The LainiBop Challenge
* * * * *
* * * * * SPOILERS * * * * *
* * * * *
Glitz is the story of 4 cousins, Juno and her sister Athena, and their cousins, Venus and her sister Diana. Very different girls, who had very different childhoods, they all now have one very important thing in common, they are rich, extremely rich, and famous because of their wealth. This fabulous lifestyle they lead is provided by their uncle Clem, a reclusive business man who lives on an island in the middle of nowhere. Their only duty in order to receive this money is to visit Clem for 2 weeks of the year, at Christmas, no exceptions, and no guests allowed, even Juno’s husband must spend the time alone, while she vacations on the tropical island.
Everything changes however when Clem invites them unexpectedly to visit mid year, and announces that he is getting married to a much younger woman and he is giving them a year to get themselves sorted before he cuts off their trust funds. Naturally the girls are not happy about this, and must put aside their bickering to get rid of this interloper and try to save their extravagant lifestyles.
The fact that all the girls have such different personalities and traits meant that the reader has more of a chance to relate to at least one of these girls. Venus is a wannabe actress, she wants to be famous and star in top Hollywood movies, and thinks that her wealth and considerable fame will help her get there. Her sister Diana scorns the idea of “working” even as an actress and intends to spend her life being the IT girl on the social scene. Juno is married and very much a social climber, she’s all about the grand and elegant parties and increasing her VIP contacts. Her sister Athena on the other hand is sort of considered the black sheep of the quartet. She comes across as very plain, she doesn’t take as much care of her appearance as the rest of them and definitely doesn’t care about clothes and designer labels. Her ambition is to become a research fellow in Oxford university, but her dreams are shattered when the position is awarded to a male candidate who received much lower marks than she did.
Since these girls were 16 they have never known anything else but money. Clem has made sure that wealth comes before everything else by letting them know they must sacrifice Christmas with their family to ensure his continued approval. The news that they will lose everything comes as a huge shock to them and understandably they have no idea how to handle the situation, they have never had to work or worry about money in any way. This means that characters who are snobby and selfish, end up arousing a lot of sympathy for their “plight”. Even though we should scorn their lack of common sense and brattiness, we understand why they are the way they are and also that this is a very obvious ploy by Clem to make them completely dependent on him.
Clem is a very manipulative and scheming man. You get the impression early on that this marriage is almost a test for his nieces, an assessment in their loyalty, and an examination in how far they will go to ensure they stay rich.
The plot of the book is very enticing, it moves along at a nice pace and really manages to insert the reader into this fabulous world of parties and celebrities. One obvious way it does this is to describe every outfit the girls put on for every party or interview or meeting they attend. Frequently the girls’ outfits are compared to one another. Juno comments on the appearances as they fly out to see Clem:
- “Venus dressed sexy…Today she was wearing a Pucci halter-necked dress in patterned silk, teetering Manolos in flesh coloured leather – strappy sandals that laced halfway up her toned calves….Over it all, a crisp tailored coat by Joseph, snow white, picked out her tanned blondeness….Chanel sunglasses balanced on top of her head.”
- “Diana…was slightly less obvious. Prada handbag, to match her carry-on…Versace dress and jacket in tailored cream cotton with a daisy detail…Her shoes were chestnut, too, Christian Louboutin with the sassy red soles.”
- “She herself…wore a sheashell-pink dress and coat by Robinson Valentine, sedate YSL pumps in black leather, and carried a neat little Kate Spade handbag, black with jet and pink crystal detailing…with a large pair of Dior sunglasses perched on her forehead.”
- “But Athena! Mousy-brown hair, untouched by stylists…Low budget clothing. Ray-Bans, for heaven’s sake. A necklace of crystals. At least she appeared to be wearing some decent Jimmy Choo flats, and her handbag was Gucci. But Juno’s baby sister was a tousled, tumbled mess.”
Frankly all that goes straight over my head, but I’m sure it’s very impressive! I just wish that we didn’t have to have a full fashion show every time the girls meet for a cup of coffee.
All in all, it was an enjoyable book. Not the most conversation-inspiring book I’ve ever read, but a nice quick read!