These days, internships are part of life for graduates who want to get into competitive fields like publishing, the music industry, in fact most industries now. Therefore as a recent graduate, I was really interested in The Intern, Dillon Khan’s debut novel. Khan tells the story of Jay Merchant who has landed one of the hottest internships around for The Beat, a music television show. There is only one job and several interns though, so how far will Jay go to seal his dream job?
The Intern does not glamorise the music industry, while the drugs and parties are plentiful, so are the long hours and toll on personal relationships, including Jay’s relationship with his girlfriend, friends and life overall.
Jay was a well-rounded character. I didn’t always like his actions, particularly how he neglected his girlfriend at times or his desperation for the job (I do understand he sacrificed a lot and it was his dream job) but I believed he was sincere and really worked hard to try and get the job.
The Intern is filled with nostalgic pop culture references to the end of the nineties and early noughties; Big Brother, S Club 7, that really annoying song everyone used to know called U-G-L-Y. I personally liked this as this was the music scene I grew up in, however I wonder if a teenager now would find this dated or unappealing.
I read a fellow UK blogger’s review for this novel (Raimy @ Readaraptor) and wanted to link to it as I think she raised the same point about age as I was thinking and she said she felt it was more for 18-25 years old. While this was because of content, my personal feelings is that the music references themself made it more appropriate for the latter end of YA and the 18-25 crowd rather than the content. Raimy and I were talking on twitter and we both agreed it had a David Nicholls vibe to it. Khan’s writing is very skilled and really captured Jay’s voice well.
There are a lot of references to drugs and concepts I think that might be unsuitable for younger teens and YA readers, but I think people over the age of about 15/16 should be fine, dependent on personal maturity of course.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel; it was compelling, entertaining and insightful. I think this is an excellent crossover novel and people interested in the music industry will love this novel. I would also recommend it to people who may not ordinarily read YA, like recent graduates, as it was very insightful into the world of internships and postgraduate life.
I would also like to show you the awesome book trailer for the Intern as well:
I received my copy of The Intern for free from Razorbill/Puffin (Penguin UK) in exchange for my honest review. The Intern is available to buy now from bookshops and online retailers.