Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Josie Browning dreams of having it all. A stellar academic record, an amazing career in journalism - and for her current crush to realize she actually exists. The only problem?
Josie can't get through twenty-four hours without embarrassing her sister Kat or her best friend Angel, let alone herself. Josie's luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie's got some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson. From the lows of coffee-fetching and working 10-hour days, to the highs of mingling with celebrities, scoring endless free beauty products (plus falling for her cousin's seriously gorgeous flatmate James) this is one year Josie will never forget.
Totally fresh and funny, this debut novel from industry insider Gabrielle Tozer reveals just what is behind the seeming glamour and sparkle of the magazine industry.
I was so happy to be able to get a ARC of this, as it’s already released in Australia and I’ve heard great things. I also love the Devil Wears Prada a whole bunch, so the comparison in the summary had me intrigued. I think this is one of the few circumstances where the comparison does this book justice. I was overjoyed to find myself whipping through the pages of The Intern. I would certainly put it in a compulsive reading category.
The thing I enjoyed the most about The Intern is how even though I’ve never had a internship, I couldn’t help but relate and laugh/smile at the adventures of our main character. It felt organic and through the writing came across as realistic, even though landing a fashion internship at 17 isn’t something I’d generally find realistic. Josie Browning however accomplishes this and through her endearing and humorous narration I found myself totally invested in the story.
Josie Browning is the main character of the story, and I found myself easily connecting to her and her passion of writing. With Josie’s missteps at the internship (especially on the first day) I felt her characterization was honest. You also do see Josie grow more confident in her skills and it was I felt like cheering for this character on more than occasion. We see equal moments success and failure which is nice. There were moments where I did however want to shake Josie, she was being naive at several points. However I find myself excusing her naivety just because it comes off as actually charming and we do see character growth. What I also enjoyed with Josie was even though she was inexperienced in the cutthroat world of fashion, she stuck to her own values and beliefs. She didn’t fall prey to clear manipulation or took the easy way out. It really did make her a surprisingly admirable character. I feel like Josie is a character that readers can not only relate to but even look up to her. There was one moment that really stood out to me, where another character essentially back stabs the main character. I adore the way the character handles this. Josie doesn’t go on some crazy revenge tangent, but rather allows herself to cool down. This gives her thought over the situation and gives enough time for Josie to understand what’s really going on.
The Intern was a lot more than just a story of a internship. Sure, you do get to see some of the going ons in a fashion magazine, but you also get so much more. There’s real depth to The Intern in terms of familial relationships. Josie’s father left the family when she was young, and you could really see how this effected not only Josie but also her sister and her mother. You really do see the emotional and physical struggles the mother goes through in this story, whether it be not having enough money to support herself and the daughters to crying over lost memories. I feel like these more serious undertones balanced out the story more, making it more than a fluffy romp.
There’s also the side character of Ava. She may seem to be nothing more than your typical mean girl who is Josie’s competition, but I loved that the author developed her more. Ava was fleshed out quite a lot and you really begin to sympathize with her when you find about her own dark secrets. I won’t for spoiler reasons tell you Ava’s secret, but wow. I feel like her secret really is something that’s such a issue in today’s society with the media perpetuating negative body images and such. It’s also something that’s definitely deep rooted in the fashion industry, so I was glad to see it involved in the story and given the serious attention it deserves. I also believe this issue was done in a way where it wasn’t glorifying it, but sending a positive message about the issue to the readers while informing them of the dangers. There was also another character, a famous singer. He was definitely more of a sad character, reading about his struggles really showcased the effects that fame can have on a person.
What really resonated with me is the relationship between Josie and her best friend Angel. They had been friends for quite some time, but now they just seemed to be growing apart. They really did have a lot of differences after all. I think a lot of people have been in circumstances like this, where they simply drift away from people they were once so close to. This was handled in a way that felt very true to life and honestly.
There was a bit of romance in this one and I quite enjoyed it. The romance element was prevalent throughout the course of the story, but I found it to be balanced out well and not to overbearing. I think insta love wouldn’t be involved, but more of a insta attraction. Considering the main character is seventeen, I definitely see this as realistic. I’m personally seventeen, and I shamelessly admit to day dreaming about boys. Josie doing this definitely made me laugh and allowed me to connect with her character. I also really enjoyed the love interest himself, James. There was a really nice “meet cute” scene straight out of the movies which I couldn’t help but love. James only grew on me throughout the novel, he was simply funny and adorable. It was a nice change from the brooding YA bad boy. I feel that overall Josie’s and James’ relationship development was a bit fast, but it made sense considering their interactions. Apparently there’s going to be a sequel, which is something I really don’t find necessary as I found the story ended quite conclusively. However I still think it’d be interesting to see how this relationship developed and changed.
Overall I would recommend The Intern for those who look for fun and humorous reads which also have a bit of depth to them.
~Thank you HarperCollins for the review copy~
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