SAME AS IT NEVER WAS by Claire Scovell Lazebnik


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Bitch inherits brat, in a first from Lazebnik.

College junior Olivia Martin can barely stand her father’s second wife, let alone their six-year-old daughter. Little Celia is spoiled and whiny, thanks to her haughty mother’s indifference. And she’s a girly girl, much to Olivia’s annoyance, decked out in a pink dress and a matching hair-bow. Not that Richard Martin cares—he’s too busy swilling martinis and being rude to Olivia’s mother Barbara at a Thanksgiving dinner. Olivia plans to get through this misbegotten meal with more than one martini of her own, and she can always have fun sneering at the lame-ass guests: Marcus, a laid-back LA type, who offers her all the Ecstasy her heart desires, and lawyer Dennis Klein, a former model and complete moron—even though Olivia’s mother does dare to bat her beautiful eyes at him, to Olivia’s disgust. In fact, nothing seems to make this female Holden Caulfield happy, and Olivia’s revulsion, disgust, annoyance, pique, and sheer unreasoning hatred of everybody and everything are covered in detail. Uh-oh! Richard and his wife die in a horrific car crash, leaving their great big expensive house in Los Angeles to Olivia and also naming her guardian of her little sister. Olivia continues much as before, trying to choose between her new swain Joe, her mother’s favorite, or Dennis Klein, who just won’t go away. Taking care of a kid isn’t too hard—just switch on the TV and stuff her with candy. Is Celia crying? She says she wants Rosivel, the housekeeper? How ironic is that? Reassured once more that the world totally sucks, Olivia thaws out a little and even plays with her orphaned sister now and then. Pleased to hear kindly pediatrician Dr. Rubillos tell her that she’s doing a good enough job, she moves right into a dalliance with Dennis, the executor of her father’s will. Is he, like, in love with her or something? Oh, please. . . .

Mean-spirited, trite.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-31249-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003