Fictional author Walker is back for more privileged and outlandish adventures in this follow-up to White Girl Problems (2012), the faux memoir based on her Twitter feed.
25-year-old Babe is fresh out of rehab. Having theoretically recovered from a shopping addiction (her flippant tone suggests otherwise), she returns to LA to take up residence in the luxe guesthouse on her father’s property. But Babe’s plans of being Zen, wearing only vintage and drinking only juice are interrupted immediately. Her closest friends throw her a raucous, unwanted welcome party (and have the audacity to have gotten on with their lives in her absence), a creepy, violent message shows up in black lipstick on her bathroom mirror (so not chic), and she reconnects with the recent love-of-her-life, Robert, who previously took out a restraining order on her. That’s because Babe’s love for Robert brings out her alter ego, Babette, a tacky, needy, marriage-obsessed binge eater, who promptly makes herself known again. Babe runs away to Paris to reclaim her true self, the unrestrained consumer of designer clothes and rosé wine. When the lipstick stalker strikes rather obviously again, Babe keeps running across Europe, having outsized, near-slapstick episodes along the way, all of which involve some combination of booze, drugs, shopping and graphic sex. The clueless rich girl is always a tricky heroine to root for, and Babe is no exception. She's both refreshingly egotistical and childishly shallow. She sometimes seems genuinely psychologically delicate, but Babette is grotesque and hard to credit. Considering Babe’s start as a Twitter feed, it's unsurprising that the book amplifies humorous antics and intense snobbery, but it comes at the expense of the sympathetic or the real. Without much resembling a conscience, Babe is a long way from her predecessors: Austen’s Emma or her more modern equivalent, Cher Horowitz.
Pithy, entertaining, inconsequential.