Blood Is The New Black by Valerie Stivers
|Blood Is The New Black by Valerie Stivers|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: Would you die for fashion? Kate's new co-workers will, and she's a little bit alarmed when their deaths seem to come more and more frequently. Can she get to the bottom of the murders, and does she really want to know if there's any truth behind the gossip columnists' constant "vampire" rumours?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: October 2007|
|Publisher: Hodder Paperback|
Last week I sat in McDonalds in my work suit and heels, eating a McFlurry and reading this story of a Devil wears Prada world where the devils are flashy magazine editors by day and blood sucking vampires by night. There are so many things wrong with that sentence, but crazily the plot of this book is not one of them, and what sounds ridiculously far-fetched is actually quite brilliant and hilarious to read.
Kate is a pre-med student with no dreams of a career in fashion, and is therefore an unlikely pick for a coveted internship at top fashion mag Tasty. But, this summer job appeals for its location - the big apple - and the chance for her to spend a few months living with her society aunt Victoria in her plush apartment, and though it isn't the most usual entry on a future doctor's resume, Kate is sure that one errant summer spot won't do too much damage. That's until she meets her new colleagues, however, and is drawn into a fierce world of bitching, back-stabbing and... biting? When these new colleagues start dieing in mysterious ways, Kate puts on her sleuth cap and takes a closer look at the weird world she's now living in. But is it time for fight or flight? And does she really want to know what being a Tasty girl means?
This is such a strange book to read because the writing is so much better than you would expect from having read the blurb on the back - it's not just passable chick lit, it's really rather good. The story is pretty unpredictable in places - you just never know who the next fashion victim will be, in either meaning of the words - and the ending was weirdly not at all what I'd thought I'd blatantly seen coming, if that makes sense.
The writing is warm even if the characters aren't. It's witty, entertaining, realistic and fluent. The parallel storylines involving Kate and her new job, her new boy and her missing mother merge seamlessly into one towards the end. Despite the dark undercurrent - murderous fashion staffers, emaciated colleagues, abandoned children - the book is quite light and very easy to read. It is not a scary book per se - you can read it without having to double check all the doors are locked, or having to switch on every light in the house - but the vampire theme does add a certain something, and it has a touch of Buffy about it: these undead Americans might work for fashion magazines rather than hanging around high schools, but you get the gist.
As you might have guessed, I rather enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it for what it is - a better-than-average easy-to-read piece of chick-lit that is not going to win a Pulitzer, but is a fun and unusual read nonetheless.
Thank you to the publishers for supplying this book.
For another take on vampires hitting NYC, have a look at The Last Days.
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