Title/Author: The Regulars by Georgia Clark
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Synopsis: A fierce, feisty, and “wonderfully entertaining” (Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies) debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true…or do they?
Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.
Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well…gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.
But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left:
What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?
**Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with an ARC of The Regulars! This in no way affects my review or opinion of the book**
When I initially read the plot of this book, I was intrigued, to say the least. Pretty in a bottle? Sounds like something every girl wishes for now and then. And I have to say, plot and theme-wise, this story really delivered.
Let’s talk characters. They were the most important part of the book (second only to the themes, of course), along with the amazing character growth that each of the three girls went through.
I’m pretty certain Krista was the most annoying character I’ve ever read about (and this is coming from a person who had no problems with Eadlyn Shreave or America Singer). In the first half of the book, her entire personality was self-centered, prissy, and frankly dumb (maybe even a little… entitled?). Her personality really got under my skin. She just kind of… lingered in the background as a character who pretty much only thought about sex.
However, she did undergo some major (and positive) character development. One minute she was a sex-obsessed, annoyingly air-headed girl, and the next she was an actually respectable, more well-rounded person. But while her development was a good thing, it was just so sudden. In retrospect, it seems plausible, but we were never led through her thought process. One second she was one way, and the next, she was another.
Evie’s personality was probably the only one I actually enjoyed. Although yes, she was occasionally annoying, I liked her strength. She was a kick-butt feminist who learned how to be confident and own it, and reading about her, I felt empowered. She seemed real, and because of her, I think this story holds such an important message for all of the girls out there to know.
As for Willow, the third in the trio: I didn’t dislike her, but I still didn’t love her. I feel like she had less of a role in the story than the other two, and honestly didn’t do much except screw herself over. Her character felt stunted by being sort of out-of-the-loop from Krista and Evie, in her own little world. I did, however, find that mental illness was very well represented in her. It sounds stupid, but I almost didn’t recognize it at first, and I think that speaks to how sometimes, you just don’t recognize the signs of someone who’s mentally ill; sometimes, you don’t realize it until it’s almost too late. By the end of the book, I came to actually really like Willow; she felt raw and she felt real.
As for the writing; it was fun and spunky and easy to connect with. It was fast and simple and well-written, working in perfect harmony with the book.
However, there was something that caught me unawares: There was a lot of sex. Which is 100% okay, just not what I was expecting from this book. (This book certainly isn’t for the younger audiences.) The crude way in which it was sometimes referred to went with the tone of the book, I suppose, but it also took me by surprise. The occasional graphicness of it seemed unnecessary, or at least not to my taste.
But despite my various complaints, I really found myself enjoying the story.
The funny thing is, I knew when reading the book what the obvious ending was going to be. And yet, Clark kept it light and airy and interesting, enough so that I never had to roll my eyes in the obviousness of anything. It was the perfect bittersweet ending and tied the novel up just so, leaving me with a smile on my face and a feeling of content with myself and my body.
It taught me to be okay with my body, because my mind and what I can do relies so heavily on what I think of myself, and not how pretty others think I am. That is something that is really important in the world today.
Although, yes, I had issues with this book, it was the perfect blend of sexy and self-empowering, and when all is said and done, it made me feel good about myself. I recommend it to every woman who needs to learn there is way more to being successful than being pretty.
The Regulars has put me in the mood for some kick-butt, girl power reads. Any great recommendations? Despite my mile-long pile of books to be read, I’m always looking for more to add. 🙂