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The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder
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The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder (Lizzie Miller #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  11,108 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
A fast-paced, breezy read about life at the bottom of the Hollywood food chain

No political science degree could ever prepare Elizabeth Miller for her new job as a second assistant at The Agency, whose clients include everyone you’ve never met—but you know who they’re sleeping with.A former congressional intern in Washington, Lizzie made a bid for a life change that landed
Paperback, 357 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Plume (first published 2004)
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Have to say that when I first started this book I didn't think I was going to finish it. It seemed shallow and the hatefulness of some of the characters just put me off. But being me, I kept reading because I always hope it will get better and because I have to know what happens even if it doesn't.

So glad I continued on because it did get better. It was still a bit shallow and full of unredemptive characters; however, I really loved the main character. And I was so glad she got her Hollywood end
Aug 14, 2007 Suzanne rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Eh
This book was eh. After The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, it was very been-there-done-that. Maybe I should write an fictionalized account of my years spent as a camp counselor...
Apr 24, 2009 PurplyCookie rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Definitely one for by-the-pool or while lounging-under-the-summer-sun kind of light reading.

In the tradition of "The Devil Wears Prada" the now painful truth is re-asserted: that working for the rich/powerful/glamorous can be torturous & definitely not what it's all cut out to be.

Elizabeth Miller gives up an idealistic job as a Washington senator's aide to join the Agency, a super-powerful Hollywood outfit that represents stars, producers and directors. The young L.A. newcomer may not be a
Jul 14, 2009 Erika rated it it was ok
It took me I guess over a month to read this book. I just couldn't get into it. It felt like a lot of short stories made into chapters at first. No continuity to anything. Then about 200 pages in, it was like going downhill on a rollercoaster. I thoroughly enjoyed those last 160 pages, but i couldn't believe it took me that long. I am going to give these ladies another try with the follow-up next. Hopefully their writing skills got a little better.
Jun 23, 2007 stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
classic tale of young idealistic girl who goes to hollywood and finds herself both in over her head, in love, and totally confused about whether she wants to stay in hollywood or not. the ending is too cheesy for words, but lizzie's a cool character. the writing just isn't as good as it could be (and the sequel is much better).
Feb 21, 2010 Kristine rated it liked it
The bleach-blond sun-drenched version of The Devil Wears Prada. While the topics here have been skewered before, theyre so deserving in my mind (especially since I live in LA) that I enjoyed the mindless romp anyway. ...more
It wasn't entirely the book's fault I didn't finish it: I made it to page 254 before I left on a trip that I could not take this hardcover along. I was pushing myself to finish but, truth be told, after a book of different characters, I no longer felt compelled to find out what happened to the characters, whether the movie would be made, etc. I think I would rather move on to my next book than return to this one.

I am lucky in that the problems with structure that led to this book's downfall show
Kara Jorges
Dec 19, 2012 Kara Jorges rated it liked it
This is definitely the same Hollywood Jackie Collins has written about, but from a much different perspective. It’s the story of Lizzie Miller, who has barely begun her career in politics before it ends, and she winds up by a fluke working for a Hollywood talent agency. She’s the second assistant to Scott Wagner, agent to the stars, and spends her days learning the ropes with drug-addled bosses and vile coworkers, and her evenings discovering the joys of spiked drinks with oversexed Hollywood sl ...more
Denise Billings
Jul 16, 2016 Denise Billings rated it it was amazing
By page 6 I'm screaming that this shit is fucking insane. This poor little clueless, naive second assistant learns right away that in Hollywood there are: Men who wear mascara in between eyelash dyes. In the bathroom there is a sign that says "Smoking and Vomited prohibited". Kabala water retails at $126 a bottle. Women take fertility drugs even though they don't have a boyfriend. Among other valuable lessons.

My hubby is in the business and I have heard some crazy ass shit, but I had not heard a
Nov 19, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, reviewed
Elizabeth is thankful for a new job and a new start, moving to Los Angles to be a second assistant to Scott, a young Hollywood Producer, when her job as congressional intern comes to an unexpected end. She has alot to learn in Hollywood, as there are a whole new set of priorities and social structure that Elizabeth has never heard of or considered before. The plot follows Elizabeth through her tasks as she learns, what she has to do, what she is expected to do, and what she really wants to keep ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I had a strange feeling with this book. It was fun, I giggled, and I read it real fast, but at times I didn't feel it. I don't know, I just didn't feel.

But if we forget that for a moment. This is a book about Elizabeth who leaves the political world and gets a job as a second assistant at a big time agency. But it's a cut-throat world. The famous wants it all and their way, the bosses are mad and she feels lonely. But she does come close to a co-worker and a guy she meets. She fancies a producer
Mar 09, 2009 Brittany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of insider chick lit
Recommended to Brittany by: Gillian
How I Came To Read This Book: My sister randomly purchased it.

The Plot: Lizzie, tired of her job in the political world, quits and heads out to Hollywood to live the good the second assistant to a major agent to the stars. There isn't too much plot (as with all of these slice of life insider stories) other than Lizzie tries to find a way to ascend in the not-as-cutthroat world of agents (and tries to head towards her dream of being a Hollywood producer) and various love threads.

The Goo
Jul 24, 2008 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: couldntfinish
Writing style was chick-lit interesting- and fast-moving-enough, but I really dislike the cliched stories about how shallow and horrible everyone is in LA.

I know this is a roman a clef and that this is probably very true to the writers' experience, but my experience of Los Angeles has been 100% different and the perpetuation of this myth that LA is only full of completely vapid plastic assholes really gets under my skin.

There are lots of different people here, and frankly it is easily the most
May 23, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
I surprisingly really liked this book.

I was drawn to the story by the fact that, even though there are more important things in the world,I really enjoy the movies. It is always interesting to imagine what life would be like in the "glamorous" world of Hollywood. This story seemed to offer a backstage pass. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.

After reading it I can say that a lot of the characters and situations were cliche and based on a very superficial and, if I can be honest, quite revoltin
Oct 23, 2013 Leen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Lizzie verhuist naar Hollywood in de hoop om er van helemaal onderaan de ladder hogerop te kunnen klimmen. Ze wordt tweede assistente van een drugsverslaafde agent in een kantoor vol roddeltantes, en haar taken bestaan er voornamelijk uit om telefoontjes te beantwoorden en koffie te halen. Ze mag naar exclusieve feestjes, duikt in bed met de beroemde/beruchte Jake Hudson en leert het glamourleventje van dichtbij kennen. Als ze Jason ontmoet, die in de koffiebar werkt en zelf een script heeft ges ...more
Britt Griffith
Nov 09, 2009 Britt Griffith rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
If you want something deep that will make you do some soul-searching, don't read this book. If, however, you want a fun, completely frivilous read, then I completely recommend it. Its the story of a twenty-something woman who leaves the political world of Washington D.C. for the crazy glamour and backstabbing of Hollywood. There she makes friends and enemies, falls in and out of love, and discovers that her true passions are completely different from what she had originally thought. The only thi ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Kirsten rated it really liked it
I honestly do not understand why this book didn't get more love. In my opinion, the feel of this book is a mix between "Bridget Jones' Diary"- the first one/movie, not the god-awful sequel- and "Valley of the Dolls". It's a well-told tale of a girl's beginning in Hollywood. It is incredibly well-written, and I had to keep my dictionary next to me the whole time because I kept stumbling across words I'd never heard before which made me extremely happy. I give this book 4-5 stars because I need so ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Devorah rated it it was ok
This is an odd book. One that wants you to be disgusted with the antics of the Hollywood elite, all while being a homage TO the Hollywood elite. The protagonist spends about six chapters hating the LA world, longing for the meaningful world of politics (heh), but then inexplicably decides she loves her utterly useless job after all.

The truth is that the protagonist, who's oh so beautiful and smart and has every guy longing for her, wants to be in this world far too much. The Devil Wears Prada a
Jul 10, 2013 Z rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Lizzie gets laid off political career and her only option is to work in The Agency, the driving force behind Hollywood. She has to deal with the morally corrupt, drugs, everyone sleeping with everyone and trusting no one.

This was a quick light read and to be honest, the book could have been half the length. It was painfully predictable, and most of it just seemed like an excuse to set the scene without really moving the story along, which got annoying.

Mostly, I could see the comparisons to The D
Feb 08, 2014 Lesleyjl31 rated it really liked it
The slowest start in the world and a long drag before about midway it starts to get somewhat decent. You feel for the main character, Lizzie. I was also amused by the ending. I started off along the one, two star area but simply because I thought the end was cute, I gave this a four star rating. There are still many elements I did not like and I found some character arcs untrue to the establishment of that particular character - not sure how the Lizzie and Lara dynamic changed but it wasn't a st ...more
Rebekah McCurdy
Jul 10, 2016 Rebekah McCurdy rated it liked it
Not my typical book. But this is as most reviews have stated a perfect book to read by the pool or on the beach. I will say that I found the struggle of a girl who is trying to decide who she should become or what she wants to be a most interesting internal debate to be a witness to. Perhaps it is that I'm 26. I thought I would be a certain person in my life at this point and I find that the life I live now (which I love and wouldn't change) is different than the image I always imaged. So readin ...more
Jul 09, 2007 Genevieve rated it liked it
Recommends it for: career girls
This book was all-n-all a fun read but began to lull after the half-way point. It took to long to climax and left me craving a new aspect to the story. It finally ramped-up @ the second-to-last chapter and exploded w/ almost too much at once.

That said, it was a great girl book for single, career girls that want a fun fantacy.

Looking forward to the series, I heard they are making a TV series out of it! I've also got to pick up "The First Assistant"
Umarie Serrant
Sep 24, 2013 Umarie Serrant rated it liked it
This book was intresting and it kept me until the end, but its pages were quite thin. meaning there wasnt any depth in the book. Throughout the book i felt like i was reading a 'Shopaholic' series. It's not bad, and its the first book i ever came across to have two authors. It's funny but not tearing-up funny. Some parts were really typical and i saw it coming a chapter away but others kinda caught me. what im saying is..if you're stuck for something to read or you wanna carry out a little somet ...more
Aug 20, 2007 Meredith rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nobody
Shelves: chicklit, read_2007
So far I cannot push myself through this book for some reason. I usually love this chick lit stuff but this one just isn't that great in my opinion. I'm only on page 100 though so maybe that will change. I'll update everyone once I get further into it. Update: So I finished the book and it wasn't so bad in the end, just not a book that I would recommend. I felt like I could care less what happened next and there was zero suspense until maybe the last few chapters. I definitely don't think I'll b ...more
Jan 26, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok
okay, not going to lie. This was a tough book to finish. I feel as though it was not organized very well and it seemed jumbled. I've read a lot of reviews about this book and some compare it to The Devil Wears Prada. Yes, I see a lot of the commonalities, but in the end, it was only the content that compares--not the writing.

Not until the last 180 pages or so did the book actually have somewhat of a plot and not just a girl running around being a second assistant. Not a book I would recommend, b
Jan 24, 2008 Shellie rated it liked it
(I bought 9 books last week through's crazy $3 sale, if you can't tell from my influx of new material!) I was excited about this book because of the topic, and the plot is fun and upbeat and it did a nice job *not* being the Nanny-Diaries-esque book I'd feared it could be. The main character was at times really fun and charming, but at times, too much of a cipher. And giving her a background in politics was *such* a bad idea, as the book is clueless on its DC stuff. Nevertheless, the Holl ...more
Nov 13, 2007 Karen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: any female, any age
I am more than halfway through this book. It is very similar to "The Devil Wears Prada" with its general story and playful wit.

I would definitely recommend reading this if you enjoyed "The Devil Wears Prada".

This was a very good book I am definitely planning to read "The First Assistant" which is by the same authors.
Fast paced and easy reading.
May 23, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Trying to think of great things to say about this book but first and foremost, I hated the ending! Maybe what she got in the end was what she wanted but after reading the book and the last couple of pages I thought for sure more was up so I was disappointed.
That being said, I mostly enjoyed this book. There were times that I felt annoyed with the character and her lack of self esteem ways but beyond that it was enjoyable and had some funny lines sprinkled throughout that I had some chuckles abou
Jul 25, 2013 Staci rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
As if I didn't already want to be an assistant, this book did me in. Even though I don't think that was the point of the book seeing as she did crazy things and was always being yelled out but still, at the very least I want to try being an assistant and these characters made me want to try it even more.

Loved the plot and couldn't put it down, I was actually laughing at loud at some points and I thought my mother was going to throw her own book at me because I couldn't stop. Definitely read this
Dec 11, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of chick lit looking for a light read
I loved this book and it's sequel, The First Assistant: A Continuing Tale from Behind the Hollywood Curtain. This was actually my second time reading them, I had read them about 6 years ago and all I remembered is that I really enjoyed them. Nothing mind-blowing or life changing about them, they are both "fluff" books but I really enjoyed them anyway.
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