Series: The Intern #1
Published by Harper Collins AU on February 1st 2014
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
Faking It by Gabrielle Tozer
Series: The Intern #2
Published by Harper Collins AU on January 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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