Is your guilty pleasure celebrity gossip? Or do you find the lives of the famous seriously interesting (like, what do they really do with all that money)? This book is a great choice, then! Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin is rated 3/5 -for its ability to touch on taboo subjects while carrying a fun and sarcastic tone throughout. This is a page turner that can be enjoyed in a week or less.
Oh! You Pretty Things Review (no spoilers!)
Oh! You Pretty Things is set in Los Angeles and follows Jess as she grapples with the baggage that she has been carrying from a young age. Jess’s stress stems from unresolved issues with her mother, a traumatizing series of events during her childhood, and her proximity to the rich and famous.
Throughout the story Jess is mostly driven by finding a job that is nearer and nearer to the A-list by working for rising actors and the like. This, alone, proves to be a handful, as her famous employers are entitled and incorrigible, calling for her at all hours of the day and night. Jess experiences these misadventures with her semi-famous best friend and sometimes-roommate, Megan.
Early in the story Jess is contacted by her estranged mother. Their relationship is strained due to events in Jess’s childhood that are slowly revealed throughout the story. Things come to a head after Jess gets in deep working for a famous actress and subsequently is forced to face her childhood trauma.
Our 3-star rating is based on these main factors:
Shanna Mahin instills a witty voice in this novel -Jess’s inner monologue often pokes fun at West Coast culture in a sardonic kind of way. This will make it a fun punch for country-wide audiences. In addition to the language, Oh! You Pretty Things is just over 350 pages, many of which contain drama that could easily be a part of grocery store tabloids. Super easy to consume, but oh, so satisfying.
Some heavy subjects, including physical and mental abuse, are laid out plainly for the reader -but Mahin does a good job of manning a lot of the weight, leaving a watered-down version of events for us. This also makes them accessible and won’t leave you with weight on your chest.
Boring Character Development
The evolution of the main character, Jess was redundant and, perhaps because of this, sloppy. The plot line became predictable at an early point in the book, which leaves the reader with only chick-lit, which can be a pro or a con. It was disappointing to have such a heavy and electric relationship simmering between Jess and her mother yet nothing is resolved or even discussed. This, and Jess’s realization that she sits perfectly on the edge of fame equate to character development that resembles a tight circle.
We rated this book a 3/5 on Goodreads (and in our hearts)! Follow us there for immediate thoughts as soon as we finish a new book!
Shanna Mahin digs in with this story about average and quick-witted Jess living on the outline of the glimmer that is Hollywood. Tackling multiple subjects in a swift 353 pages, “Oh! You Pretty Things” makes a succinct point from beginning to end. With little more to muse than the obvious famous-people-are-people-too, this book is sure to be a fast and enjoyable page turner. Jess’s unapologetic point of view mixed with classic trash tabloid drama makes for a decent critique of the way some live on America’s West Coast.
What do you think about watering down subjects such as mental and physical abuse? Does it make them easier to talk about or does it lessen the severity of such events? Comment below!