I believe that there are points in every person’s reading cycle, where you just have to take a break and read some fluff for a while. For me this time came recently when I was feeling swamped by the kids, by work, by trying to get the blog up and running and by all those unwritten book reviews that I kept meaning to find the time for. The answer, for me, was fluff. A book that I wouldn’t have to give the slightest thought to reading, that would almost read itself and that, at the end of the day, would remove all stressful elements from the world.
Enter Between You and Me, a book that, if the cover was to be believed, provided everything I needed. Only it didn’t. It was like coffee without the caffeine. Water without ice. The novel tells the story of Logan, a twenty something living in NYC, who decides to throw a rather uninspiring romance and career away in order to become her cousin Kelsey’s personal assistant or tour manager. Kelsey hasn’t seen Logan for many years, for reasons not revealed at the start of the novel and pretty much only mentioned in passing at the end. However, Kelsey is a popstar with the kind of fame teenage girls can only dream of. She is beloved by her audiences, bullied by her producers and manipulated by her parents but, surprise, surprise there’s Logan, her savior. As we see in the media, the price of fame these days is pretty high and as Kelsey struggles for normality, whilst reaching the end of her world tour things begin to fall apart.
Fair enough you might say. You choose fluff, you get just that. The problem is that I just didn’t care. I truly didn’t care about either of the major characters in this book. Other characters were somewhat intriguing but ultimately became completely derivative. The romantic elements really didn’t catch fire or indeed go anywhere you wouldn’t expect. I guess at the end of the day, it felt formulaic to a fault and rather than escapism, it felt like a waste of time.
Looking back retrospectively, I think that I might be too old for this book. That Logan’s life, seemed just too improbable and to use that most terrible of phrases, unrelatable. If that’s how I felt about Logan, then you can imagine where I was with Kelsey!
What does intrigue me about the book however, is the double author. How does that work? Even if I didn’t have the best time reading it, I’m pretty certain that McLaughlin and Kraus must have had enormous fun writing it.