September 22, 2011

The Life and Times of Society Girls • Bergdorf Blondes

Bergdorf Blondes book cover
Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: April 29, 2004
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

If you think a Brazilian is a South American, that PJs are pajamas, and that Beyond is somewhere far away, then you obviously haven't met a Bergdorf Blonde. Plum Sykes's beguiling debut welcomes readers to the glamorous world of PAPs (Park Avenue Princesses), the girls who careen through Manhattan in search of the perfect Fake Bake (tan acquired from Portofino Tanning Salon), a ride on a PJ (private jet) with the ATM (rich boyfriend), and the ever-elusive fiance. With invitations to high-profile baby showers and benefits, more Marc Jacobs clothes than is decent, and a department store heiress for a best friend, our heroine is living at the peak of New York society. But what is she to do when her engagement falls apart? Can she ever find happiness in a city filled with the distractions of Front Row Girls, stalkers, dermatologists, premieres, and eyebrow waxes? Is it possible to find love in a town where her friends think that the secret to happiness is getting invited to the Van Cleef and Arpels uber-private sample sale? And how is she going to deal with the endless phone calls from her mother in England demanding that she get married to the Earl next door?

Bergdorf Blondes was a pleasant chick lit read that combined three of my favorite things - New York City, traveling to various exotic locations (including England) and a relatable protagonist who enjoyed shopping, beauty rituals and writing. Though it took a while for me to actually get into Bergdorf Blondes, somewhere in between the fourth and fifth chapter, I was hooked. I think, surprisingly, what had me riveted was the way it was written. The author is a writer for a few major publications, so her writing was concise but filled with interesting details, and she had a strong voice telling the entire story.

I like how the typical New York socialite was depicted, even though I'm certain that it was a little exaggerated. It was entertaining to read about these women, especially in lieu of the fact that my lifestyle is incredibly different. All the name brand dropping, events, beauty rituals, traveling - it was just fun to imagine and to dream of doing someday (sans the name brand dropping). As for the love story, well, despite the ups and downs she goes through, our main character ends up with who I wanted her to end up with in the first place (I totally called it from the first time they met!). I thought it was cute and it was woven in quite cleverly so as not to distract from the focus of the story on our main charater's life. Bergdorf Blondes is well worth a read for all the chick lit lovers out there, sort of like a grown up version of Gossip Girl.


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