Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: The Knockoff

Looking for the next The Devil Wears Prada? Authors Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza have you covered. Their new novel The Knockoff is a hilariously addictive novel that is similar to Weisberger's but with its own twist on the world of fashion magazines. It's such a delight to read!

Here's the synopsis:
An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.
When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to BeyoncĂ©. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.
The Knockoff  (known as Techbitch in the UK and, I think, Australia) was one of those books that I enjoyed more the more I read. I found this novel a bit hard to get into, in part, I think, because I had some issues with the way the story was being told. Imogen is the main character but every once and awhile the story is told from another character's point of view. It was a bit jarring and it threw the flow off a bit. I liked having another side of the story explored but it just kind of hopped around with no real sense of whose POV we'd see next. I also sometimes felt it was very clear there were two authors...it's hard to explain but it goes back to the flow and there were times everything just felt a little off.

I went into reading this one expecting Imogen to be like Miranda Priestly. Personality-wise, Imogen is nothing like the aforementioned Devil. She's actually a nice person, someone you want to work for not just because she's a smart, savvy businesswoman, but because she's so lovely. I totally fell in love with Imogen. I liked that Sykes and Piazza made her so relatable, even to me, a twentysomething. I couldn't relate to Eve because, well, she's a psychotic bitch (and that's kind of the whole point to Eve...she's a hilarious parody and totally nuts). Imogen tries so hard to keep up with the tech world and does pretty well for someone who had had her head in the sand. It was actually pretty fun to read as she discovered Twitter and Instagram (she fails at one and is obsessed with another) and learned how to use them properly.

The Knockoff isn't a book about romantic relationships or family. It's about careers and the workplace and I found it refreshing. Bonus: the American/Canadian cover totally nails that feeling. I would have been upset if the designers had made it light and feminine. The UK cover is a bit softer but the title, Techbitch, creates a nice contrast.

Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza have written such a fun novel. The Knockoff should be put in everyone's beach bag (or on their ereader which will then go in their beach bag) because it is a book you need to read this summer. The characters are both relatable and extreme and the glimpse into the world of fashion is awesome. Check this one out and let me know what you think!

*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Random House of Canada, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting that the US/Canada book title is so different from the UK version. I like how you said this book was about careers and the workplace.


Thanks for stopping by Books Etc.!