Someone said to me earlier this week, “Another NY’er!!! Boy, I have got to get a chance to go visit sometime…I’ve met several bloggers from NY and ya’ll seem to take a lot of pride in your state!” To which I replied, “I don’t really see myself as a New Yorker.” I firmly believed that statement until I started to read New York Dolls by Catherine L. Hensley. She brought the city to life for me. I had forgotten what it’s like to live in New York! The sounds, the sirens, the people, the places, and the foods. I got very excited when Catherine described a place in the West Village or 5th Avenue. She described it so perfectly that I knew exactly where the character/characters were in the novel (and I’m lousy with directions). Most of the places she mentioned, I have either walked by or heard about it, and it made reading the story more personal.
I could also relate to the main character Denton, because like me, she was not a native New Yorker. Our experience of the city was similar from the non-stop sirens (police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks) racing through the streets at all hours of the day and night, to public transportation (especially the trains). After a while you become desensitized to the sounds on the streets and below ground. Her description of Washington Square Park and the arch was so on point that it dredged up a memory of a picture I took in December 2015.
You could tell this author knew and loved New York city by her descriptions. And she made me fall in love with the city, Denton (a.k.a Dee Dee and/or Denny), Amber, Josie, Liz, Anna, and of course Chris West. Reading about these characters made me see them as real people. Their personalities were so diverse and interesting. It was a love story like I had never read before about the lives of celebrities and the people who write about them.
Denton worked as an Editorial Assistant for Glitter magazine and her job was to impersonate Anna Creel, a Fashion and Beauty Editor for the same magazine at a fashion show. What happens next is unbelievable and hilarious. Denton went from idolizing Amber Donovan and Chris West (screen actors) to becoming friends with them. The celebrities have no clue about Denton’s occupation and Denton is hoping that those two worlds never collide.
Everyone at Glitter believes that Denton has known the celebrities before the fashion show, and wondered why she never used them to further her career. This book is character driven in more ways than one. This is not my usual reading material, but I bought it on a recommendation from a friend, and truly enjoyed it.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars for originality, humor, crazy shit happening to Denton, awesome descriptions (my favorite: paperclips hitting the floor – the sounds the paparazzi’s cameras make as they take multiple shots), and the love for the city shining through every page of the novel.