Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Between You and Me

Summary: 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 fa├žade, 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. -- Atria

I don't know if I'd say that I'm a huge fan of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, but I did enjoy THE NANNY DIARIES and NANNY RETURNS. So when I learned that this best-selling writing duo had a new novel called BETWEEN YOU AND ME, I knew I wanted to read it... especially after taking a peek at the book's description. 

BETWEEN YOU AND ME is the story of Logan Wade, a young woman who is trying to escape from the painful reminders of her childhood. Logan tries to make a go of it as a career woman in New York City, but she finds that she's not as happy or as satisfied as she had hoped. When the opportunity comes to visit Kelsey, her very famous cousin from whom she has been estranged for many years, she drops everything and heads to Los Angeles. She discovers that she has missed her cousin, but she also learns that the dynamics between Kelsey and her domineering parents are rather strange. The more time Logan spends with her aunt and uncle, the more uncomfortable she gets especially when she begins having flashbacks to her childhood.

When Kelsey finds herself without a much-needed personal assistant, Logan agrees to come to the rescue. She decides to stay in Los Angeles and quits her job in New York City to manage Kelsey's affairs. Little does she know how difficult Kelsey is to keep in check. Kelsey attempts to split from her parents and start making her own decisions, and her life begins to spin out of control. Logan tries to do damage control to little or no avail, and she eventually realizes that she can't save both Kelsey and herself.

I was really looking forward to BETWEEN YOU AND ME because I am a sucker for stories about celebrities. As much as I hate to say this, I do love reading People Magazine (and even the trashier gossip rags) and celebrity tell-all memoirs. I admit that I'm fascinated by their lifestyles and what it must be like to live in the spotlight. BETWEEN YOU AND ME did provide me some insight into the celebrity lifestyle. In fact the story was very much reminiscent of the rise and fall of Britney Spears, so for that reason, I did find the book to be interesting.

However, I can't say that BETWEEN YOU AND ME was a great read for me. I didn't really enjoy the characters or the story for much of the book and I thought some of the dialogue between the characters was hard to follow. The first half (and maybe even two-thirds) of the book was very slow and I didn't think a lot happened. In addition, I had a hard time keeping track of some of the characters and I found myself re-reading some sections in an attempt to keep things straight.

Having said that, I do think the last third of the book was much better, and it kind of redeemed the story for me. There was more action and I finally felt as if I understood some of what made Kelsey tick. For so much of the story, I didn't really like Kelsey all that much and I felt as if she was a prima donna; however, by the end of the novel, my heart really went out to her. She was a young girl who had never had the chance to be a kid. Furthermore, everyone (including her parents and friends) wanted something from her -- it was exhausting to even read about these people and their demands. Kelsey was just desperate to be loved for who she really was. Pretty tragic, right?

What I found lacking in this novel was the character of Logan, the actual narrator of the story. Since the entire book was in her voice, I felt as if I should have gotten to know her and understand her. And that just wasn't the case. I had a very hard time relating to Logan because so many of her actions just didn't make sense to me, and I just think she should have been developed more fully. Maybe it's just me, but I felt as if she were distant for the entire novel; and I wanted so much more from her character. At the end of the story, when things started becoming more clear for Logan, I saw glimpses of what I was hoping for. It just never panned out to the extent I wanted.

I'm not sure that BETWEEN YOU AND ME lived up to my expectations, but I did enjoy the last third of the novel. If you are interested in getting an inside view into the world of a celebrity, then you might want to give this book a try. It's a light read that could be just what you're looking for this summer.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

I'm not all that interested in Britney Spears or her rise and fall, so this doesn't sound very appealing to me.

Serena said...

I'm glad that the premise of this one interested you...and that you enjoyed aspects of it. It doesn't sound like my cup of tea though.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What Kathy said! LOL

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm kind of a pop culture junkie myself, so I understand the draw. I don't necessarily ADMIRE celebrities, but more of a study in human nature and how it can run amuck. But you really need to have some sort of understanding of the narrator I think to make a book work. Well, they all can't be five stars.

Unknown said...

I'm not nearly the fan of all things celebrity as I once was. Still, I know a few people that would enjoy this book, so thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

Think about the following of Maria! Any fans of Metropolis out there. Do you guys see any connection.

Unknown said...

Think about the following of Maria! Any fans of Metropolis out there. Do you guys see any connection.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I've been seeing this book pop everywhere lately. Not sure I will pick it up when there are so many books I really want to read out there.

Anonymous said...

This is the second review that I have read for Between You and Me Today and neither one is extremely positive. I too, like reading these sort of books and was planning on reading it, but with all the reading possibilities out there, I guess I will not make this one a priority. Thank you for the review.

xxcazxx said...

I really wanted to read this but after this review i will not be making it a priority.
I have just started to post on my blog and would love if you could have a look at it.