Oh no! I’ve graduated from Columbia and have no skills! Rent is high! Wait, bartending could be fun. . .
It’s official: New York is played out. The pavement has been so thoroughly pounded by legions of eager young novelistas that not a shred of inspiration seems to be left. The ne plus ultra of reductive formula (cute everygirl/insecurity/sassy best friend/designer labels) is this one, written by a pair of best friend/bartenders with writerly aspirations. It’s not really a novel, being plotless, and its characters being more easily differentiated by their clothes than their personalities. It’s really a long whine about how hard it is to be good-looking and college-educated, with friends and loving family, not to mention a great postgrad career bartending in downtown Manhattan and a ludicrously hip Hamptons nightclub. That’s the dilemma faced by blander-than-bland Cassie, who leaves Columbia with a yen for screenwriting that her parents won’t kick in any more funds for and so gets into liquor-slinging. Cassie seems to be good behind the bar, which is lucky since her writing lacks a little something: “There are so many lost souls drifting around Manhattan, and they all seem to gravitate towards bars. It’s a lot to deal with at 4:30 in the morning.” There’s some business with a Hamptons preppie whom Cassie starts dating but who seems embarrassed to be seen around someone of her class, not to mention reams of scarcely needed information about the ins and outs of bartending.
Less a novel than a listmaking—of clothes, of beaches, of screamingly obvious observations.