Author: Marilyn Kaye
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: 6th June 2013
Series/standalone: Series, next book due 2014.
Source: Review copy from publisher
Also by the author: Replica series, Gifted series, and more.
Goodreads Description: New York, 1963.
Fashion, music and attitudes are changing, and there’s nowhere in in the world more exciting. Sherry, Donna, Allison and Pamela have each landed a dream internship at Gloss; America’s number-one fashion magazine.
Each girl is trying to make her mark on New York and each finds herself thrown head-first into the buzzing world of celebrity, high-end fashion and gossip. But everything isn’t as glamorous as it seems – secrets from the past threaten to shatter their dreams.
They’re finding out that romance in New York is as unpredictable and thrilling as the city itself.
Review: With a 1960s meets the Devil Wears Prada style summary, Gloss sounded like the perfect fun read for me to relax with.
Set in New York, several teenagers have just started a dream internship for a huge fashion magazine, Gloss. However behind the scenes life isn’t as glamorous or easy as it seems. Gloss focuses on the stories of four teenagers; Sherry, Donna, Allison and Pamela. Each teenager is very different and has their own arc and story within Gloss to tell and develops throughout the book.
Despite the fact that Gloss is a fun and summery read with romance and fashion, I liked the fact that Kaye didn’t shy away therefore from depicting some of the sexism and inequality that was rife in the period, and in particular Donna’s backstory was quite compelling and poignant to read. I really liked seeing Donna evolve throughout the book and the gradual reveal of her backstory. Sherry also developed well within the novel and felt modern for her time without being overly anachronistic. Allison was quite different to read from the other characters and is strongly interested in the Beat movement.
Almost all of the main characters encounter romances of different types and consequences and I thought that variety was interesting and made the book and characters stand out more. I thought Allison’s relationship with Sam for example was honestly conveyed, especially regarding her rose-tinted glasses for him and subsequent prejudices about other characters was well done and original.
Kaye really bought New York to life; from the trendy neighbourhoods like Manhattan, famous locations like the Waldorf-Astoria to Greenwich Village (The Village) which was one of the central hubs of the 60’s Beat Generation.
My only real criticism of Gloss is the fact that because Gloss had four different characters to follow and strands, sometimes these characters could feel a little underdeveloped in isolation. However as a whole, I think the book worked.
Fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Mad Men, fashion, and vintage settings will find a lot to love in Gloss. For me it was one of those books that I could just read in one or two sittings and was great fun!
Gloss is a fun, fashion-filled read that brings the 60’s period to life and is highly enjoyable. I’m definitely interested in reading in the next book in the series which is released later this year and seeing where the characters go next.
I received a free review copy from Macmillan Children’s Publishers for reviewing purposes. My review is honest and its tone and content unaffected by the means in which I received the book.