Beautiful People by Wendy Holden

Released: January 22, 2009

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Headline

ISBN: 0755342968

There are just too many characters and too many things happening in this book. Throughout the first half I kept wondering “who am I supposed to care about? Who’s Mitch again?”

There’s a mean actress, a nice actress, a mean nanny, a nice nanny, a mean MP, a nice MP, mean children of MPs, nice children of MPs, a mean agent, a nice agent, two mean actors, several mean parents, a kind chef, a kind housekeeper, a snobby employment agency owner, two scary photographers, a generally irrelevant model agency owner (who for some reason is featured on the back cover of the book) and some paparazzi. 

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE CONNECTED.

It was exhausting to read. The most developed storyline is about the nice British actress who has to work with the mean American actress – in Italy. The British girl sleeps with the American girl’s mean ex-boyfriend; he subsequently goes back to the American and she finds out she was really in love with the nice-but-less-glamorous guy all along. Sub-plots include one nanny framing the other for drug possession, that first nanny dealing drugs, the modelling agency owner trying to hire the nice son of the nice MP and one of the paparazzo having an existential crisis. Holden’s differentiation between most of these characters seems to be that the protagonists are invariably attractive, without being obsessed with their looks, while the villains try too hard, follow low-carb diets, and wear too much makeup.

In the end, the good ones all find love and wealth, and the baddies get their comeuppance. It’s predictable … but I still kept losing the plot. There wasn’t very much substance here – a disappointment from an author who’s usually utterly awesome.

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