Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Book Review: Pretty Girls Playbook

By Sara Steven

Think Sex and The City before the girls had their sh*t together. 

The only thing twenty-four-year-old best friends Nat, Tatum, and Katelyn have in common is the sleepy Connecticut town they grew up in. When the girls embark on their post-college dream of living in New York City’s concrete jungle, the harsh reality of demanding jobs, one-night stands, and financial instability force the girls to confront a series of personal crises.

 Determined to make it in the fashion industry, Nat is willing to do whatever it takes for her dreams to come true. Spending the majority of her time as an overworked and underpaid intern at the Marcheline boutique, she turns to Bill, the seventy-two-year-old sugar daddy she found online, to help her pass as fashion elite. 

Blonde bombshell Tatum works at one of the city’s most successful hedge funds and is “ the kind of pretty you notice ”. But her world comes apart when she learns her longtime boyfriend has cheated on her, inducing an acute quarter-life crisis that has her confronting the straight -edge life she’s always thought she was destined for. 

Wild child Katelyn goes through men like she goes through bottles of cheap wine. With her busy schedule as a Physician’s Assistant student, Katelyn only has time for hookups and happy hours- until she finds out one very sexy med student has left her with more than she bargained for. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Pretty Girls Playbook reminded me of Sex and the City, as well as The Bold Type. It was fun to experience life in the big city from Nat, Tatum, and Katelyn’s perspectives. There was a time in my own life when I’d thought about moving to a large city, something bigger than what I’d ever known. Readers get to see that through this group of best friends, and not just the carefree, fun side. It was a realistic take on what I’d imagine it would be like for young twenty-somethings to try to make it on their own.

While I liked all three of the primary characters, my favorite was Katelyn. She’s very direct and point-blank with her responses, which made for a lot of interesting dialogue when she interacted with her bestie group. Tatum was probably the character who surprised me the most. As the synopsis indicates, she is the most tame of the group, but there is a moment where she could have stepped into Katelyn’s shoes–so much so, that the directness potentially leads to a heavy fall out with both Nat and Katelyn. And Nat’s situation was the most interesting. The time she spends with Bill created the type of cringeworthy scenarios that made me want to turn off my Kindle, but keep reading on just the same! I wanted to know what would happen.

All three young women are looking for something outside of themselves and their friend group. Nat wants to be respected within her career, while Tatum wants to learn to trust again, after her boyfriend destroys their relationship. Katelyn has always gotten by on being the one who never can find happiness. Happy relationships seem to settle within Tatum’s and Nat’s realm, but never hers. All she wants is a fair shot at happiness, too. 

There were some heavy situations that all three girls end up having to deal with, but with the support of such great friends, it made those situations a lot more bearable. I loved the chemistry between them; it’s what I strive for within my own close friendships. Pretty Girls Playbook is a definite five-star read!

Thanks to Gabrielle Kerins for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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