A pop-culture send-up with a troubled material girl anti-heroine. Although wickedly funny at times, this odd debut takes a...


Poor little rich girl Babe Walker hits rock bottom during a Barneys shopping spree in this faux memoir based on a popular Twitter feed.

In a town (Los Angeles, naturally) filled with the chronically self-absorbed, Babe stands out. The precocious only child of a wildly successful British entertainment lawyer and a long-absent mystery woman, Babe is raised for the most part by her Jamaican nanny, Mabinty. Mabinty smokes a lot of weed and speaks with an exaggerated patois—or at least she does in Babe’s point of view, which is none too reliable. Diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder at the tender age of 7, Babe has serious boundary issues. As a sophomore, she plots to lose her virginity to her gay best friend Roman (while they are dressed as Danny and Sandy from Grease). In her teens she lobbies a series of befuddled plastic surgeons for a labiaplasty, insisting that her vagina needs to be “cute and chic-er and more…me.” She steals her file from her longtime therapist, Susan, and goes to five different colleges before deciding academia might not be her thing. And when she does meet a nice guy who actually likes her, she transforms into her alter ego Babette, a slutty stalker with an unfortunate taste for tacky chain restaurants. Showing some aptitude for fashion, Babe is understandably devastated when her line of high-end dashikis for African children fails, and soon after that another romantic disappointment triggers the mother of all retail binges. After spending a cool $246,893.50 at Barneys, she cops to needing some help and sends herself to Cirque Lodge, a Utah rehab facility. Once there, she resists actually changing but manages to bond with an alcoholic former model who might actually hold a key piece to the puzzle that is Babe. 

A pop-culture send-up with a troubled material girl anti-heroine. Although wickedly funny at times, this odd debut takes a shallow, cavalier attitude toward mental illness, anorexia and addiction.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4013-2454-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize

  • National Book Award Finalist


Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?