Friday, August 2, 2013

REVIEW: BETWEEN YOU AND ME BY EMMA MCLAUGHLIN AND NICOLA KRAUS

What happens when you are followed by millions . . . and loved by none? Twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade is trying to build a life for herself far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. Until she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant— an offer she can’t refuse.

Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey in person since their parents separated them as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has grown into Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrity. But their reunion is quickly overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her parents as Logan discovers that, beneath the glossy fa├žade, the wounds that caused them to be wrenched apart so many years ago have insidiously warped into a show-stopping family business.

As Kelsey tries desperately to break away and grasp at a “real” life, beyond the influence of her parents and managers, she makes one catastrophic misstep after another, and Logan must question if their childhood has left them both too broken to succeed. Logan risks everything to hold on, but when Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way, Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between rescuing the girl she has always protected . . . and saving herself.

Published June 12th 2012 by Atria Books (first published June 1st 2012)
egalley provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Where to Find the Book:
Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Where to Find the Writers:
Website | Twitter | Facebook


Our Review:

This is a story about how unglamorous the glamourous life is. Kelsey and Logan are cousins who were as close as sisters, lost their connection after a traumatic event, and re-connect in their twenties when an assistant to Kelsey (a uber-super star) (Also a cousin, right?) decides to surprise her with a visit from Logan. It's with this visit that Logan is offered the job to replace the assistant and become Kelsey's assistant/everything girl. Even though Logan's life in NYC left much to be desired, I knew that taking the job with Kelsey wasn't going to go well...and I wasn't too far off the mark.

I was drawn to this story line as I usually am by the "life of the pop" star aspect...but even more so by the supposed relationship of these two women. We find out early on that there was some big event that caused the family to separate at its core..which in this case was Kelsey and Logan's fathers. Something is eluded to the whole way through, and it has shaped each of their lives and relationships differently starting when Kelsey and her mother leave for LA when she is a pre-teen. 

Kelsey and her parents are the poster children for dysfunction. They are all in denial, they never deal with how anyone is truly feeling or what anyone wants, they are just cogs in the entertainment industry's machine.  Her parents, while at one time may have been well meaning, now come off as greedy and mean. They constantly push Kelsey to the extreme, berate her or manipulate her in to doing any and every thing and seem to have no desire for her physical or mental well being UNLESS it interferes with their financial bottom line. Kelsey plays into this by allowing them to be this way. She's so crippled by their demeaning, belittling, hovering ways that rather than act like the 25 year old she is, she acts like a teenager constantly acting out. When actually she tries to make decisions, she is constantly undermined and outvoted or pushed aside.

This happens so much I think, and is so sad. Michelle (Kelsey's mother) was one of those mom's who really enjoys being in the lime light...or the best friend...as she talks about as being this to Kelsey from the time she was 11. There is no other way for them to be, I suppose...and I don't think it always has to be a famous teen to make families dysfunctional, but every situation was extravagant as the life they lead. Kelsey's only goal is to be loved...but since she really doesn't know how she screws up pretty much every chance she has in some way shape or form...and her parents help her do it.

Seeing as Logan has been in the 'real world' for her entire life, you'd think that she'd be able to be a voice of reason in the debacle that is this family...but instead she gets sucked into the vortex like everyone else. She knows on some level that everything going on in this family is wrong and she mutters her feelings here or there but she never really tries to show Kelsey how crazy their lives are. On the few occasions that she does say something, she is immediately shot down by one or all of them, so she just continues to feed into the crazy. Luckily, early on she met a guy in her same position named Finn and he's able to be an outlet for sanity and reason when things just get to be too much.

I was disappointed in Logan and Kelsey. Logan didn't speak her mind, but Kelsey only treated her as a BFF when it suited her...any other time she treated her as a lowly employee who did everything for her, but would be mad when Logan didn't do every single thing she wanted. Couple that with Kelsey's parents making it clear that Logan's opinions were not wanted. Logan keeps the story moving and is there for her, but it was underappreciated. 

I kept waiting for there to be that one pinnacle moment when everything just exploded and a resolution would start to form, but instead it was just one insane and frustrating event after another. It wore me out. By the end I was just so disappointed in all of the characters and in their inability to get control of their lives that I really didn't like them very much. The only ones who generated any ray of hope were Logan and Finn..so here's to hoping that they can maintain their sanity and reason in an industry that seems intent on making everyone else crazy.


I too feel mostly the same way as you! I wanted somebody to learn something before the end...but they didn't. They learned zero..there is not much resolution...an allusion to it is probably more accurate. I had such high hopes all of the way through, and stayed up waaayyyy too late last night finishing it, but was disappointed by the seemingly rushed ending. I will try to look at it from the point of view is that is how the big machine of show business works...still trying!

Shelley: 3 Stars
Courtney: 3 Stars

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