27 February 2016

Book Review: The Stylist by Rosie Nixon

"When Amber Green, a shop assistant in an exclusive London boutique is plucked from obscurity and mistakenly offered a job working with Mona Armstrong, the infamous, jet-setting 'stylist to the stars', she hits the ground running, helping to style some of Hollywood's hottest (and craziest) starlets.

As awards season spins into action Mona is in hot demand and Amber's life turned upside down. Suddenly she catching the attention of two very different suitors, TV producer Rob and Hollywood bad boy rising star Liam. How will Amber keep her head? And what the hell will everyone wear?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy the book now.

I was excited to be sent a review copy of an exciting debut novel, from Rosie Nixon called The Stylist. It was likened to Sophie Kinsella's 'Shopaholic' series, The Devil Wears Prada and a few other books that I have really enjoyed, and although I am by no means a clothes horse or at all into fashion, I was looking forward to getting stuck into the read, and finding out what all of the fuss was about! It didn't disappoint, and I did very much enjoy the book, and here's why I think you should read it.

Amber Green is just a shop assistant, only working where she is thanks to her friend who helped her to land the coveted role. Amber, however, prefers window dressings to anything else, and isn't at all bothered by the big names and labels in the small boutique where she works. When she mistakenly gets offered a role as a PA to a Hollywood stylist, she somehow finds herself accepting, and being flown to LA for the start of the awards season. Her new boss Mona is very demanding, and Amber finds her new role a bit surprising and is thrown in at the very deepest of ends. She ends up juggling the latest Hollywood darlings, a film crew, a hot actor who is showing an interest in her and her unruly boss... will Amber be able to make it work?!

Like I said, I don't really know a great deal about fashion, but there are name drops galore in this book, and even I had heard of many of them. The lavish descriptions of the clothing, especially the beautiful gowns that the Hollywood actresses are going to wear for the various award ceremonies, sound beautiful and Nixon does a wonderful job of describing them. You can certainly imagine them brightly in your mind, and although I'm not hugely into that sort of thing, I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, and especially the contrast with Amber, and her black t-shirt and leggings combo which was her work uniform of choice!

The story itself was very amusing, and I found myself laughing along in places. Amber was totally out of her depth, didn't really have a clue what she was doing in terms of fashion, etiquette or anything in the world of LA and celebrity! I loved how she kept getting things wrong then miraculously getting them right, stumbling through and guessing her way along, I did feel sorry for her! Mona was just the boss from hell, shirking responsibility whenever she could, and running poor Amber ragged the rest of the time, I honestly don't know how Amber kept her cool most of the time. There were times when I wished she would just be able to say no and stick up for herself, but that was just my personal gripe, Amber was just a bit wet in parts for me!

The descriptions of the fictional celebrities were spot on in the book, and you could really imagine certain celebrities in the real world behaving in the same sort of ways as these larger-than-life characters! The book hurtles towards a rather unbelievable ending featuring one of the books celebrities, and although it bordered on ridiculous, it was pretty funny and very well written! My only gripe throughout the book was that I felt in parts the descriptions dragged on a bit, and I felt it could have been slightly shorter, I found myself wiling away the last 1/4 of the book simply to see how it was going to end up. Other than that, it was a very enjoyable, funny read set behinds the scenes of the not-so-glamorous world of celebrity styling, with one London girl who is very much a fish out of water! Nixon's writing was fast-paced, amusing and easy to read, and I was very impressed by this debut novel. Escapist fun. Oh, and do look out for my favourite character, Pinky, the miniature pig! There's a sequel coming in 2017 if you've enjoyed this one.

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