“Last Night at Chateau Marmont” – Lauren Weisberger

I have read three of Lauren Weisberger’s books and though she may not pen the Great American novel, she certainly knows how to capture the essence of pop culture–particularly that of high society, celebrities, and fashion. Best known for “Devil Wears Prada,” I think this book captured my attention even more than her most popular work. I ordered it on i-tunes before a long trip and though I did not have to go anywhere to acquire the book (i.e. crazy Woodruff Road traffic to find my way to Barnes and Noble), I will not be using i-tunes for book listening again.

<<Just a word to the wise, i-tunes audiobooks (at least this one) keep track of chapters in a weird way and I kept losing my place if stopped the story to listen to music — that is very frustrating when trying to follow a story! >>

Anyway, this was a story that absolutely changed my perspective on certain aspects of celebrity. The book tells the story of a struggling New York couple — Brooke and Julian Alter. Julian is an aspiring musician and Brooke is supporting his efforts to “make it big” through her two jobs as a dietitian. As you might guess, Julian does make it big and “Last Night at Chateau Marmont” basically tells the story of the way a young, normal couple handle the fame and international media attention associated with becoming a star.

Much of the focus of the story is the way the tabloids and media industry encroach on any possibility of a normal life. When I read about those parts of the story, I immediately chided myself for following certain unnamed entities on twitter and for even caring what stars actually have a little bit of cellulite and who is dating/breaking up with/cheating on whom. As I said before, I developed a strong feeling of sympathy for the celebrities in our world. They sacrifice privacy, genuine relationships, and sometimes even love to become famous. And that is sad to me.

As I was listening to the story and crossing my fingers that Julian would treat Brooke right, I became immediately thankful for my quiet life where I can go from place to place under most anyone’s radar. I also thought more about the way celebrities are forced by the public to essentially look perfect and beautiful all the time. What kind of pressure and what kind of life would that be?

In closing, this was a great little chick lit book and I would recommend it to any lady traveling or looking for a mindless book to get lost in for a while. It will make you think, though, and make you thankful for the simple lives we get to live.

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