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Bergdorf Blondes Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
They're ravenous. They're ruthless. They live in a strictly hierarchical, alpha-dog, eat-or-be-eaten world. No, it's not a rerun of Wild America; it's the world of dressed-to-the-nines Park Avenue heiresses, aka Bergdorf Blondes, botoxed to within an inch of their barely-into-the-third-decade lives. Our unnamed London-born heroine is New York's favorite "champagne-bubble-about-town" and just as effervescent and exhilarating as a fine bottle of Dom Perignon. Blissfully self-interested and flush with the cheeriness that comes from being, well, flush, Miss Disposable Income 2004 sashays her way through New York society in search of the perfect P.H. (Potential Husband)-"Have you any idea how awesome your skin looks if you are engaged?"-and the perfect butt-shaping pair of Chloe jeans. Despair occasionally strikes when her latest prince turns into yet another toad, but it's nothing an invitation to an uber-exclusive Hermes sale and a gallon or so of Bellinis can't fix. She's got the crème de la crème along with her for the ride, including her best friend, the fabulously wealthy heiress Julie Bergdorf, who is tres supportive of her nervous breakdown=You'll be able to dine out on how crazy you went in Paris for months-and a posse of chattering, Harry Winston-bedecked clones with whom to limo around New York. Tacky? Absolutely. But it's impossible not to be massively entertained by a woman who refers euphemistically to oral sex as "going to Rio" in memory of the first man who suggested she get a Brazilian bikini wax, considers vodka a food group and who holds up glamour as the first of the commandments. This is a savvy and viciously funny trip into a glittery, glitzy world we sure wouldn't want to live in-but by which we're more than happy to be vicariously consumed for the length of a book.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Our heroine is a self-described "champagne bubble about town" (the town being New York City, of course), a twentysomething socialite whose life centers on tracking down Chanel sample sales and downing Bellinis with the group of friends she calls the Park Avenue Princesses. When she notices that getting engaged brings a glow to her friends' skin that even an alpha-beta peel can't replicate, she and her best friend embark on a roller-coaster-ride of a search for prospective husbands. Their misadventures, both romantic and cosmetic, are related in a dishy, namedropping-over-cocktails tone. At the story's end, everyone has landed safely on her Manolo Blahniks, true love turns out to be where one least expects to find it, and Vera Wang is booked to design the wedding gowns. Sykes' debut is feather light, but its heart is in the right place. Like the movie Clueless, to which it owes a substantial debt, this is a breathless, sweetly tongue-in-cheek examination of the lifestyles and arcane social mores of the young, rich, and glamorous. Readers, especially fans of Candace Bushnell, will enjoy the ride. Meredith Parets
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I'd seriously recommend trying a chapter before buying it.
By contrast, Sykes keeps the fluff afloat, no easy task. For example, her heroine is at once slutty and prudish: she immediately sleeps with any man who has money, but coyly refers to sex as "visiting Ipanema" (after the trendy "Brazilian bikini wax"). This substitution of half-truths and distortions for ugly reality is the hallmark of the unreliable narrator.
By having her heroine allude to sex by referring to an unnecessary consumer luxury service, Sykes neatly encapsulates the narrator's consumerism, and demonstrates the ultimate result of rampant consumerism: the self and others become mere fungible currency, incapable of honesty, self-knowledge, or intimacy. But the heroine never realizes this. She remains foolish and shallow, and never becomes a blunt instrument of a tedious morality tale -- or a complex character. The genre is limited, but Sykes exploits it to its fullest, with no apologies.
The first attempt didn't go so well. I think I made it to about page 3 before I decided to put it down. After weeks of looking at this book sitting on my Kindle shelf I decided I wasn't going to waste the $6.39 I had paid Amazon for the book and began my second attempt.
I picked it up, pushed through the first three or so chapters, and ended up somewhere just short of not being able to put this book down to eat.
Just a quick piece of advice: when you get to the "lingo guide" at the end of chapter one, make sure you pay attention. Yes, that "lingo" is actually used throughout the book (PJ= private jet, Beyond= way beyond fabulous, etc.) and I promise it gets worse than that. At that point in the book I rolled my eyes and wasn't sure I'd ever actually be successful at finishing it. I was just about ready to forgo my $6 just so I didn't have to read this nonsense.
Bergdorf Blondes was written by Plum Skyes, which I'm assuming contributed to most of the hype surrounding this book. Plum Skyes has worked at and written for Vogue Magazine as well as been considered an "It Girl" by New York City society. When it comes to this type of lifestyle Plum Skyes knows what she's talking about. This was her first novel, and has since published The Debutante Divorcée.
I'll start off by saying that this book drops label names more than Gossip Girl.
Meet Moi, the main character of the book who drops a little bit of French here and there and refers to sex as "going to Brazil". She's also best friend's with Julie Bergdorf (heiress of Bergdorf's- the department store). If you've ever wondered what it was like to live as a wealthy Upper East Sider, now is your chance. You'll be introduced to Moi's posse: the New York City Upper East Side "Park Avenue Princesses". Their day to day activities consist of being socialites, finding just the right color blonde for their hair, sleeping with random men, and having more money than one could possibly know what to do with.
The "princesses" are constantly overwhelmed and stressed with the everyday chores of picking out an outfit, hosting a party, and finding a fiancè just because they are the "hottest fashion accessory". The "princesses" are constantly hopping onto the PJ's (I told you to pay attention to the lingo guide!) of wealthy men on a whim of notice who they have known for less than 24 hours. Then again if you didn't have a career or any responsibility, wouldn't you?
Moi does have a career, although you can hardly call it that. It is generally tossed to the side so she can de-stress from her highly chaotic life by lying on the pool deck of a resort while attending some international film fest in Europe.
The majority of this book is focused on Moi's love life. If you ask me, it seems like she enjoys being treated poorly by men. But, like any other chick lit novel, it'll leave you smiling at the end- no worries!
Although there is a lot of nonsense, gossip and frivolous concerns, the book does have an overall good plot, and it will keep you turning the pages. You too will want to know if Moi finds true love and whether her friendship with Julie will weather the storm.
While this book is no where near award winning material, it makes for a great summer read. Those who've enjoyed Gossip Girl and any other book about the glamorous lives of NYC's wealthy and most popular will be sure to enjoy this one as well.
Overall this book was very predictable and elicited more than a few eye rolls.
Most recent customer reviews
Ridiculous and vapid characters! Nobody could possibly care what happened to them.
It appears to be a semi-autobiographical portrait of the author's jet-set life (she...Read more