Falling Out of Fashion Author:Karen Yampolsky In the bestselling tradition of The Devil Wears Prada, Karen Yampolsky's hilarious and disarmingly candid debut goes deep inside the glossy, glamorous, and completely ruthless world of magazine publishing, where bitchiness and betrayal are always in vogue, and this month's hotshots are just one dud issue away from a pink slip and a one-line care... more »er obit on Page Six...
As a teenager at a prestigious prep school, Jill White studied her roommate's magazines, filled with airbrushed-beyond-recognition photos of whisper-thin blondes who hadn't finished a meal since third grade. She dreamed of one day starting a magazine of her own that would feature women of all sizes and colors--smart, witty, real women with aspirations beyond tinier thighs and shinier hair.
Flash forward several years and a couple of giant leaps up the career ladder, and Jill has it all. Jill magazine is a huge hit, and her fabulous life comes complete with free designer clothes, an abundance of celeb friends, a shamelessly huge salary, and a framed Time magazine cover in her office featuring her beaming face over the legend, "Jill White, Media Wunderkind." Now that mega-successful Nestrom Media has taken over Jill's parent company, its future should be assured. Jill shares the fifteenth floor of the Nestrom building with illustrious Fashionista magazine, and 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 manipulation and backstabbing. With Ellen Cutter, the blond, bland, Bergdorfed CEO of Nestrom Media, and Liz Alexander, Jill's publisher (and Ellen's conniving sidekick) suddenly aligned against Jill, plus a paranoid new managing editor with an addiction to spying, the situation is as grim as the magazine's decidedly unfabulous new offices. Reluctant to jump ship, and equally reluctant 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 her name, her creation, and her future all on the line, Jill realizes mean girls don't get left behind in high school--they grow up and work in publishing...« less
Very fast read, interesting story. Although it seems a tired plot (a la big bad boss), what got me was how similar this was to a real life story I vaguely remembered from the past. I had not read any reviews or excerpts on the book (or, I must admit, even the back cover). I snagged it off the clearance shelf because it looked like a chick lit novel, and I love chick lit. The more I read about this "fictional" world of magazine publishing, the more interested I became. I began to realize that "Jill Magazine" was actually a name-changed "Jane Magazine." I was a fan of Jane Magazine from its inception, and I had a subscription for its entire run. This book directly parallels the "real" editor's life, with bits and pieces I recalled from her editor's letters. In fact, it seems just about everything was the same "with names changed to protect the innocent" or whatever. It was kind of fun to read the descriptions and go "Aha! That was Pamela Anderson!" I highly recommend this book to fans of the old Jane Magazine. Written by the real Jane's assistant, I can't help but feel this was probably the truest story about the demise of the magazine. Either way, it's a light read, and I recommend it if you like working woman's chick lit.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was typical chick lit, and it is vaguely, extremely vaguely similar to Devil Wears Prada. It is similar because in both books, you have an extremely menacing boss. However, in this book, you have two women who are making our heroine's life difficult. A company buys out the publisher of her magazine that she created, and her new bosses don't quite agree with the way things are done. They make it their mission to destroy the magazine and the woman. It held my interest from the get go. It wasn't a favorite, but it's a pretty good read for those who like chick lit.
If you read "Jane" or "Sassy" magazines, you may find this book an interesting fictionalized story of the life of Jane Pratt, their creator/editor. It's written by her old assistant, through from Jane's point of view (in the book, called Jill). I didn't expect that, and I had liked those magazines a lot. The book was a really quick read, it grabs you in and makes you root for Jane (unlike in "The Devil Wears Prada" where you hate the big lady). Real-big readers of those magazines will recognize name-drops for Courtney Cox, Pam Anderson and a few others (it can be a game where you try to figure out who she's talking about by twisting the initials). This was a step up from the chick lit I thought it'd be!