Double Reviews: The Intern & Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer

November 11, 2015 by Jenna | 2 stars, Double Reviews, Mini Reviews

Double Reviews: The Intern & Faking It by Gabrielle TozerThe Intern by Gabrielle Tozer
Series: The Intern #1
Published by Harper Collins AU on February 1st 2014
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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Josie Browning dreams of having it all.

A stellar academic record, an amazing career in journalism - and for her current crush to realise she actually exists. The only problem? Josie can’t get through twenty-four hours without embarrassing her sister Kat or her best friend Angel, let alone herself.

Josie’s luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie’s got some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson.

From the lows of coffee-fetching and working 10-hour days, to the highs of mingling with celebrities, scoring endless free beauty products (plus falling for her cousin’s seriously gorgeous flatmate James) this is one year Josie will never forget.

Totally fresh and funny, this debut novel from industry insider Gabrielle Tozer reveals just what is behind the seeming glamour and sparkle of the magazine industry.

The Intern is a light contemporary about the glamour and chaos that is involved in working in the fashion industry. While the novel had the potential to be a fun, light, coming-of-age story, I found the story to be a little bit confused, and full of contemporary tropes and cliched lines.

Although the book was funny and had many hilarious lines, I found the first half of the book to be littered with some cliched sentences like “I didn’t know what to expect behind those big glass doors, but I was about to find out”. I found these lines a little bit difficult to get past, until after the halfway point in the novel. I started to appreciate Josie’s voice and her sense of humour a bit more, but I definitely didn’t find the writing to be amazing by any means. I also didn’t really connect with Josie’s character. I didn’t buy the whole awkward girl thing and I didn’t find her constant rambling to be very endearing.

The plot for me was a little bit confused. There were too many things going on and I wished some of it had been edited out. The Intern tried to focus on romance, friendship, school, work, family and self-development all in one book and, while I understand that that might have been done to show the chaos in Josie’s new lifestyle, the novel felt too unfocused for me. I didn’t think that it was necessary to include the runaway father and struggling newly-single mother aspects in a book that already had so much going. As much as I love fluffy contemporaries with darker themes (e.g. Rainbow Rowell’s books), it’s also my personal opinion that fluffy contemporary books can be just that – there’s no need to add in the angst and drama that comes with being an abandoned child.

I did enjoy a lot of the plot but I couldn’t help thinking that the novel was just a collection of contemporary YA tropes. There is insta-love, as well as the dreaded boy-already-has-a-girlfriend-but-she’s-a-jealous-psycho situation. There’s the stereotypical mean girl at work who sabotages Josie. And, of course, the paparazzi catches the moment when a playboy celebrity forces himself on Josie, causing her lots and lots of trouble. I wasn’t really enthused by any of this, and I had especially big problems with the romance. I didn’t see enough of the love interest for me to approve of their relationship. If he’s really that great then I need to be convinced of it. Josie also acted really possessive of him, before they were even together, which I found to be utterly annoying. Also, for most of the book, we were told how to feel about the characters rather than shown.

“I’d written this piece for every mother, daughter, friend or sister who’d ever beaten herself up for the way she looked or felt about her body.”

Likewise, although I thought the book had some really important messages for young adults, I felt like we were being told what to take away from the book. The book wasn’t developed enough for me to put together my own thoughts about what the author was trying to communicate.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Double Reviews: The Intern & Faking It by Gabrielle TozerFaking It by Gabrielle Tozer
Series: The Intern #2
Published by Harper Collins AU on January 1st 2015
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher
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Things are looking up for Josie Browning. Her boyfriend, James, is crazy about her, and she's scored a writing job at indi. Now the pressure is on for Josie to prove she's got what it takes to help plan indi's launch. Plus, she's battling with flatmates, frenemies and confusing feelings for travel writer Alex.

High on the perks at indi, Josie's doing a pretty good job of faking her way in the industry - even though she still hasn't mastered her hair straightener. But when Josie is invited to a media junket, she accidentally sets off a string of lies that threaten to ruin her reputation, love life and career forever.

Faking It is the sequel to The Intern and takes place almost immediately after the events of the first book. You definitely don’t have to read The Intern to read this one. This second book gives a good summary of what happened in The Intern, where necessary. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this one much more than the first book.

I had many of the same problems with Faking It as I did with The Intern. The plot wasn’t well-developed enough to fully get the message across, and I had to rely on being told specifically what to take away from the book.

“I’d had a column idea.”…”A piece about what happens when you start to believe in your own phoniness, yet feel like an impostor in your own life. When you hurt someone you love because you’ve become too entangled in trying to be someone you’re not. A piece about trying to find a way out of the stress and learning to be the real you again.”

While I did think that Josie had some more character growth in this sequel, I still didn’t warm to her character. In fact, I found her to be incredibly shallow in this book. Her whole world became about appearances, and how the setting and mood must be perfect before she can say “I love you” to her boyfriend. She just came across as really silly and immature. I also thought that she jumped to conclusions or ran away from problems way too quickly.

I was also frustrated by the dialogue in this book. I didn’t notice this when I was reading The Intern, but in Faking It, everyone was interrupting everyone else. I just wanted to see one person finish their sentence for once. There was so much cutting in and interrupting that it really broke the flow of the book for me. And I found it extremely annoying that nobody was able to say what they wanted to say.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with Faking It. It had some really good plot points, but the setting, characters, dialogue and relationships didn’t really do it for me, which is a shame because I think the book has some great messages for young girls and boys in it.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. You can usually find me binge reading series, fangirling with fellow readers, devouring pastries, or binge watching Netflix shows. You can find me on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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31 responses to “Double Reviews: The Intern & Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer

    • Sure thing! I'm sure I'm not the only person to have done double reviews of duologies or series… though I plan to do more XD

  1. sumlynnnguyen

    Aww, no! Sometimes I stumble across a contemporary that seems to incorporate all the possible tropes as well. Maybe these are fun, light reads for people that don't read a lot but for avid bookworms? You're right, perhaps a little too cliche and predictable for us (then again watching these type of storylines as movies is a big guilty pleasure of mine). Anyway, great dual review, Jenna! 🙂
    My recent post Yallfest 2015

    • I think a younger audience might like this one better. The glamour of working in the fashion industry would probably appeal to some younger teens. It recently won an Australian award that had a panel of teenage judges. But yes, I do love watching chick flicks and this probably works better as a movie!

  2. kseniasbookblog

    I haven’t heard about these books before. Covers are gorgeous! Sorry to hear you ended up beeing dissapointed. I so agree with about fluffy contemporary books! Why can’t a book be just light and entertaining? Why does authors feel like they need to through in unnecessary angst and drama?
    My recent post Kiss and Tell #1. Exquisite Captive

    • The covers are so beautiful!! They were what drew me to the books to begin with (as well as the fact that Faking It was signed by the author) XD. But the author definitely tried to do too much with the plot. It would've been great if she'd kept it simple.

    • Yes, they are Aussie releases 🙂 I thought they sounded like really fun and light contemporaries but I was completely disappointed by how unoriginal it all seemed 🙁

    • The blurb on the back really caught my attention. I was expecting great things from it. Sadly it didn't live up to its potential 🙁

  3. This reminds me a little of How To Be A Grown-Up and one of Emily Giffin's novels. I hate when a whole load of unnecessary cliché tropes are thrown into a book for no reason. The covers are super pretty, though. Sweet review!
    My recent post Review: Some of the Parts

    • The covers are so great! I'm super impressed with the designer! But the content was not so great… it definitely felt like every trope under the sun was thrown into this book…

    • There was lots of mental book throwing! I was so over all the interrupting and talking over each other… I understood it at first because Josie is a blubbering idiot when she talks and literally cannot shut up so she needs to be interrupted. But it happened so often that I got sick of it real quick.

  4. *cups hands and yells* BOOOOOO.
    This is the kind of contemporary I WOULDN'T go for, lol. The cliches sound like *thumbs down* and I would hate to read that kind of dialogue! Although I commend the author for trying to put so many aspects into the story, there's a point where it's just too much… and it sounds like this book went well past the point. As ever, thanks for the warning review. 😉

    • If there were fewer things being explored in this book, it would've been a lot better. We would've actually had some exploration. The whole book just lacked depth.

  5. aentee @ read at midnight

    Yikes, I was mildly curious in this one after seeing it win the Inky Award… but I tend to agree with you when it comes to contemporary – so off the list it goes. Shallow characters are plot are my absolute peeves, and I have no patience for another 1 star read XD

    • Yeah, I've had these two on my shelf for months now and only picked them up because of the Inky Award. I thought it would've been better considering it won… But I guess the judges are all teen readers and the glamour of the fashion industry might've appealed to them more than it did me. Just skip this one!

  6. Oh man, this is so disappointing Jenna! It sounds like Josie is one of those blubbering "adorkable" girls which I find annoying rather than endearing. It definitely sounds like there's A LOT going on in the first book that makes it sound like it could be a little too confusing and chaotic. The romance doesn't sound like my cup of tea as well! Thanks for the honest reviews!

    • I was so sad because I was hoping to really enjoy them since The Intern won the Inky award. I thought it would be a little bit better. I actually didn't mind Josie at the beginning, but it all started going downhill and by the time I got to Faking It, she just annoyed me so much T_T She is totally one of those blubbering adorkable girls… and her inability to just stop talking frustrated me to no end.

    • I wish I had known before picking up both of these books. All the reviews I've seen on Goodreads have been really positive…………

    • I can actually see them being really good movies! They were just a bit lacking as novels. My next reads have been spectacular! I read Carry On, Winter and Six of Crows!!

  7. Ooh, I had trouble with the Intern too! I'm not a huge chick-flick person though?? and I felt that the book was just like a movie-chick-flick in book form and it was pretty much nope for me. xD I mean, Josie was kinda endearing at times, but I actually didn't think her "awkward" situations were THAT bad. Like, yes, awkward, but I wasn't dying whilst reading (I suffer from second-hand-embarrassment so bad) so that surprised me. i don't think I'll try Faking It. xD

    • Oh good! When I was scrolling through the Goodreads reviews, I thought I was the only one who thought it was really average. I felt the same about the whole 'Josie can't stop embarrassing herself' thing. The stuff she went through are just things that happen to me regularly XD But I'm glad that it wasn't too over the top either because a whole book of extremely embarrassing moments would've made me cringe so hard. It probably would work better as a movie… but it would be a chick flick that I've seen before. Faking It is just more of the same so it's a good idea to stay away if you didn't like The Intern.

    • OH NO I'M SORRY *CRIES*. Yeah, I don't know… I didn't connect with it at all. For me, it felt like a mash up of many books I've read before and I didn't like Josie, so it had no chance of redeeming itself. I did like James though, if that helps? XD