Between You and Me
by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola KrausPublisher: Atria Books Publication Date: June 12, 2012 Genre: Contemporary Fiction Source: Review Copy Rory’s Rating: From Goodreads:
What happens when you are followed by millions . . . and loved by none? Twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade is trying to build a life for herself far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. Until she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant— an offer she can’t refuse.
Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey in person since their parents separated them as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has grown into Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrity. But their reunion is quickly overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her parents as Logan discovers that, beneath the glossy façade, the wounds that caused them to be wrenched apart so many years ago have insidiously warped into a show-stopping family business.
As Kelsey tries desperately to break away and grasp at a “real” life, beyond the influence of her parents and managers, she makes one catastrophic misstep after another, and Logan must question if their childhood has left them both too broken to succeed. Logan risks everything to hold on, but when Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way, Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between rescuing the girl she has always protected . . . and saving herself.
Logan, trying to start over in New York with a mediocre job and a less than stellar boyfriend, receives a message asking her to visit her cousin Kelsey. Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey since they were children and a traumatic event separated them. She jumps at the chance, realizing she’s missed having Kelsey in her life. While visiting, Kelsey ends up needing a new assistant. Logan, having nothing to leave behind, takes the job. Soon she realizes what a whirlwind Kelsey’s life is, struggling to plan every single detail and balance a potential new romance. It soon becomes evident that no one can live under the strain that Kelsey has been facing and her glamorous facade begins to crack. The result is not entirely improbable and more than a little sad, but I’ll let you read that for yourself.
Having come of age, so to speak, at the same time as Britney Spears (and all of her drama), it is clear that this book is based on her life. Famous singer, overbearing stage parents, epic public meltdown. If this is even loosely based on her life behind the scenes, you’ll never look at her the same again.
That being said, there isn’t much else to love about the novel. It is not the authors fault necessarily (if it’s based on real events), but not one of the characters is particularly likable Kelsey’s parents are a nightmare and while Kelsey is the “star” of the show, her life is absolutely insane (in all regards). Logan. who starts out a s a strong, independent, college –educated woman, quickly becomes a doormat who refuses to stand up for herself. There are also several issues with the book’s timeline. Sometimes one day would pass, other times entire weeks would pass with no real indication as to how much or how little in any given circumstance.
However, all is not lost. The novel does have witty dialogue and, despite the flaws, it does make you think about the way America treats celebrities. If you are looking for a light beach read, this is not for you. However, if you grew up during Britney’s heyday, you’ll likely find this an interesting read.