An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.
When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.
Lucy Sykes has worked in the fashion world as a stylist, fashion editor, and fashion director. For six years Lucy was the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine, and was most recently fashion director for Rent the Runway. Her own children’s clothing line, Lucy Sykes New York, was sold in more than a hundred department stores worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. Together with her twin sister Plum, Lucy moved from London to New York City in 1997, where she now lives with her husband and two children.
This book was ridiculous and horrible. I don't get for a second the rave reviews from others -- are they friends with the author? Were they paid?
The premise itself was bizarre. A 40-something who until recently had her emails printed out for her by her assistant? Seriously? 40-somethings are the GenX generation -- the generation that's been online from the beginning.
Also you've got to be kidding me that someone gets to be editor of a major fashion publication without having more of a backbone than the Imogen Tate character here.
The whole thing was just bad writing, bad plot, poorly drawn characters. I'm sorry I read it.
You don't pick up People Magazine expecting the musings of Thoreau, and you don't expect the worker at the McDonald's drive-thru window to pass you some organic kale. Likewise, you wouldn't -- I hope -- pick up this book expecting much more than fluffy, frivolous, fashion-themed fun. If your expectations remain thus reasonable, then this book delivers. The book is like a really successful Forever 21 dress, one that's a great copy of a truly on-trend style: there's not much substance to it, and it's not going to endure through more than one season, but it can give you a fabulous night or two and maybe, in its best moments, convey the fleeting experience of living a life in high fashion.
Obviously the book bears comparison to The Devil Wears Prada, only instead of a young naive newbie being harassed by a seasoned despot of a boss, we have a sympathetic main character, Imogen, an experienced veteran in her industry, returning from sick leave to discover her erstwhile new boss, Eve, is a millennial brat who is also a HBS grad and a tech genius. It's no accident she's named Eve; there are definitely echoes of "All About Eve" here.
At its worst, the book does devolve into some pretty manic high camp toward the climactic ending, as the antagonist swells with malicious power in a manner befitting Linda Blair at the end of The Exorcist (only much better looking, and probably smelling). There is far too much melodramatic baring of teeth and narrowing of eyes into slits.
The other extreme flaw of the book is that Imogen, as a wealthy and worldly Manhattan-residing and globetrotting fashion and publishing executive, who is only in her 40s and also has an attorney husband and a tween daughter, is **completely unrealistic** in her utter lack of tech knowledge at the outset of the book. (She wouldn't even be able to find us here on Goodreads, people - that's how little the authors would have us believe she knows about anything digital.) For purposes of moving the plot forward, Imogen needs to be a complete tech bumblehead, when in truth a typical Iowa grandparent would know more about technology these days than Imogen supposedly does.
However, we don't seek out a book like this when realism is our main priority, and at least 85 percent of the book is perfectly enjoyable chick lit with no terribly egregious errors noticeable in the writing - no tags or slips or straps or panty lines showing. So, if you're looking to slip into something a little more comfortable, for beach reading perhaps, you might consider trying on this book for size!
I've had dinners with twentysomethings where the meal was delayed because they had to photograph the food first, and I've been at events where I've sat in silence surrounded by dozens of young people with their noses buried in smartphones.
Because of this generation gap, and because I still use hotmail and a Nokia that doesn't do Internet, I found the protagonist of this breezy chick lit novel charming. Imogen is a forty-something big time editor of a fashion magazine who understands the value of flawless manners and old school charm, and who's used both to cement decades-long relationships with top designers. After six months off, Imogen returns to the office to discover that her magazine has been turned into an app at the helm of a tacky young upstart. Imogen knows nothing of technology and is left hopeless in the face of the sassy twentysomething, which is very unrealistic if you know anything about what editors are like. But, this is a novel where a lot is exaggerated for comic effect, so I didn't mind suspending disbelief.
What follows is a rompous power struggle where Imogen's fine sensibilities and quiet personality trump her opponent's materialism and attitude of entitlement in a series of outrageous episodes. How satisfying it was indeed to see the Chanel-clad Imogen outwit a woman who choreographs routines to Beyonce and has live online coverage at her wedding.
3.5 stars for this light and fun read about the fashion magazine industry and today's preoccupation with technology, youth and gadgets.
WHAT THIS BOOK IS NOT: 1. Great literature 2. Socially redeeming in any way
WHAT THIS BOOK IS: 1. A lot of fun to read 2. Very satisfying to anyone with revenge fantasies
Technology vs real life interaction is a major theme here, as is aging dinosaurs (at 42, no less) vs young upstarts in the business world. The fashion industry in this case, but I work for a large corporation, and I saw comparisons even in my lowly status as a part-timer.
FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS BOOK: "Have we all become so desperate to share everything that we've stopped enjoying our lives?"
"Hold on. You need a glass of wine. You will be less irritated with a glass of wine in your hand."
"This must have been what workers felt like during the Industrial Revolution. All of a sudden their entire lives were upended. One month they had a small family business making horseshoes or cheese for their neighbors and the next they were forced into a factory to make things for nameless, faceless customers. That was how Imogen felt about the Internet."
I truly enjoyed this book.....age and experience winning out against youth and ambition.......what's not to like?
Full disclosure: I know Lucy well and have met Jo only once for five minutes.
This book is a must--deep, fun, intense, never heavy-handed--it made me cry with laughter when I wasn't pondering its interesting takes on life and adulthood and the struggles of (wo)men within it. You don't have to know anything about fashion to get the references and humor, and I guarantee that after reading this rollicking ride through the fashion world you will never look at a magazine spread the same way again.
I am in love with Imogen Tate. She is exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: worldly, funny, knowledgable, humble, compassionate and wildly curious. Who wouldn't want to be like that??!? Eve Morton, that's who.
Eve is the antithesis of Imogen and metaphorically the hellish future we are heading toward unless we stop thinking that New is always better and The Only Way--that to move forward we must never look back.
The book begins with a charming montage--an editor's idea board almost--of what is so unassuming and human and lovely and "outdated" about Imogen and how charmingly she interacts with the world. Sure, she could be more savvy with devices, but her "old" way is actually refreshing and real and strangely novel in the new world of depersonalized connection and isolated individual experiences.
Eve is intellectually and behaviorally nouveau riche, dismissing anything that isn't automatically shiny, new and self-aggrandizing. Imogen's struggle to see the best in every situation, even one commandeered by a dreadful egomaniac such as Eve, is how she has remained relevant through so many iterations in the fashion world; it is also why she vanquishes Eve. She is constantly learning, constantly evolving whereas the younger, fitter, perfectionist Eve, who believes she has nothing to learn from her elders, from the past, from the history of fashion in particular, is doomed to fail. She can't learn, as it would be an admission that she didn't already know X, Y or Z, so down she will go, like Narcissus, drowning in her iPad's reflection.
I laughed out loud so many times during this book--the way Imogen without seeking to do so manages to bring hilarity and electric excitement to every situation she gets involved in--such as when she goes to the shows and finds she is placed in the "economy seats" and finds the view and experience is actually much better from there and nearly steals the show. Having been in fashion for almost a decade myself, the references are spot on. The people, sometimes faintly disguised, really do talk and think and act like that!!! It was a lovely walk down memory lane, and newbies will find the fashion world even more ridiculously creative and navel-gazing than they imagined.
All the funniness aside, this book really is a commentary on How To Live In The World, when that world thinks all innovation is borne of a failure of the old system and people become commoditized. When "what do you do," "who do you know," and "what can you do for me" start to matter more than "what are your passions," "what has most shaped your experience," and "what do you add to the world with your curiosity and empathy?" Imogen adds beauty. Art for the sake of art. Eve, more like the First Fembot than the first woman, adds data points and inhumanity, but her presence provides the perfect platform--despite her wishes--for Imogen to shine. Unwittingly Eve's insular lack of empathy allows Imogen's messy lovely genius to rise to the top. In that way, Eve--and she would HATE THIS--becomes inadvertently a great help to Imogen's evolution: her presence forces Imogen to embrace her own magnificence. So we are grateful to those people who try to destroy us for they force us to own our brilliance.
All this in one little novel. It's Man vs. the Machine with sequins and stilettos. It's 2015: A Fashionworld Odyssey, with the role of Hal being played by Eve.
I absolutely fell for Imogen Tate. I'm not a person who is into fashion, but the feeling of being overwhelmed, of being left behind can be universal...especially with women. She had a beloved assistant, Eve, who left to go to Harvard Business School. When Imogen returns from fighting breast cancer, she finds Eve has returned and that absolutely everything about her beloved magazine has changed. Everything is online, there is no longer going to be a print version, and Eve undermines every single decision that Imogen tries to make.
Here's what I love about Imogen: she's a career woman who prioritizes her family. Yes, she has a nanny, but that nanny is also one of her best friends. She treats everyone kindly, and gives the benefit of the doubt, at least until she can't. She doesn't give up. Glossy is her baby, she loves her job and she loves that magazine. She is willing to fight for it. I am amazed at how she puts aside her feelings of being overwhelmed by technology and embraces it with the help of all her friends.
Here's what I love about Eve: nothing, that woman is horrible. I can't give away too many details, but clearly she is trying to force Imogen out. She is the worst kind of entitled crap, and she is impossibly rude because of it. I hate her, and that's really all I can say. I would go on and on, but no, I have to stop before I ruin everything.
It's a far richer story than I initially gave it credit for. It isn't another shallow fashion diva story. It's like tiramisu when you were just expecting white cake. Surprise!
It was fine. I felt the character read a lot older than she was written. I'm 40, she is suppose to be 42, but I felt she read more like 72. I mean, who is in their 40s and here in 2015 (which is when the book takes place) and doesn't know how to use the Internet. How would this woman, who is suppose to be EIC of a top fashion magazine have been in her position only a year earlier, before the dreaded "C word," and not have been live Tweeting at any of the Fashion Weeks? It was a quick read that would be fine for the beach or similar, but I wound't rate it any higher as it had too much that you could see coming ahead of time.
Yay, we finally have a book that not only kicks complete ass, but is totally up-to-date, and isn’t another cliched romance or cafe related read.
I absolutely loved this book. It’s current, it’s sassy, it’s funny, and it’s extremely clever. The plot is dynamite, the flow is fast and furious. It’s a book that had me wanting to climb into its pages in anger one minute and giggling the next. It never stopped shocking and to be totally honest it’s just far too cool.
Heroine Imogen is a total sweetheart. You really do feel so sorry for her when she is unexpectedly thrown into a complex and horrifying digital nightmare. No matter what though she always stays true to herself and is compassionate, loyal and utterly charming. Eve on the other hand, what an arrogant, egotistical bitch. I don’t think I’ve ever hated a character as much as I hated her. She is a fantastic character though and spins this book on its arse.
Overall TechBitch is the perfect read for any occasion. It’s gripping, exciting, and fresh. A book I highly recommend.
A twisted tale of bullying, bitches, fashion and the power of technology and respectability.
Imogen Tate comes back to work as editor in chief of Glossy Magazine after a six-month absence. Having recovered from a health issue, Imogen is primed to get back where she left off except that the office she walks into is a completely different world. Where once her trusted and experienced editors that Imogen hand-picked stood, now there is a large group of twenty-something women. At the helm is Eve Morten, Imogen's former assisant. Armed with a Harvard MBA and an attitude better suited for the playground than the work place, Eve is gunning for Imogen's job. Imogen may not be tech savy but she will not go down without a fight.
This book is not the next great novel, its an indulgence. Its like that decadent chocolate dessert you allow yourself to have after eating sensibly. True, you are not getting much the way of nutrition but its a sweet break you crave. Bearing many similarities to 'The Devil Wears Prada' (with Eve playing the role of Miranda Priestly) this novel was quite fun and entertaining. Imogen Tate is 42 and widely respected in the fashion realm. Being on a personal name basis with plenty designers, Imogen helped Glossy become a household name until she got sick. Upon her return, its Eve that is in charge. Glossy is no longer a print magazine but a digital one. Imogen is definitely at a disadvantage here as technology is not her forte. What ensues is a battle of technology vs experince. Eve vs Imogen. As a reader, you do have to check criticisms at the door. Yes, most characters are one note and cliched and certain events are flat out ridiculous. Having said that, I really did enjoy reading this book. It turned out to be a pleasent experience. While it was a slow start, once I got passed the first third of the book, I was completely hooked (and rooting for Imogen).
I just love all the references in the book but by far the most amusing one is 'Project Fashion' with a certain German host. I happen to love 'Project Runway' so it was a nice touch. Just briefly I would like to touch on how the book talks about the role of technology currently. While this is a fluffy and light read, the book does make valid points. All the different forms of social media have made our generation interact differently to that of our parents. This book is a hyperbole of all things fashion and technology but it works to create an addictive read. So if you are looking for some escapism and just plain fun, check out this book.
I loved this book! A modern take on the All About Eve story, it's the classic grasping young girl tries to take down her older and wiser mentor/boss. Imogen is the Editor in Chief of glossy magazine and comes back from medical leave to discover that her much loved fashion magazine has become a digital app and is mostly being run by her backstabbing one time assistant Eve. After an initial tough time getting back in the new techie groove, Imogen puts her big girl panties on and learns to integrate her treasure trove of knowledge with the new digital world.
I liked the fact that Imogen realized that she needed to make some changes to adapt to a changing world but that conventional wisdom could still have a place. And, since All About Eve is one of my all time favorite movies, I enjoyed seeing her grow and triumph over rampant ageism and total disregard for history or manners. There is even a little homage to the movie near the end of the book in a conversation between Imogen and Eve.
I also have to say that I learned about a great resource,codeacademy.com, that I plan to take full advantage of in my role as self taught webmaster at my library. Part of the fun of this book is figuring out what is real and what is fiction both with people and technology. This is a great read that keeps the reader moving right along at a rapid pace.
This may be touted as a different take on the book, “The Devil Wears Prada”, but any of the ‘gray hairs’ that this book pokes fun at will know in an instant that this is an updated, tech-filled remake of “All About Eve”. You might even say that it has just a touch of the original 1939 “The Women” added to the mix too. Granted it really does have a generous helping of The Devil Wears Prada also!
This was really a depressing book for me at the start. I too am a tech dinosaur/gray hair just hanging around until I become extinct. But the more I read, the more I really got into this book and could see that the author went to great pains not to make those of us no comfy with tech too uncomfortable (plus I really did learn a lot!) with this book.
This is a great, gossipy, bitchy, well written, backbiting and hair tearing out, frustrating book. You may want to smack Imogen around a few times for not doing what can at times seem so obvious to the reader…you will definitely want to thrust a shiv into Eves back a time or twelve.
“Have we all become so desperate to share everything that we’ve stopped enjoying our lives?”
I enjoy a good satire. This didn’t have me LOLing quite as much as their other collaboration, Fitness Junkie, but it was still smart and clever. This pokes fun at techie millennials, social media, and ageism but also hits a lot of positive notes. It’s a good palate cleanser.
3.5 stars for the plot + 1.5 stars for the absolutely fabulous narrator
This was an absolutely delicious audio book and if you decide to read The Knockoff, I recommend checking it out in the audio format. Katherine Kellgren somehow manages British accents, valley-girl accents, and start-up tech nerd without once making it feel forced or awkward. Delightful.
I adored the first half of this book. I enjoyed the second half. Unfortunately, the sheer drama of the second half detracts from what I enjoyed about the first half. At the beginning we meet Imogen: a 42-year-old editor and chief of a fashion magazine. She returns from sick-leave to discover her beloved magazine has been turned into an app. Further, her former assistant, Eve, is running things. Imogen knows nothing about tech. Eve believes the world runs on tweets and selfies. The story thus starts off as a wonderful clash between a Gen Xer trying to get her bearing in a suddenly Millennial workforce and an energetic Millennial trying to become the next Steve Jobs. And I loved it. Sure, the concept could be critiqued. At 42, Imogen seems an unlikely candidate to completely lack tech-awareness. And it seems a well-established fashion magazine suddenly tuning consumer app in only a few months would raise a few eyebrows. But it is fun. It is fun to see Imogen grasp social media and totally rock it. It is fun to see how Millennials are portrayed (for the most part) with graciousness. I mean, the usual critiques get thrown in there. Millenials constantly need adoration. They don't value independence. They don't know how to respect their elders. etc. etc. But they're young. They're hungry. They focus on different things than Imogen and her 'generation.' So while the story pulls out all the usual complaints, it also tends to use it as character growth to look at them as unique, different human beings. Further, it is fun to read chick-flick with a narrator like Imogen: mature, established, curious. She is not the usual air-headed innocent taking on the city for the first time. I loved her supportive family life and strong female friendships. I love the mentoring relationships she develops with some of the girls around her. Basically, as long as the book remained somewhat of a social critique of different generations in the workforce, I enjoyed it. But then it cranks the drama up to ten. Eve goes from 'boss who doesn't get it' to 'super evil Millennial witch.' Like, diabolically, I-as-a-reader-do-not-understand-where-this-is-coming-from evil. On the one hand, this builds the suspense for the climax and leaves you firmly rooting for Imogen. It is good guy against bad guy. On the other, it means any sense of subtlety or nuance in the story gets completely thrown out the window. In the end, I would say I enjoyed this one and the narrator made it a delight to listen to. I did not want to put it down. But the flip into Hollywood style drama means I will likely not remember this story long.
Give me a book taking place in the fashion industry, mix in social media and the socalled Digital Natives generation and I'm sure to gobble it up. I mean, some of my fav films are The September Issue and The Devil Wears Prada, so really, no-brainer. (Also -> COVER! So sleek and chic. The title! Baaam. I do not understand why the US edition has such a horrendous cover and actually a different name. Not good marketing in this specific case, in my opinion.)
This is my typical guilty pleasure book, but without the guilt haha, because it's not guilt-inducing.. Wow, my explanations are so amazing. Anyway, the writing flowed and it was oh so perfectly observed; and there was only a teensy part nearing the three quarter mark that dragged a bit, but nothing worth criticizing. Loved the name-dropping. I wonder if the real-life people actually know they're portrayed in fiction!? Leandra Medine - You're in it! :D
Imogen Tate was such a precious darling, bless her for not being a bitch right back at that mean girl come to life, Eve. Seriously, such a genuinely nice and kind character is seldomly encountered; and yet written in a believable way. Can I work for her magazine as a fashion photographer one day, pretty please? Lulu, she is only a fictitious character. I cry. And digress...what's new.
Due to the fact of me myself having such a strong love-hate relationship with all sorts of social media (Oh the irony of posting this on an online bookish community...as I said, love-hate!) and technological advancements, this was veeeeery interesting to read. I even felt like I sympathized with the know-nothing-about-tech Imogen when I really fit right in with all the online fashion magazine girls. Instagram, Twitter, Blogs...Name it, I have it. And I feel so conflicted about it all; I do it all too, myself, but don't want to really. Does this make sense? Status: It's complicated. To the point where I pronounce # as hashtag in real conversations. Yeah. (Please reassure me that I'm not the only one, aghh!)
Okay, enough rambling. If you're curious about the aforementioned topics and dabble in fashion etc., this might just be the perfect beach read for you! (Why do I sound like an advertisement?)
So, let's be honest here. This is not a book that will make you think deep. It's not a book that will be a book of the year. But I loved it. Four stars some may wonder. Why not? I knew what it was when I picked it up. A book that was a fun look into the colliding worlds of print and tech. And it kept turning pages. I knew how it would end-- or at least an idea-- but that didn't stop me from devouring this book in less than 24 hours.
Imogen Tate just returned to Glossy, a fashion magazine, after 6 months of sick leave. When she gets there, her former assistant Eve Morton has taken over. Eve has an idea that the magazine will be straight digital. Eve also has a way of making her staff miserable and making Imogen feel like she is past her prime.
The Knockoff reminds me of a reverse Devils Wear Prada , which I also loved. This book was also interesting in learning about some ways tech is used now compared to how it used to. My only gripe with this book was how outdated they made Imogen seem. She was gone 6 months-- not an eternity. She also is only in her 40s. I feel she wouldn't be that "outdated" on the tech basics, but I can see how it was needed for the plot.
Earlier this month, I read Fitness Junkie written by Sykes and Piazza. I enjoyed that one, but I found myself into this book. I would continue to read anything these ladies wrote together!
This book started out slow. I understand that the authors were trying to make the point that the heroine, Imogen, is supposed to be so old and outdated (she was 42!!! If you didn't know that, you would have thought she was 85 or slightly slow) that she is in danger of becoming irrelevant. But the initial build up for this was so over the top that it was embarrassing. It's hard to
believe that a 42 year old editor in chief of a national fashion magazine (who also has a pre-teen daughter) has never been on Twitter, Instagram, and never had an app or a website for her popular magazine. Honestly, my 70 year old retired father has a new Ipad and Apple TV, and is quite adept with both. The lack of ANY tech awareness by Imogen was a little hard to swallow.
She didn't know how to use her computer or really even check her email. She keeps lamenting the loss of her Blackberry (the iPhone is beyond her too), but all it did was make me wonder what the hell she was doing on it? They make it seem like composing an email was completely beyond her.
About a quarter of the way in, the story started to pick up. There definitely is a gap between the emerging workforce of Millennials and the Gen X'ers, and that was an interesting storyline. In the beginning, Imogen seemed to believe the whole new workforce would be unwelcoming to her. But as the story progressed, she found that many of the younger crowd were respectful of what she brought to the table, and wanted to help her learn to adapt. Eve wasn't horrible because she was a Millennial, Eve was just a horrible person.
Don't go to Harvard Business School
Eve was really kind of a one note character. And the one note was not good. Sometimes, it's nice when the villain has a little more backstory of what made them morph into evil, but there wasn't that detail here - she went away to Harvard Business school a crying mouse, and came back as evil wrapped in a bandage dress.
There were two sideswipes of the story that seemed unnecessary, one was the kiss between Imogen and Eve's fiance (Imogen's ex-boyfriend). I kept thinking Eve would find out, her husband would find out, or there would be some later development, but there wasn't. It was just nothing. And it's hard to believe that Imogen would join him for a drink, this made no sense, given what we knew about her character.
The second was the phantom breast pain. I thought it was a tool to make Imogen consider quitting, or changing jobs, a way to remind her what was most important in her life. But it was really just an aside, and wasn't mentioned again.
But all in all, this was a very enjoyable read and I liked Imogen a lot as a character. There were quite a few places where I laughed out loud, and I applaud Imogen's restraint when she discovered the secret of "Candy Cool", because I might have been tempted to reach out and touch someone in Herve Lager.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Doubleday for this ARC and the chance to review "The Knockoff".
Imogen Tate, well-respected 42-year old Editor in Chief of Glossy magazine, returns from a 6 month medical leave to find that her former assistant (and newly minted Harvard MBA) Eve has convinced the magazine publishers to cease the printed magazine and turn the entire operation into an e-commerce app. Imogen struggles to understand the rapidly changing technology and her relevance in the new corporate structure, while Eve is determined to turn the staff against Imogen and do whatever it takes to push her out of the company.
The two characters are foils. Imogen is Oscar de la Renta -- classic, polished, and timeless, no matter what the latest tech craze of the day might be. Eve is Forever 21 -- bold, eye-catching, but at the end of the day just too cheap and tawdry.
We all know how this is going to end, right? But that's okay. We don't read books like "The Knockoff" because they're the next "To Kill a Mockingbird". We read them because they're just plain enjoyable.
Do I have quibbles? Sure. Imogen is portrayed as an absolute tech neophyte upon her return to work after a 6 month absence. As the Editor in Chief of a major magazine, she would undoubtedly have to have known the basics such as Instagram, Gmail, etc. Eve is a one-note character that rhymes with "witch". However, she was formerly Imogen's trustworthy assistant, and in that role they each had each other's backs. Eve becomes such a sociopath after getting her MBA,and it's totally incongruous with who she was before. This abrupt change in character really doesn't make much sense.
Quibbles aside, "The Knockoff" is an entertaining read, particularly for those whose guilty pleasure is fashion. Grab your Kate Spade sunglasses, your favorite drink, and read on!
Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Knockoff is The Devil Wears Prada 2.0 and I loved every single word! Where we were previously rooting for new girl Andi to take down Miranda, in this novel we are hoping Imogen can oust bratty Eve. Imogen's initial naive observances are cute and laughable, such as: "But the website was just a necessary appendage of the actual pages of the magazine, used mainly as a dumping ground for favors for advertisers and leftover stories. Right?"
Fast paced fun book about a young tech-savvy (and evil) editor at a fashion magazine trying to steal the show from her 42 year old "dinosaur" of a boss.
Readers are meant to sympathize with the dinosaur and that was easy for me since I am even older than her and have actually had more than one conversation recently wondering exactly what is the point of Instagram anyway?
Filled with fun characters and while the plot is completely predictable it was still a worthwhile use of time.
Just not as funny as I'd hoped but I did love Imogen... unfortunately I related way more than what was comfortable. It wasn't the typical chick lit read for me... rather a bit of a mirror underscoring the 'ageism' plaguing some industries... heck, maybe most industries today.
I won't make this post about millennials vs. Gen Xers, but there was a lot of sad truth in this book that kept me from truly enjoying it. Mostly I was glad to see the happy ending, but in the real world, these kinds of endings are far more unlikely.
From the reviews and the front flap, I expected a fun beach read about the fashion/magazine business but this story was so much more. As a working woman who is on the cusp of retirement, I cringed along with the heroine and and cheered for her at the end. It was a clear statement about having values in the workplace....AND a fun beach read!
Surprisingly a new breath of fresh air in the tired cliched world of chick-lit. Our heroine is fantastically relatable! Think: What would it be like if the roles of Miranda Priestly and Andrea Sachs were reversed? Tech mishaps, weddings, well-rounded family support; all that and more.
Unterhaltsame Story voller Intrigen, Follower und Erfahrung. Das Ganze hat was von "Der Teufel trägt Prada", nur andersrum.
Wenn ich groß bin, will ich so sein wie Imogen. Die ist sympathisch, lustig und liebenswert. Ist erfolgreich aber bodenständig, bringt Karriere und Familie zusammen und gibt nicht auf. Vollkommen überfordert mit Technologie und Digitalisierung, lässt sich aber darauf ein, entwickelt sich konstant und lernt dazu.
Eve dagegen ist der digitale Albtraum. Unangenehm, hinterhältig, falsch und egozentrisch. Mit ihrer narzisstischen Art ist sie so überheblich und denkt sie wüsste sowieso alles besser, so dass sie es nicht nötig hat von den Erfahrenen zu lernen. Die erfüllt wirklich jedes Mode-Mädchen-Klischee.
Imogen ist Chefredakteurin bei Glossy. Als sie nach ihrem "Sabbatical", das in Wahrheit lange Krebsbehandlungen waren, zurück ist, erkennt sie ihr Magazin aber nicht wieder. Alles ist anders, alles ist online und ihre Assistentin Eve hat die Führung übernommen.
Klar ist es unglaubwürdig, dass die erfolgreiche Chefredakteurin, mit Anfang 40, die mitten in Manhattan wohnt, deren Mann Anwalt ist und deren Teenie-Tochter bloggt, so absolut keine Ahnung vom Internet hat. Vieles ist übertrieben und das Ende ist auch so in der Art abzusehen.
Klar Social Media hat die Welt, und vor allem die Art der Interaktion, verändert, ist aber nicht automatisch schlecht. Aber gerade die überzogene Darstellung macht es so unterhaltsam. Und auch die Darstellungen der Modeszene, sind entweder so nah dran oder so überzogen, dass es trotzdem immer lustig ist.
Right, first of there is one great big obvious comparison that I'll need to discuss before I go any further and that is Techbitch and it's similarity to the Devil wears Prada. Yes they are both set in the glossy world of fashion magazines and yes they feature bitches but Techbitch makes Miranda Priestly look like a Sunday School teacher.
I love this book by the way, it can do no wrong, in fact it is so wonderful I have even learnt some stuff from it, like it mentions a great website called codeacademy where a humble beginner can learn to code HTML and CSS and all those other weird bloggy things that have funny names.
Anyhoo I am veering of course, Techbitch is the story of Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief of fashion bible Glossy, well at least she thought she was. She has been away from work for six months following treatment for breast cancer, she is back and she wants to work.
The offices she enters are alien to what she remembers, familiar faces are gone replaced by much younger ones and in her chair sits an old assistant of hers, Eve Morton who was the best assistant Imogen ever had but is about to become Imogen's worst nightmare.
Glossy is no longer going to be a print magazine, it is going to be an app, a website, an all singing and dancing hot bed of fashion and gossip - 24 hours a day.
Imogen can only just use her iPhone and now she is faced with learning all about social media and the circus that goes with it, but she feels like a dinosaur, Eve is who is in charge of the whole thing is young (and obnoxious), tech savvy and has gone from sweet assistant to megalomaniac bitch.
Techbitch charts Imogen's return to Glossy and it's transformation from mag to app, it also shows wonderfully Imogen as she learns to tweet (with funny consequences), becomes the queen of Instagram and starts to become savvy with all the techno-babble associated with the tech world.
Imogen is also a mother and wife, there are no extramarital affairs, she is very happily marred with a young family in a wonderfully lavish house in NYC, but she feels the constant guilt that I am sure all mothers feel when they have to work late or put their jobs ahead of their family. She feels it the most when her daughter starts to receive bullying messages on her Facebook page - is technology as wonderful as it is made out to be.
Imogen really is pure class, despite everything she remains dignified despite wanting to take Eve and strangle her. Eve is another story, it is magnificent to watch her go from enthusiastic employee to crazy-ass-psycho-bridezilla-boss in a matter of months, her idea of leadership involves working 24 hour days, demeaning people and teaching them how to do the Single Ladies dance whether they like it or not, she is a scheming bitch, a social climber and you really want her to trip and fall from a great height.
This a wonderful read, it shows women at their best and definitely at their worst, it is full of wonderful supporting characters and really helpful tips too!
If you loved the Devil wears Prada, read this, If you have any interest in fashion magazines, read this, if you love the whole Silicon Valley techno world, read this.
If you want a story that makes you laugh, cry and want to push a character under a bus, then read this!
Thank you Penguin - Michael Joseph for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
Really 4.5 but I decided to round up for the star rating because I really really enjoyed reading this book!!
For some reason, even though I'm a millennial and a self-published author whose career is totally thanks to the tech movement, I found myself completely identifying with Imogen! I love technology. I can't imagine my life right now without a cell phone, without Google maps, without Facebook, without digital cameras, heck without Candy Crush, and especially without my self-publishing startup platforms like Smashwords and the whole host of people I work with every week whose careers wouldn't be possible without the internet! But still, nothing bothers me more than when people can't take a break for an hour to live life with the people around them! I hate when I get dinner with a friend and he or she is on a cell phone half of the time, or when I used to work in an office and had to email the girl in the cubicle next to mine because it was odd to just walk ten feet to ask someone else a question in person! Some things were better before the tech boom, and even I, someone who grew up in the prime of the internet age, can't follow what apps are hot, what's new, what's coming! That whole aspect of the book as Imogen questions all of these apps, adjusts to life in the tech age, and questions all the younger people around her who don't know a different life was fantastic!! I LOVED it!! And I found myself cheering for her, especially when she found Instagram!
I also loved the industry side -- I think maybe because I worked for a magazine and a I worked for an online website, and while the two worlds can be merged, I personally find the magazine work to be of a much higher quality and loved the time spent crafting a monthly issue, rather than the sometimes half hour that went into the next article to feed the daily traffic level that needed to be met! I'm more of a fan of the old world in that regard, at least with magazines and more image related mediums! (One exception in my mind is blogs run by passionate individuals -- they do a great job at merging these two worlds I think, sometimes much better than the big corporate websites, because there is an artistic passion behind all the posts that can be lost in the corporate setting)
Imogen was a strong character who I cheered for! Her struggles with health, her passion for her children, her love of her job -- I adored her! And I sort of liked the juxtaposition of the editor in chief being the nice one and the new up in comer being the evil boss, a new age Devil Wears Prada!
Eve was the only character that sort of brought the book down a slight notch, keeping it from a true 5-star in my book! I just found her to be a little too caricature-ish at times and a little too unrealistic, but not enough to really take away from the reading experience!
Highly recommended, especially to people like me who enjoy reading about the behind the scenes of the fashion and print world!
I absolutely loved this book even though I spent most of the time I was reading wanting to slap the crap out of Eve. What a horrible, horrible person she is. If she spent as much time working on her app as she did trying to undermine others. It may of worked. But then again, nah, it was all about her. I have never seen such an egotistical person in all my life, well ...
I felt so sorry for Imogene and knew exactly how she felt. At my last job, I was supposed to train this brand new college graduate as my replacement when I moved to another job. The kid never took notes or anything. Thought he knew it all already. Needless to say, his arse was kicked out the door.
This book really brought out the emotions in me and that's what I like about reading a book for entertainment. I want to feel something, whether good, bad, amused, sad, or downright pissed. This one both amused and pissed me off. A great read I definitely recommend. FIVE stars BOOYAH!!!!
Thank you Doubleday Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this thoroughly entertaining e-galley!
Imogen has took time out of her work due to an illness, she is a magazine editor the best of the best! When she comes back after 6 months everything has changed. The staff, the world, literally everyhing has gone digital. She finds herself drowning in # selfies, status updating and also finds herself up against Eve her old assistant who now is a tech bitch. Eve was a horrible person but I enjoyed her character so much, she literally didn't give a damn what anyone thought or about anyone. She was the baddy we can't help but love, but at the same time your really rooting for Imogen. Really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down, I had to know what Eve would do next and how Imogen would respond (always dignified). I actually wanted to shake her at times which shows how drawn into the book I was. would love a sequel