"The Knockoff" by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Forty-two-year-old Imogen Tate has returned to her job as editor in chief of Glossy magazine to find that her twenty-something former assistant Eve Morton has taken over.  Eve is fresh out of Harvard Business School and had decided that the high-fashion magazine, best known for its 768-page September issue, would be better off as an app.

But she isn’t stopping there.  Eve has fired all of the “grey hairs,” the older and experienced staff members, and replaced them with a heavy rotation of lookalike twenty year olds who text, tweet, and instagram throughout meetings.  Organic foods and nap rooms are always available not because it is a supportive place to work but because employees are rarely allowed to go home.  And then there are the co-ordinated dances to BeyoncĂ©'s music.

Imogen, a part of the old guard of fashion journalism, refuses to let Eve take over the magazine but it quickly becomes apparent that if she is going to hold on to her power, she needs to get up to speed with technology as fast as she can.  And that won’t be an easy feat for a woman who once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days.

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza is a fun, hilarious, and stylish novel about the world of fashion magazines and the people who run it.  Comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada will no doubt abound but this book holds its own as a behind the scenes look at a world obsessed with fashion and technology.  

This is the book that shook me out of a terrible reading slump.  I devoured it in just a couple of days and was sad when it ended.  I wanted to stay in this world forever!  It isn’t just the fashion world that is being taken over by technology, we are all experiencing it.  And anyone who has ever found themselves overwhelmed by the newest social media apps or obsessed with the latest viral videos will enjoy this book very much.

As someone who recently returned to the workforce after a long absence, I could totally understand how Imogen feels.  It’s a different place that is always evolving thanks to technological innovation.  And it really does seem that the new people entering the workforce are getting younger and younger by the day.  But wow, what a force Imogen had to deal with when it came to Eve.

This is such a delicious novel.  The characters are exactly what they should be - Imogen, her assistant, and her friends are all delightful and endearing while Eve is the perfect witch to hate.  There were a few parts of the story that weren’t fully seen through but other than that the book moves at a fast pace with no lulls in the action.  This is the perfect book to crack open on a lazy, sunny day.  

You don’t have to work in the fashion world, or even love fashion, to relate to and enjoy this book.  In any area, it can be hard to keep up with the changing dynamics of technology.  But The Knockoff shows you that with a little bit of help from your friends and a lot of determination, you can come out on top in a very fashionable manner.  

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada.  The opinions expressed above are my own.


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