Packed with sardonic humor (Note to reader: watch where you read this book. I found myself laughing out loud in several places) pop culture (many of which were obscure to this reader), faux fur, and pink velvet, this ode to growing up a literary-wannabe in the exploding world of digital media, follows the journey of Noora, a twenty-two-year-old American of Middle-Eastern descent, who may or may not be on the cusp of realizing the career of her dreams.
As Noora learns who she can trust, (and perhaps even more importantly, who she cannot), the chaotic, toxic environment of life as a lackey low in the ranks of a highly successful magazine (a symbol, a lifeline, and a print brand that Noora has come to cherish from a young age) leads to a brutal awakening – and an opportunity for Noora to find out who she really is.
Although not in the target demographic for this read, the author (herself a former Teen Vogue editor) captures a depiction of work-related stress and employee-depersonalization (an unfortunate and relatable cornerstone of employment, pretty much anywhere) which rang chillingly true for this reader, as did the rawness of Noora’s identify-seeking experience – a jumbled ,crazy kaleidoscope of want and need, driving behavioral missteps and the resulting perceived catastrophes as often as the alternative.
An immersive and richly-evoked world, sure to please YA readers, this book is as much a character-based narrative as it is an encyclopedic expose on pop culture, social media, relationships, morality, peer-anxiety, and the undeniable angst of being young (superficially brash, not entirely hiding vulnerability) in a world that waits for no-one.
A great big thank you to #BooksofHCC and @HarperCollinsCa for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.