is a professional escort who gets paid in clothes, jewelry, and rent payments. Fascinated by this career choice, and curious about what would make a woman become a professional escort, Emma thinks this would be a spectacular story for Substance. When her pitch is accepted, Emma works on ingratiating herself with Jessica. Jessica is more than willing to help Emma with her story and they become friends as Jessica tells Emma about the escort business and Emma learns how to be bolder and get what she wants. But Jessica won’t do anything without getting something in return, and Emma has to decide exactly how much she’s willing to do for a story and a friendship. David presents a glitzy, glamorous, gossipy novel. --Hilary Hatton

More About the Author

Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love (Counterpoint, 2014) and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013).

She was the sex and relationship expert on G4's Attack of the Show for over three years and is a regular guest on The Today Show, Fox News' Hannity and Red Eye, The CBS Morning Show, Dr. Drew, The Talk, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Inside Edition and various other programs on Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, CTV, MTV News, VH1 and E. Her Sirius radio show was the network's number-one specialty show and she's written for The New York Times, The LA Times, Details, Playboy, People, Cosmo, Us Weekly, Redbook, Maxim, Movieline, Women's Health, The New York Post, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, xojane and Salon, among many others.

Anna is the CEO of the addiction and recovery company TheAfterPartyGroup ( and has been an editor at the websites Styleclick, Dipdive and The Fix, an assistant editor at Parenting and a staff writer for Premiere. She is currently doing graduate work in drug and alcohol counseling at UCLA and speaks at colleges across the country on addiction.

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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
M. J Partipilo
Anna David creates a great story, with real characters that you can feel for, and leaves you wanting more.
Kenneth Farrell
When I picked up this book, I couldn't put it down.
F. Abdallah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought- acquired in exchange for money or its equivalent; purchase.

Bought in this novel is the acquisition of a woman for the evening. The city is Hollywood, the acquisition is high-priced and bought for a variety of reasons. Some men want sex and variety that their wives will not give them. Some men do not want commitment. Some men want kinky sex. Some men want more than one woman at a time. And, on and on.

Emma is a young woman from a small town near LA. She has dreams of being a journalist and works for a magazine providing quotes from celebrities as they walk the line to a major event. It is boring and unsatisfying work and Emma wants more. She would be considered a beautiful woman anywhere but Hollywood. Here, she is just one of many and does not stand out. Like many, Emma brings family issues into her life. Her younger sister is the epitome of beauty and brains and Emma's family has always favored her.

Emma befriends several other would be journalist s and one introduces her to a bevy of beautiful women who show up at parties with a different man each time. Emma learns these women are women of the evening and instead of charging money they are given jewelry, clothes or their Amex card is paid off each month. Emma is fascinated by them and starts conversations with them. She realizes she has a big story here. One of her journalist friends introduces her to Jessica, the most beautiful of them all. Jessica opens up and tells Emma she will introduce her to the business.
Emma has entered a world she is unprepared for, sex, drugs and rock and roll. What she finds is not what she thought. She delves in deeper and her relationship with Jessica takes an interesting turn. The life of the rich and beautiful is not all it seems.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ange on November 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Emma Swanson is an "People magazine" type of reporter, standing at the press lines and hoping to make it in the Hollywood publication market with a feature article. When she lands a terrific scoop about "bought" women in Hollywood - they don't take money for their companionship, but laptops, jewelry, rent, etc. - she's sure to make it. All she has to do is infiltrate the land of those bought women and find out what really goes on there. Her plans go awry when she meets Jessica, the most "bought" of them all, and Danny, a sweetly optimistic Whole Foods employee with whom she forms an almost instant friendship.

I wanted to like this book - Anna David is a talented author, and there's nothing wrong her prose - but the plot didn't seem cohesive. I was drawn into the first few chapters, relating to Emma's desire to break out of the press line and into "real writing," her parents' belief that writing isn't a real job and her insecurities as a not-perfect woman in a world of plastic perfection. By about the middle of the book, however, the coincidences and plot jumps pick up. Emma is wooed from the magazine that is buying her piece with a promise of being the editor-in-chief of a brand-new LA magazine. After her first feature, she'll be editor-in-chief? Emma barely questions this, and seems surprised (then not surprised) when she realizes the slick start-up guy wants a little more than an editor.

Jessica's character seems mildly schizophrenic: sweet and caring, evil and plotting. It's hard to summarize her without giving away key plot points; I'll just say that her background doesn't quite fit with her character, and David doesn't make the connection between who she was and who she is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah K. Keech on May 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Great book!

This book is so intelligent, but you don't just get that from reading it the first time. Once you put it down and think about the subject, you really start to realize what being "bought" really is.

Is Claire really any different from Jessica, other than it's more socially acceptable to be the married girl with a husband? While Claire gets the privy life of being the wife of a successful man, Jessica gets the same high-end lifestyle paid for by her clients.

Anna David really makes some fantastic and valid points in this book. It's a great summertime read, but also makes a social statement that everything is not as pretty as it seems from the outside.

Basically, everyone is "selling" something and it's just a matter if you want to sell yourself -- in any sense of selling.

I couldn't put it down and now I wish it were longer!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Farrell on May 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
Bought is an excellent novel about the world of high class prostitution, and a reporter who falls into it. Trying to get her big break in the magazine biz, the Emma Swanson's world, and the world of high class prostitution start to blur. Anna David creates a great story, with real characters that you can feel for, and leaves you wanting more. A great read, thoroughly enjoyable by both men and women.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Schmadrian VINE VOICE on April 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Anna David is a novelist. And a journalist. And a 'relationship/sex/Life' guru-of-sorts.

She's very smart. She's got a great brain. (And a fabulous set of calves. LOL) And she's pretty talented.

But this novel just isn't very good.

I know; 'Ouch.'

I'm not sure what its biggest handicap is: the pitfalls of the genre (chick-lit) at its most pedestrian, or Ms David's workerlike execution. Maybe a little of both.

Here's the thing, and maybe it all comes down to this point: 'Bought' isn't very good storytelling. When you have good storytelling, the genre doesn't matter. Because that's the whole goal of a great book: the storytelling transcending the genre, taking the experience of reading the novel to a point where something resonates within the reader. It doesn't have to be Life-changing...but there has to be something that stirs. And for me, 'Bought' doesn't have it.

This is a story set against 'sex for exchange' in Hollywood. But when you take away the requisite 'chick stuff', the fashion labels, the status references...there's actually very little there.

Which isn't in itself a problem; there's nothing needing to be defended about the notion of a 'beach read'. Or a good hotdog. Or a chocolate sundae. However...

However, I don't believe that Ms David is content writing disposable fluff that clearly does not reflect either her intellect, her insight...or her innate talent.

I don't know that deep within Anna David there's a 'great' writer lurking. But I do know there's a 'better' writing dying to be given a chance. And 'Bought' was not that chance.

Personal rating: 6/10.
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