From Publishers Weekly:
Egan's debut, an odd blend of young adult melodrama and unsuccessful metafiction, winds itself into knots of empty story lines. Recognizing that their dullard daughter, Carley, needs an academic boost, Gretchen and Francis Wells hire author Bree McEnroy to write a book to Carley's specifications. Though Carley's love for reality television and Bree's fondness for self-conscious literary tropes should, in theory, unite to make a delightful story-within-a-story, it is often neglected or underwritten. Meanwhile, the cardboard secondary cast floats around Bree and Carley: there's Hunter, Carley's crush, whose alcoholic rakishness, we are assured, masks a poet's interior; Carley's social-climbing mother and philandering father; and Justin, Bree's college chum, who has become, on dubious merit, a literary star. Carley and Hunter's friendship is jeopardized by both his addictions and her unrequited adoration, and Bree and Justin reconcile. Plagued by thin, when not wildly inconsistent, characterization from the start, the narrative's tendency to flit from character to character without revealing anything memorable or insightful further blurs the point. Unfortunately, there isn't enough heart to redeem the dopiness.
I do agree with the above excerpt and didn't really want to bother with thinking about how to review this long indulgence myself.
I read it all...with my inner-critic on high volume the entire time. Rich people are all shallow and/or mean-spirited? May be...I don't know anyone who is the category of rich that these characters dwell in. I hope there are those who live in that world who retain some common sense and a remnant of humanity.
The book is too, too clever and pretty empty.
Fiction. ? 2009. 389 pages.