When Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus turned their bad experiences as nannies for stingy rich folk on the Upper East Side of Manhattan into THE NANNY DIARIES, I ate the book right up. No, they are not the Edith Whartons of their time; their particular sensibility and writing style harken back more to People magazine than anything else. It’s not that their observations about the people involved in these rarified circles isn’t entertaining or insightful; it’s just that there is a finite amount of insight to be had into the celebrity life. There are only so many stories in the world of the filthy rich and the ridiculously overexposed, and by now we’ve heard them all.
"[F]or celeb-obsessed fans, this is a fantastic summer read, the kind of beach book that everyone else will want to read after you finish it. Pick up a copy, and you might find yourself watching the Kardashians with a more open mind."
However, BETWEEN YOU AND ME does something that their other books didn’t quite do: it really brings to the surface all the scummish qualities of the rat race for which one gives their soul in the hopes of becoming a legend. In this case, they are writing about a Britney Spears type; between you and me, it’s not a story for the weak or squeamish.
Kelsey Wade is one of the top entertainers in the world, perhaps even the entire universe. Logan is Kelsey’s cousin, a country girl in the big city, working at a financial corporation and getting ditched left and right by the wrong guys. When she gets a call from her aunt that Kelsey, exhausted physically and mentally from the strains of her big-time international celeb life, might need a little homespun TLC and companionship, Logan makes her way to L.A.
When Kelsey’s famous ex-boyfriend finds the woman he wants to marry, the world comes crashing down on her and trauma ensues. Her parents push her hard to maintain her crazy schedule, and a family confrontation leads to her assistant quitting after Kelsey’s dad rails on her. With that major space open, the family turns to Logan to fill in, and Logan takes on the organizational trauma of Kelsey’s life with aplomb. Soon the well-knit outer shell of Kelsey’s existence begins to unravel. And try as she might, no amount of Logan’s protectiveness can save both Kelsey and Logan herself.
BETWEEN YOU AND ME actually made me feel queasy. When things start to unravel on Kelsey, I could feel her exhaustion so clearly. I do think that for celeb-obsessed fans, this is a fantastic summer read, the kind of beach book that everyone else will want to read after you finish it. Pick up a copy, and you might find yourself watching the Kardashians with a more open mind.
Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on July 6, 2012