BOOK REVIEW: Drop Dead Gorgeous by Katie Agnew
Drop Dead Gorgeous is the first book I've read from Katie Agnew, author of Saints v Sinners and Wives v Girlfriends. Released earlier this month, Drop Dead Gorgeous is the story of one girl who gets the chance of fame - but does she use it wisely?
Laura McNaughton has a great life, having put her Scottish background behind her to head for London, where she works for a glossy magazine. Laura's used to interviewing celebrities on a regular basis, and is ecstatic when she's offered a job presenting a brand new Friday night TV show. It's not long before the show becomes a hit, and so does Laura. Catapulted straight into the public eye, Laura is introduced to the world behind the cameras - a world of excitement, intrigue and fame. Life couldn't be better - or so it seems.
After becoming best friends with famous actress Lucy Lloyd and gorgeous rock god Ricky Jones, Laura has become the envy of girls the world over. Soon Laura leaves her small flat behind her, along with her flatmate and former best friend, purchasing her London townhouse that needs work, but is perfect. As the money rolls in, Laura realises that she's finally getting the fame and career that fantasies are made of. But itcomes with a downside. Ricky and Lucy are very soon introducing Laura to their behind-the-scenes lifestyles of wild parties, drink and drugs, and plenty of sex. Laura's once-curvy body is getting thinner by the day, and pretty soon the 'fun' party habits are becoming hard to break. With Laura's new life sprialling out of control, she finds it hard to let go of what she has become and faces the possibility of a breakdown, just like best pal Lucy Lloyd. Her relationship with Ricky is far from perfect, but she's willing to hold on to it. Though pretty soon, a tragedy is about to bring Laura's star-studded, dangerous world to a sickening halt.
Drop Dead Gorgeous was utterly fantastic; another book that I simply couldn't put down until I had finished. At the beginning of the tale, Laura is just an ordinary, hardworking girl with a fun, hippy flatmate and a wonderful family. Then fame strikes, and she soon loses her soul in a world of drugs, scandal and the constant need to be thin and beautiful. Laura is naive, too engrossed in the novelty of fame to realise exactly what's happening to her, but it soon becomes clear, and she soon changes into a selfish version of the old her, dumping her friends and family and assuming that cheques will make up for not seeing them. Laura also assumes that everyone is beneath her, even the builder from her home town who she has employed to work on her house. Too determined to maintain her relationship with token rock star Ricky, she doesn't seem to notice that they are slowly falling for each other.
I enjoyed reading about this transition, and couldn't help but like Laura and pity her; to me, she wasn't always a bad person, merely caught up in her brand new lifestyle. I had to read on to find out whether she changed her ways, and (trying to avoid giving too much away) she does; but with some tragic consequences. Although this book may seem like another celebrity chick-lit tale, it's actually a lot deeper; an intriguing tale about one girl's taste of fame and glamour, and the harsh reality.