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Wolves in Chic Clothing: A Novel Hardcover – April 5, 2005

57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Riding on the designer coattails of their The Right Address, this duo—best friends since first grade—lampoon the elite they know and love/loathe with a story that's as buoyantly vapid as their stock characters. This time, the plot involves the junior jet set: a few preening Manhattan princesses decide to remake a fresh-faced girl in their own airbrushed image, Henry Higgins–style. Julia Pearce, a downtown hipster with vintage-chic style and natural beauty, works as a salesgirl in Pelham's Department Store, where she's caught the eye of the Pelham heiress, Lell. Out of winter ennui, Lell and her gaggle of girlfriends decide to take on this "charity case"—who bemusedly welcomes the attention—bestowing upon Julia a promotion, a fake pedigree and an uptown makeover. As she forsakes burgers for salads, thrift stores for Ralph Lauren and joie de vivre for too-cool cattiness, Julia's ascension from day laborer to Pelham power player affords her the chance to pursue her dream of jewelry design. But it also estranges her from longtime friends, puts off her love interest and attracts the advances of Lell's sleazy new husband, Will—predictably wreaking havoc for everyone. The authors intend to mine humor from tossing Julia to the snarks—er, sharks. But this fish-out-of-water story gasps for air, and even the authors' swipes against society feel familiar and bloodless. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This slick reimagining of the Pygmalion myth has two wealthy young socialites trying to remake an aspiring jewelry designer in their own image. Julia Pearce, a salesgirl at Pelham's department store in New York, is flustered when she's summoned to bring heiress Lell Pelham her jewels on the morning of Lell's wedding. Both Lell and her best friend (and rival) Polly Mecox spot potential in beautiful Julia, and they decide to help her refine her manners so that she can fit in with their set. At first, Julia is dazzled by the wealth and sophistication of the world Lell and Polly inhabit; but she gradually begins to see the cracks in the perfect facade: the competition between Lell and Polly that simmers beneath the veneer of their friendship, Lell's affair with a rich playboy months after her marriage to handsome Will Banks, and Will's own wandering eye, which has landed on Julia. Karasyov and Kargman's second collaboration is the perfect light spring read, full of biting barbs lobbed at New York's elite. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767917804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767917803
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,742,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After being entertained but a tad disappointed with The Right Address, the first novel from these authors, I was much more pleased with their second novel. Wolves in Chic Clothing follows Julia, a beautiful California transplant who dreams of being a jewelry designer while working as a salesgirl at Pelham's, a large, famous NYC jewelry store.

Julia's life changes one day when she delivers a necklace to Lell Pelham for her wedding, and gets adopted by Lell and her friends- Polly, a catty, wealthy woman who ignores her baby son, and Hope, a genuinely nice and happy person, who has to hide her and her husband's money troubles from friends, despite being pretty happy. The book follows the adventures of all of the characters, but mostly focuses on Julia, who accidentally catches the eye of Lell's new husband, Willoughby.

This novel was fun and gossipy, but had a lot more heart than the Right Address, and more likeable characters. It was funny to see a few characters from the first book come through to the second! I great, fun read.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Bell VINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jill Kargman and Carrie Karyasov, authors of The Right Address, are back with their second novel about the elites population of New York. One character says, "'I hate gossips...there are two girls that I'm sort of friends with, and the have a book deal to write about twenty- something Park Avenue debutantes. I think its really shameful and tacky.'" Or maybe not so.

Lell Pellham is the heiress to one of New York's most famous jewelry stores (think Tiffany's and its ilk). Julia is an assistant at the main store in the engagement ring section when this story begins. However, for some mysterious reason, she is given the all-important task of delivering a set of highly expensive jewels to the famous heiress just moments before she is set to walk down the aisle. Lell and her friends Hope and Polly are impressed with Julia, who has a passion for jewelry design; and Lell immediately hires Julia as her "deputy artistic director."

Thus begins a contest between the three friends: Lell, who from the beginning is unhappy in her marriage; Hope, who is unhappy because she doesn't have as much money as the others do (though probably the most down-to-earth of the group); and Polly, who enjoys preying upon "lesser, more unfortunate" people. The three friends set themselves a task: to makeover Julia into a bridge-playing debutante, just like themselves. Eliza Doolittle, as the dust cover of the book pronounces.

At first, Julia is flattered- who wouldn't be? Borrowed couture clothing, advice from people who style themselves her "friends," and invites to some of the hottest parties and benefits in the city. Of course, all that glitters isn't gold, as the old adage goes, and Julia quickly becomes disenchanted with the lifestyle pretty quickly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes I feel the world moves too fast for me. Honestly, it seems like just yesterday I was one of the last voracious-reading, Vogue-subscribing women to discover Chick Lit. It was Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series that changed me from a critic of the genre to a fan, although I guess we could really trace it the whole way back to Helen Fielding and her every woman's hero, Bridget Jones. But I digress. From Kinsella I zoomed on to Weiner and Wolf, Keyes and Zigman, spending an entire summer month flitting from one book to the next. I even came out of the closet and reviewed several Chick Lit books for a local newspaper, declaring my love for this previously forbidden (in my eyes) fruit.

Suddenly, Chick Lit has taken a back burner to the latest media darling --- Gossip Lit. In a way, it started with Shopaholic Becky Bloomwood's penchant for fashion; the pages dripped with names from both magazine and runway. And who can forget Weiner's Maggie and her addiction to Manolos? THE NANNY DIARIES came next and started naming not just designers, but the doyennes of the Upper East Side who couldn't be bothered with mothering the heirs they were forced to bear. (Some City residents at the time swore they knew who the real Mrs. X was.) THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and its loosely veiled Anna Wintour trash-fest upped the ante, and now the people we read about in the pages of Vogue were actually showing up in fiction --- never directly outed, mind you, but I'm sure that armed with the vivid descriptions the books provided, it was all too easy for those in the know to know who was being, you know, trashed.

Enter Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman. They are the co-authors of last year's fun read, THE RIGHT ADDRESS. This spring they are back with WOLVES IN CHIC CLOTHING, Gossip Lit at its best.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Estevez on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was so eye-popingly bad that it made Bergdorf Blondes seem like Tender is the Night...don't waste your time, don't waste your amazes me that drivel like this still gets published all in the name of the ever so popular "Chic Lit"....please! Spare me!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Moda Feri on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong this book is an amusing and fashionable walk through New York society, but has anyone else come to the realization that this is a modern day remake of "Sense and Sensibility", by Jane Austen?!?!?! The authors try to make a tie to My Fair Lady (in the notes about the book) as distraction from the fact that they actually ripped off Jane Austen's story line. There is a Jane Austen reference in this book, so I'm sure that the blatant similarities are no surprise to the authors. How is it that a book written by two people, has to pull from another source to fill the pages.

I'll point out a few examples: the rogue man that plays on the affections of the books protagonist(Julia)is Willouhby; they didn't even bother to change the name!! Will is a dark haired, chamrming man, that has good breeding but not enough money to back up his family crest. Will then marries an attractive woman with a hefty bank account. He then finds a Julia, a woman of lesser standing, upon whom he preys and betrays in front of everyone. And the novel ends with Will looking on wistfully as the woman that he caste aside, marries a moral and wealthy man that has secretly loved her all along. If you've read "S & S", you'll know what I'm referring to... It's a shame that they can't come up with a plot of their own.

I really enjoyed the "Right Address" and could not wait to read this book. But if you've already read "Sense and Sensibility", skip this modern day version that is promoted with name brands and pop culture main-stays.
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