Book Review: Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin
June 18, 2015
Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor
Date: April 14, 2015
Jess Dunne is third generation Hollywood. Not third generation celebrity like Drew Barrymore or anything. She just happens to have been born and raised in amongst the rich and famous. This doesn’t mean she wants to be either of those. Well, who doesn’t want to be rich right? But famous? No thank you. As a child, her mother dragged her to disappointing audition after disappointing audition – all to no avail. She’s just not star material. So she goes along living and working in the Hollywood zoo, mostly content to just un-stare like every other non-famous person.
But then Jess’s life clicks into high gear in the weirdest of ways. Her roommate, a D-list celeb at best, suddenly hits the big time AND starts dating the ‘it’ guy in Hollywood. And an unfortunate turn in Jess’s barrista career morphs into being more than just a spectator in that Hollywood zoo – she suddenly ends up with a job as zookeeper. Or personal assistant if you prefer.
Like the guilty little thrill of pleasure you get from picking up one of those gossip rags at the grocery store aisle, Oh! You Pretty Things lets you see the ‘other’ side of the Hollywood life. The not so pretty publicist, manager laden days of struggling to remain relevant and cool while being lost in the bubble of your own importance. Mahin explores, with a fun sense of wit and clever snark, what life is like when you live it in a spotlight – whether you want to or not.
This book is highly quotable. Often, while I was reading, I thought about highlighting certain phrases to use myself. Fun, clever, witty – this book has it all. The plot, in many areas, goes exactly where you might imagine it would but this doesn’t make the journey any less fun. Family relationships, friendships, relationships – this book explores all of those with just the right hint of celebrity royalty thrown in.
The only thing I really missed was that none of these topics was really explored to its complete ending. Then again, this in and of itself is pretty Hollywood – to skim around the deep topics a little like a pretty dragonfly. She’d land on friendship or relationship just long enough for a reader to realize it was there and then move to something else. I would have preferred feeling a REAL growth to the character at the end.
However, this didn’t really stop my enjoyment of the book. I still loved this fun glimpse into that mysterious celebrity side of life. I have no idea what Mahin has planned next, but I do know that I would enjoy seeing more of this story. These characters beg to be revisited and put into further situations. Much like Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, I could see Jess Dunne being put into many more fun situations and I would have fun joining her on all of them.
For my conservative readers, be aware that this is not a Christian book. So there is language and sex and sometimes, some…er…interesting situations. Just want to make sure everyone knows ahead of time what to expect.
Oh! You Pretty Things would make a great summer beach read!
Review copy provided by the publisher – thank you!