Beneath the Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler
Beneath the Glitter #1
Published September 4th 2012 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Summary: From internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.
Welcome to a place where dreams are made. And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite. Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor. But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.
Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal. Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other.
Review: This is not an intellectual book. From the title and the overwhelmingly pink cover, you could tell this is going to be a chick lit type of book. I am not the book’s target audience – but I’ve watched Elle & Blair on YouTube. If you don’t know who Elle & Blair are, they’re beauty gurus who essentially found fame through YouTube. Like with most things celebrity I tend to be a bit more skeptical about the books they write but Elle seems to be a reader that enjoys good books so I took a gamble.
Beneath the Glitter follows a pair of sisters Sophia and Ava London and their journey to starting their make up collection London Calling. The book read more like a memoir rather than a work of fiction, mainly because a vast majority of the plot relates closely to Elle & Blair’s own life. The London sisters also found fame through YouTubing and are interested in fashion and make up and wants to built a make up empire. The story itself wasn’t anything new if you already knew who the Fowler sisters are from watching them on YouTube.
There are many technical aspects of the writing that I didn’t enjoy, particularly the overuse of capslock. At the end of every chapter there is a small LonDOs and LonDON’Ts section, which is a list of things you should and shouldn’t do but really its just a summary of the entire chapter in bullet points. There is a lot of name dropping in this book. Things that the sisters themselves have done with Cellaris and JustFab is included in the LonDOs section of the different chapters. I don’t know if it’s part of the sponsorship deal or whatever but it’s all so blatantly there.
I really hated the ending, considering that was the “highlight” from the preface. It was very rushed and not well put together. I think they spent more time writing on what they believed was the “meat” of the book rather than what is the only climax of the book.
In terms of character, there wasn’t much development from either Sophia or Ava. Sophia was slightly more like-able than Ava. Sophia seemed more intelligent (albeit she was still annoying) than Ava who came off as this vapid lovesick teenager the entire book. The other characters weren’t that interesting either nor did they develop much at all.
I’m really glad I didn’t buy this book and ended up borrowing it from my local library instead. It wasn’t a good read at all. There were a lot of technical writing issues and character issues; a big portion of the issues I had with this book seems to come from the lack of thought being put into this book. This book would probably be more for younger girls than myself, perhaps girls in middle grade who are interested in this kind of things or people who are fans of them on YouTube.
I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel to this book that was recently released. Perhaps if I found it in the library, I’d consider giving it a shot but I highly doubt it’ll be any better though I would still want to see how it pans out.