Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Smile and Look Pretty by Amanda Pellegrino


If The Devil Wears Prada and Bridget Jones Diary had a baby it would be this book. I’m loving this book, the dialogue and most of the characters. Four friends in entry level positions in New York City work as assistants in various industries. All four women want to climb the ladder within their respective fields and have a successful career. 

Cate is an assistant to the head of a huge book publishing company.  He  requires her to do the administrative as well as personal jobs for him.  Keep his calender but also get cupcakes to his son's school for a party, pick up dry cleaning, open his home in Vermont for his vacation.

Max is an assistant at a news station with goals to be a journalist.  She is sexually harrassed by the lead news anchor and does all the running for coffee and other minor tasks.  Her male counterpart Charlie is never subjected to demeaning comments or asked to run out on errands.

Lauren dreams of being a script writer one day.  She is an assistant to Pete and gets harrassed by one of the writers on the show. Go get the coffee and keep your mouth shut.  Until she has enough of that treatment.

Olivia is an actor's assistant and has some of the same demeaning tasks as her friends.  Go to a smelly unairconditioned warehouse to search for a sofa he wants delivered;  try and take notes and keep his calendar while he is doing yoga naked. The B list actor Nate always dangles the idea of passing on a screen test of hers to someone who can help.

The ladies meet Thursdays to drink margaritas and unburden themselves to one another, the only people they can trust.  Then they take the napkins with the written out grievences and burn them at the end of the night.  One night they decide to start a website called Twentysomething and write out their stories anonymously.  Thanks to the NDA (non disclosure agreements) they must use names like The Bossy One, The Emotional One, etc.  Then it takes off.  More women are telling their stories and the website becomes a sensation. People start to wonder, who are these women behind Twentysomething as it becomes newsworthy.

This book has sexual references and the occasional F bomb.  This doesn't bother me but I know it does for some. The stories are believable as are the friendships and struggles.  This is a story about women being impowered by one another and getting tired of being passed over for promotion and treated differently than their male counterparts.

I will definitely be looking for more by Amanda Pelligrino  in the future.

Publication date December 21, 2021 by Harlequin.  Genre: General Fiction Adult and Women's Fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.


  1. Sounds really good. I want to know how it begins and ends and all the stuff in between.

  2. Now ordered from the library - may be some time yet before it opens. Cheers

    1. Carole, oh no - are your libraries closed?!

  3. This sounds like a good read! I'll have to see if my library gets it.

    1. JoAnn, it's out in December but I bet the library preorders this one.


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