All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Regulars by Georgia Clark

on August 10, 2016

RegularsThe Regulars
Georgia Clark
Simon & Schuster AUS
2016, 400p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

GIRLS meets BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY (with a magical twist) in this fierce and hilarious women’s fiction debut, as three average girls become extraordinarily beautiful and have all their fantasies come true … or do they?

Best friends Evie, Krista and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls with typical quarter life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well …gorgeous. Like, supermodelgorgeous. With a single drop, each young woman gets the gift of jaw-dropping beauty for one week, presenting them with unimaginable opportunities to make their biggest fantasies come true…

I’m in two minds about this one.

It’s an interesting idea. Three girls living and working (struggling) in New York are good friends. Their lives are no where near perfect: feminist Evie works for a trashy magazine that features articles on boys and make up. Krista is an actress trying to make it. Willow is an artist who feels as though she stands in the shadow of her famous movie director father. Krista runs into an old friend who gives her a vial of “Pretty”, a magical purple elixir that turns whoever drinks a drop of it pretty for seven days. Not just a prettier version of themselves, a stunningly beautiful new version. Krista, who is quite short, grows inches after consuming it. Their features are perfect, luminous. They look so different that they can all choose new names and identities, completely ignoring their real lives and identities for the week.

I kind of feel like if you want me to believe in this sort of thing happening in a “normal” setting then you need to give me something as to what it is and why/how it does it. This book gives nothing about what Pretty is at all. All the reader knows is that you must consume a drop of it every 7 days because the pretty effect will wear off and you’ll go back to being your regular self. The transformation into “Pretty” is kind of hideous – the sort of thing best done in private. Although Evie is somewhat concerned about what it is or what it could do to them long term, the chance to do something that’s like her dream job has her taking it as well, after Willow and Krista have succumbed.

To be honest I didn’t really connect with any of the characters or their struggles much. I didn’t feel as though what they did with their new appearances were all that revolutionary either – Willow begins to test her boyfriend’s fidelity with her new beautiful self, basically serving her prettiness up on a platter and then being upset when he begins to succumb (but it doesn’t stop her). Krista scores a part in a movie and behaves in an embarrassingly rude way. Evie wants to smash the construct of women in media but finds herself stonewalled and overruled. I appreciated that the characters were of diverse backgrounds and sexuality but felt that the book could’ve explored the themes of being prettier doesn’t necessarily make your life better in more ways than sexual gymnastics. The three of them really begin to let their friendship slide after taking pretty, so much so that there is a grave fear for the wellbeing of one of them at the end of the story. The become quite self-involved and some of the antics are actually quite cringeworthy. I almost put the book down a couple of times but a few things kept me going – hoping for more information on Pretty and how Willow’s situation with her boyfriend was going to be resolved.

I found the ending somewhat unsatisfactory. The lack of information on Pretty and how it came to be, what the person who gave it to Krista does (we get a small glimpse into her life which is awful) and the way in which the three girls clumsily decide they don’t need Pretty, they’re fine just as they are, etc. It could’ve been something gently explored throughout the novel but instead seems to be wrapped up hastily at the end after a chain of disasters.

Unfortunately, this just wasn’t my sort of book. I see the potential in it but the way in which it was executed didn’t really work for me.

5/10

Book #154 of 2016

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One response to “Review: The Regulars by Georgia Clark

  1. I completely agree with this review! I can see some people liking it, but this wasn’t my cup of tea, either.

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