Title: The High Moments
Author: Sara-Ella Ozbek
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
NY RESOLUTIONS – THE PLAN
Exercise 6 times a week
Have sex once a month min. (counts as exercise)
Move out of home TO LONDON (career??)
Make more friends
New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett:
feeling weepy, check
broken sense of self, check check check
She is in her twenties, stuck living at home in small-town Topsham with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks or consolation. The one saving grace is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road, but even the pub is losing its appeal.
Feeling desperate to do something with her life and with no real plan (but the mother of all hangovers), Scarlett picks up her stuff and moves to London. But moving isn’t a miracle cure and she ends up facing exactly the same problems she was desperate to escape.
In the search for ‘her path’, Scarlett is offered an internship at a fashion agency. This might not be her dream job but her mother is disgusted. So she takes it. This is her first step to becoming something but it is also her first step to becoming someone else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral.
But people are starting to know her; she is starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?
I really enjoyed this fast-paced, exciting read about the fashion – specifically modelling – industry, following twenty-something-year-old Scarlett as she escapes the Somerset town she grew up in and sets out for London for a more exciting life…
Scarlett is actually quite unlikable in many ways (not at the start of the book, but as she becomes more and more embedded into her ‘new life), but this change is no doubt intended, and she’s very entertaining nevertheless. She’s also pretty naive, makes dubious decisions, and is obsessed with social media ‘likes’. From this description, you’d be forgiven for wondering just how likable she could really be – but I didn’t feel that I needed to particularly like her to enjoy this novel. Part of the plot is the change in Scarlett’s personality as she finds herself completely taken in by the model industry. You wouldn’t necessarily want to be best friends with Scarlett, but she’d be good fun on a night out… if she just stopped taking photos for Instagram!
I found the humour in this novel to be satisfyingly dry and, at times, quite dark… I loved it! It made me smile at times and then feel uncomfortable at others, but above all it definitely provided some good laughs. Some bits were silly, but as it’s based on real life experiences I can only assume these things really happened! I imagine model agents really are a crazy bunch.
I also really liked that this novel avoided too much cheesiness or the usual fairytale, everything-works-out-perfectly ending. The High Moments is a fun read that kept me wanting to turn the pages, and I can imagine it as a great beach read (oh, if only!)
Many thanks to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.