Title: Between You and Me
Author: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Review: I love to read books that initially come across as light material, a summer read so to speak, but by the end I find it has changed my way of looking at the world. Between You and Me starts off as a look at the excesses of being a young, mega-successful pop star and slowly turns around to a deeply moving statement about the unquenchable thirst the public has for celebrity, and cost in real lives that has. You will not look at the tabloids quite the same way again after this book.
Much like reading Curtis Sittenfeld American Wife and thinking Laura Bush the whole time, if you are like me you will not be able to separate the pop star of this book from Britney Spears. It is the story of a young girl thrust into stardom with her controlling parents, to begin a journey on a runaway train called fame. It doesn’t matter how much you wish for normality the minute you step off it seems that ride will be gone forever. So you keep on to keep on until ultimately something just breaks inside of you.
It is easy to sit back and watch the TMZ style news and pass judgment on the celebrities, thinking to ourselves “Well I would be different if I was famous.” But we are not famous and we can not imagine what that pressure and loss of privacy is like. I kept coming back to Craig Ferguson’s impassioned monologue at the height of the Britney meltdown. The notion it doesn’t make us good people to attack the vulnerable.
They say if you truly want to understand another person you should walk in their shoes a little while. Between You and Me allows you do that, at least for a little while, for the young and famous. One of my favorite quotes is from a Henry B. Eyring speech, “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.” We should not be so quick to judge others, especially people we know nothing of substance about.
Publisher: Atria June 12, 2012
Quick Review: 41/2 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: I have read one of their previous novels, The Nanny Diaries, and enjoyed it.
Where Did I Get the Book: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: From the authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Nanny Diaries comes a new novel that takes readers behind the scenes of stratospheric celebrity—what it means to be worshipped by millions and still feel loved by none.
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have proven again and again that they are masters at exploring the nuances of family relationships—as they intersect with the current trends in the culture at large.
In Between You and Me, twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade has built a life for herself in New York City, far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. But when she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey since they were separated as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has become one of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrities and carrion for the paparazzi. But the joy at their reunion is overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her controlling parents. As Kelsey grasps desperately at a “real” life, Logan risks everything to try and give her cousin the one thing she has never known—happiness. As Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between saving her cousin and saving herself.
Author Biography: McLaughlin graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She met Nicola Kraus while both were attending New York University, and working as nannies. Their first novel, The Nanny Diaries, a tale about a 20-something New York nanny, reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2002. The film version was released in 2007.
Kraus graduated from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She met Emma McLaughlin while both were attending New York University, and working as nannies. She lived as a child at 1000 Park Avenue, whose residents she claims inspired some of the characters in her fiction.