So, as I’m sure many of you may have noticed – I am a big fan of full disclosure. So, full disclosure: it’s a lot of thinking / work to put together a recipe paired with every read. From finding something related to the book to putting together the entire post it’s a time consuming project. My favorite posts are my recipe and a read posts but I wanted to add more reviews on a regular basis. So I’ll be bringing you all frequent reviews with 1-2 posts per week that are a review + themed recipe. I like to post these on the weekends because that’s when I personally feel most adventurous but I’m going to start trying to post once during the week and once on the weekend!
*Side note: I may or may not have broken my hand so cooking has been made all the more difficult, but one must press ahead!
Today, I’m sharing my review for #FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar. I’m posting this review in tandem with a group review from the ladies of Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee. We read this as a Traveling Sisters group read and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to read this with some seriously fun ladies! While I think this book would be enjoyable for anyone and to read with anyone or alone, there was a unique glee in reading this darkly humorous take on a thriller with other ladies.
#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar
If Clueless and Jawbreaker had a baby, it’s name would be #FashionVictim.
God, there was always so much work to do. Update this, kill so-and-so. I wish people understood how hard we worked in fashion – all to make it look effortless, easy.
#FashionVictim follows Anya St. Clair at top fashion magazine La Vie. She has a coveted position of Associate Editor while simultaneously working to become BFFs with coworker and socialite Sarah Taft. Sarah is the alpha to Anya’s beta. She’s tall, lithe, has flowing blonde hair and comes from wealth, privilege and a prominent family.
When a promotion gets thrown on the table by their boss Celia, things get interesting. And by interesting I mean bat-shit crazy. Anya’s numero uno goal is to be besties with Sarah and she see’s this within her reach if she can only win this promotion. And by win the promotion, I mean go on a killing rampage.
I was embodying the deranged cat crying emoji. My hysteria levels were rising.
When we enter into the story Anya is at the very beginning of an ever-growing mania. Her mental health is waning and she’s just dipped her toe into a murder spree that will last the entirety of the book. This is told solely from the POV of Anya and she is something else, to say the least. She’s one of the most complexly one-dimensional characters I’ve ever read. She’s absolutely you’re unlikable, unreliable narrator trope to a T. However, I don’t think Akhtar wrote these characters to be likable, they’re written to be entertaining and this book was pure entertainment.
I would’ve liked to see some break-up of Anya’s frenzy. While I enjoyed reading her POV I think the book suffered a bit because it ended up being a little choppy. I would’ve loved to see the Detectives take on things or a past / present break up of how Anya got to where she is today. She’s completely devolved into a deep mania for the majority of the book and it can be a bit exhausting to stay with her in that state for so long.
“I need to look like I belong in a photoshoot! That I’m cool and chill and don’t care. I need to affect – what’s the word? Not boredom?” “Ennui?” “Yes!” I jumped up and clapped. “I need to ennui the fuck out of my life. You’re brilliant Dr. M.”
There was a dry, dark and campy humor here that really worked for me and colored my overall enjoyment of this. However, despite the interesting premise things grew a bit tired throughout. The overuse of OMG, WTF and other abbreviations was grating at times. There is also a bit of stereotyping going on in this read however, I do think this was meant to be ironic and to poke fun at those stereotypes but it got a little old for me in it’s redundancy. Lastly, there was a lack of development into the ending that led to some logistical holes that left a little to be desired in this read for me.
Despite falling short for me in a few places, I found myself regularly smirking with raised eyebrows at the smart humor in this one. It was a fresh take on an old trope and if you’re familiar with my reviews you’ll know this is one of my favorite things.
Or better, yet, start my own class: Psycho Cycle. It’d be the ideal workout for today’s woman. Half the class has to get away from crazed killers (spoiler alert: they die) and the rest of us come out looking like Kaia Gerber. Million dollar idea.
Since we’re given the POV of the killer instead of the victims there aren’t many “twists” per se. However, I don’t think the story was worse for wear because of it. It was absolutely entertaining from start to finish. I think it’d make a great movie but wasn’t written in a way where that was clearly the end goal.
It didn’t hurt that there was a million and one Law & Order: Special Victims Unit references either and my husband and I fancy ourselves Benny & Stabes.
No one called Elliot Stabler by his first name. Except for Benson but hello? She’d earned that right.
Long story short:
Suggested For: Readers of thrillers / suspense who are looking for a fresh, humorous take on an old trope. Those looking for a thriller that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Music Mood: River by Bishop Briggs
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a copy of this ARC – released today!
What are your favorite tropes to read? Are there any you are just tired of and would love to see a fresh take on? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!