Author: Karen Yampolsky
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
In the bestselling tradition of The Devil Wears Prada, Karen Yampolsky’s hilarious, disarmingly candid debut goes deep inside the glossy, glamorous, and completely ruthless world of magazine publishing, where bitchiness and betrayal are always in vogue…
Jill White always dreamed of the day when she would start a magazine of her own that would feature smart, witty, real women with aspirations beyond tinier thighs and shinier hair. That day has finally arrived—and Jill magazine is a huge hit. When mega-successful Nestrom Media takes over Jill’s parent company, The Nestrom suits are panting with admiration for both Jill and Jill.
But the ashes from the postcoital cigarette have barely hit the floor before Jill’s new bosses start barking about getting ad revenue up and toning down articles like “His penis is not a toy…or is it?” in favor of fluff pieces with the reality star du jour. What smelled like team spirit devolves into a bitter game of backstabbing. Ellen Cutter, the blond, bland, Bergdorfed CEO of Nestrom Media, and Liz Alexander, Jill’s publisher (and Ellen’s conniving sidekick) are suddenly aligned against Jill, making her life a living hell. Reluctant to quit or to watch as her baby morphs into yet another cheesy rag, Jill fights back, even as Ellen and Liz plot her next move for her. With everything on the line, Jill realizes mean girls don’t get left behind in high school—they grow up and work in publishing…
When I first heard about Falling Out Of Fashion, I knew I wanted to read it. I didn’t have high expectations; I expected yet another The Devil Wears Prada knock-off that was entertaining, but not much more. Instead, I got a nuanced novel that was a lot of fun to read. Falling Out Of Fashion is a layered novel with a main character who is easy to love and care about.
Often in this genre of books, the main character abandons friends and family because of her job. She puts her career first, even when that career isn’t much more than getting coffee, and as a result alienates those who care about her. In Falling Out Of Fashion, Yampolsky doesn’t fall victim to this cliché. She writes Jill as a strong main character. While she can’t do everything (some of her friendships do suffer because of her work), it is her choice; she works because she wants to, because it’s important to her. I really enjoyed and admired Jill for her drive and her determination to make her magazine a success. At the same time, I appreciated how she understood how neglectful she was when she put work above her relationships. In essence, in many ways, Jill was real, not some character in a book.
While I enjoyed Falling Out Of Fashion, I can’t say that it was completely satisfying. I really enjoyed the book and its ending, but it didn’t fulfill my catty, girly side – I wanted the two “bad guys” in the novel to get what they deserved! While arguably, they probably did, I was itching for a showdown in which Jill verbally maimed these women. That’s how good of a writer Yampolsky is; she got me completely emotionally involved in the story.
I really enjoyed Falling Out Of Fashion; I thought it was very well done. Yampolsky is a talented writer, and I really hope she pens another novel soon!