It’s long been thought that the magazine industry is one of great glamour, excitement, freebies and endless supplies of nail polish. While some of that is true (we have a nail polish drawer in the Weekly’s office that’s overflowing with every colour under the sun) not much is ever made of the challenging, gritty and sometimes exhausting world of magazine publishing – but Be Careful What You Wish For hits the nail on the head.
Written by the former magazine editor, Gemma Crisp, it’s no surprise that most of the events in the book ring true, and it’s obvious that many are based on her own experiences. Young Australian Nina Morey is living in London, working at the front desk of a posh hotel, when she decides she wants to do something more with her life.
Managing to get her foot in the door at a magazine, she quickly rises from lowly intern to fully fledged writer, landing dream job after dream job. But, as she soon realises, not everything is as it seems – and drama ensues.
This book is an ideal lazy beach read, but while it is in essence a shining example of “chick lit”, with rich descriptions, many a romance and a few good catfights, it does also have a gritty underside that will keep you hooked.
The cover blares, “If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this,” and it’s true – but Gemma has managed to turn the classic tale of the struggling-intern-to-success story into something with a lot more substance.
The ending in particular provides a welcome and refreshing twist, although it leaves you wanting more – and does leave the door open for a sequel. If you’ve ever been curious about the magazine industry, you’ll love this book – it’s the perfect summer page-turner.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, by Gemma Crisp (Allen & Unwin, $29.99)