The Regulars by Georgia Clark
|The Regulars by Georgia Clark|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Lauren True|
|Summary: Sexy, satirical and beautifully flawed, the characters of this body positive novel perfectly encapsulate the inner longings, questions and ambitions of the modern woman, as well as warning this generation that perhaps our ideals about beauty are better off staying as dreams.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: August 2016|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK|
|External links: Author's website|
If offered the chance to immensely upgrade your beauty, to become the very definition of gorgeous, to have a face and body the likes of which are only ever seen on magazine covers and catwalks, would you take it? This is the question posed to best friends Evie, Krista and Willow, when they are presented with Pretty, an enchanted solution of which a single drop guarantees a stunning physical appearance for a week. Before the Pretty, the girls had regular faces, faced regular problems, and found themselves regularly disappointed by the dating world. But this bottle has the potential to change everything. The adventure that ensues takes all three young women on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery as dreams are fulfilled, hearts are broken, and the addiction to such a lifestyle proves to be far more sinister than they ever imagined.
Openly described as a Dorian Grey for the Girls generation, The Regulars has a lot to live up to in terms of a novel that captures the flawed nature of humanity in its tireless pursuit of happiness, wealth and beauty. However, just like in Dorian Grey, in this novel beauty is at first the key to power, yet Clark expertly weaves this power into a spiderweb of twisted lust, betrayal and deep unsettlement.
From the initial chapter, it is clear that the characters will be the real magic of this novel. Though they are each particular and unique, it would be hard not to relate somehow to at least one of the central trio. Struggling photographer Willow finally finds the model the industry has been looking for (her Pretty self) but in taking the photos her deep unhappiness and scarring are broadcast to the world. Aspiring actress and law school drop-out Krista lands a cosy spot with a Hollywood heartthrob, but quickly makes enemies on set as her impulsive persona begins to crumble. Additionally, as quirky blogger and feminist Evie (the fan favourite, and certainly mine too) finds out in her newfound job of web series presenting, those who look like dolls are often treated as such, and what she thought would be a chance to preach to the world about feminine advances somehow ends up as a brief few snapshots of her with an armful of multicoloured dildos!
There is no holding back in this novel, that is for certain. In my opinion, the raw honesty and inclusiveness of private and/or disturbing issues and circumstances allows for a type of realism that will really resonate with a contemporary audience. Sex, for example, is at the forefront of the pretty scene, and is explored in detail in many steamy scenes as the girls experiment within their new confidence. Most memorable, I believe, are such scenes that include the poignant use of the mirror, and emphasise how the characters are loathe to look at themselves as they really are, yet eager to do so in their beautiful disguises.
Personally, I read The Regulars in two days, barely being able to put it down! I love how the short chapters from alternating perspectives mean that the excitement and drama do not weaken with the turn of the pages. Moreover, I would deem this book an absolute must-read for not only the forward-thinking feminists among us but also for any inquisitive soul who favours the good old what if? question, and those simply searching for a really intelligent, funny and satisfying novel.
If The Regulars stole your heart as it did mine, I would recommend also taking a look at Flawless: Pretty Little Liars 2 by Sara Shepard.
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