by Allie Kingsley
Published on September 2012 by Berkley Trade
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
If you’re going to step on people on your way to the top, you might as well do it in stilettos . . .. . . Or so she’s been told. Lucy Butler, former wallflower, lands her dream job working for her idol, world-famous fashion photographer Stefano Lepres. But in a world where getting doused in coffee for not getting the order right is the new normal, she isn’t getting any closer to her ideal of being behind the camera herself.Then a superstar actress generously takes Lucy under her wing and teaches her the ways of the rich and famous—treating her to racks of designer clothes and introducing her to a life of private planes and penthouse suites. Soon Lucy is dating a rock star, attending the hottest Hollywood parties, and dressing the part.Lost in the luxury, she loses sight of the things that once mattered most. It’s going to take a hard blow from the high life to send Lucy back to the real life she always wanted.From an industry insider—and featuring wardrobes personally selected by celebrity stylist Robert Verdi—this is a novel that will keep you guessing and introduce you to a world you know exists; you’ve just never seen it unretouched.
Fresh out of college and dead set on working for her fashion photographer idol, Lucy Butler sets off from Seattle and lands in Los Angeles with her best friend (who wants to live out her own acting dreams). After finding a way to get her foot in the door as an intern for the infamous Stefano Lepres, Lucy soon finds out just how unglamorous fetching coffee, corralling unruly celebrities for photo shoots, making sure Stefano is on time and doesn’t blow off all of his responsibilities, and even picking up his slack when he’s too drugged out to function can be. But there’s another side to this stressful job–one that she’s introduced to when Stefano lends Abby out as an assistant to an actress in her upper thirties who’s known more for her wild behavior and man-eating behavior than her acting these days.
Bella introduces Lucy to a whole new world–one of designer clothes, never having to fly on commercial airlines, or waiting in line to get into the hottest night spots. And this is where Lucy thinks she’s on the right path to make it as the photographer that she’s meant to be, but she hasn’t even hit bottom yet.
Bella comes to Seattle as a shy pushover. While she’s willing to bide her time as an intern and work hard to move up within Stefano’s photography studio, it’s hard for her to be noticed since she blends into the background with her drab clothes and equally drab personality. Once she’s met and befriended Bella, Lucy begins to change in a big way–in both her appearance and behavior. In a lot of ways, this is a classic girl moves to California to make it and gets caught up in the Hollywood life story, but what sets this book apart is the details. Since Allie Kingsley has been apart of this scene, the little details she adds in are so authentic and out there, you have little doubt that a good chunk of that stuff has actually happened. You feel for Lucy as she goes through her paces as Stefano’s assistant, takes her licks until she can’t take anymore. And once she’s under starlet Bella’s wing, Lucy finds that the alternative isn’t exactly better either.
The fashion in this book was perfect, thanks to celebrity stylist Robert Verdi. I’ve been a big fan of his since his Surprise by Design days, and Allie Kingsley does a great job of including all of the couture of the Hollywood elite without it being distracting or taking you out of the book.
The Liar, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe is a fun and exciting look into inner workings of the Hollywood elite. While the ending was wrapped up a bit too neat and tidy to be completely realistic, this book was engaging,fast paced, smart, and it had just the right amount of humor sprinkled throughout to even out the parts where you couldn’t believe some of the outrageous things that had just happened! I give this one a four out of five. I really loved the title too with the play on a classic literature title. There is gratuitous drug use throughout the novel, but this is Hollywood, so what’d you expect?
And now : Enter The Fall Clearing
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