A down-on-her-luck NYC girl gets a taste of the limelight when she becomes personal assistant to a rock-star relative.
McLaughlin and Kraus (Nanny Returns, 2009, etc.) offer up another fable about a plucky 20-something beleaguered by an unstable employer. Their latest entry feels about seven years out of step with the times, as the crazy in the house this time is a Britney-esque pop star whose life is leaning dangerously towards the toxic. Our everygirl narrator is Logan Wade, who was offered the personal assistant gig by her cousin Kelsey when the young singer was first starting out. Now, Kelsey has become one of the world’s biggest celebrities, while Logan is living a half-life in the city with an arduous job, a selfish sort-of-boyfriend and a growing sense of dissatisfaction with her life. “Suddenly the life I’ve spent the last decade building is losing relevance, the veneer I’ve run frantic circles to secure showing its cracks like a puzzle held over a flashlight,” Logan says, in a characteristically overly wordy and featherweight observation from a generally impassive character. Even when the authors shoehorn Logan into the most glamorous and outrageous situations—and there are many, ranging from video shoots in exotic locales to flu-ridden blockbuster concerts to steamy Italian liaisons—she never seems to join the circus, just comments endlessly on it. Kelsey is a far more interesting collection of self-indulgences, poor choices and disconnects from reality, but her character is so fully drawn from real life that her troubles seem a bit clichéd. There are the paparazzi photos, her ill-advised romance with a sleazy backup dancer, a host of mood disorders and the helicopter parents who want to micromanage their daughter’s career, not to mention her life. The story shudders from plot point to plot point. Harmless, yes, but McLaughlin and Kraus flow better when their stories are more diabolical and less diatribe.
White girl problems.