I was browsing Goodreads the other day, trying to find my next book and I came across The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. The plot sounded interesting and, importantly enough, my local library had it in so I said, “why not?” and headed over to check it out.
Super short summary:
- After battling breast cancer, 40-something Imogen Tate returns to her job as Editor in Chief of Glossy, a high fashion magazine, and finds that the magazine has evolved and is now completely digital. Led by a tyrannical 20-something named Eve, Imogen has to decide between quitting or learning how to navigate the digital world in order to take on Eve and help save the magazine she loves.
Overall rating: 4/5
What did I like?
- The story is an interesting premise and follows a path that you don’t normally find. Usually, it seems like these sort of stories follow a young girl, straight out of college, trying to make her way in the harsh world. This flips that around – you have an established career woman who comes back and finds that she’s the one who needs to adapt in order to stay relevant.
- Finally, you get a female character who is not only able to have a strong career but also has a stable marriage and good relationships with her children. While this is no easy feat, it’s so tiring seeing the same idea that in order to have a good career a woman needs to sacrifice her familial relationships.
- It makes for a great beach read. When you get home from a long day at work, it’s nice to just kind of lose yourself in a fun (somewhat frivolous) story and just feel the stress from the day slide off your shoulders. While this book might not change lives, it certainly helps make them a little better.
What could have made this a 5 star book?
- You learn early on that Imogen has worked her way up through the ranks to get into the position she is now. In other words, she’s been in this business a long time. But she just comes across as so naive. It’s like she’s never worked with anyone as cutthroat as Eve before. There are plenty of times when Eve tries to make her look incompetent at her job and it seems like she has to rely on pure luck, instead of a strong business sense, to help get through it.
- There are a couple of story lines that just kind of weirdly end. The biggest one that comes to mind is Imogen comes up with a great idea and ends up sharing it with Eve (who has very clearly shown herself to be untrustworthy) and surprise, surprise, Eve passes the idea off as her own. You think this would turn into a huge plot point but after Eve first announces the idea in a meeting, it’s never brought up again.
- It hit the dreaded two-thirds lull. At this point in the book, you just want them to get on with it. It’s obvious that something big is going to go down and our heroine is going to come out on top – the authors don’t have to keep spending time getting you to dislike Eve or showing you that she’s ruthless when it comes to being seen as the best. We already know this!
There’s one last point that I wanted to bring up before ending this review. While looking at the ratings on Goodreads when I initially found it, there are some points brought up that Imogen seems too dumb when it comes to technology and even in her 40s she should have at least some grasp on how to work Twitter or Facebook. But honestly, I didn’t see her ignorance as unrealistic at all.
As somebody who has literally grown up with the Internet, there are still some apps that I feel like a dunce trying to use. The things that she doesn’t know about (for example YOLO vs FOMO) is completely understandable. The authors make a huge point in telling us that she never learned about social media or new technology because she never thought she’d have to actually use it in a work setting. This is literally the entire point of the book – the ability to adapt with the changing times.
Overall I enjoyed this book and would probably read it again. These authors have another book out called Fitness Junkie and I liked this one enough that I’ll for sure give that one a go!
What are you reading/have you read recently? Comment below!