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Careering: 'I loved loved loved it' Marian Keyes

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She is working an unpaid internship at Panache magazine and whilst she is thankful for the opportunity, she is fed up of being given the shit jobs and earning no money whilst working pretty much full time. Instead she’s tasked with creating an online magazine aimed at young women - or ‘The Girl’ as Harri likes think of her.

If you asked me how to describe this book, I would tell you the Easiest way to do that would be its the Bold Type but in Fictional form; okay maybe it’s a little different but its set around publishing and it really does remind me of The Bold type and exploring the highs but mostly lows of writing for a Magazine. Like The Devil Wears Prada and The Pursuit of Love had a baby which was then adopted by a grittier Jilly Cooper. Exploring the exhausting push-pull of trying to pin down a career you love but that doesn't love you back, Buchanan's book is set to capture the zeitgeist as so many of us question where we're at' Stylistcareering (verb) 1.

Relatable to every woman who has been disillusioned by their toxic job and bullied by their knobhead boss. Writing her blog around double shifts at the pub is neither fulfilling her creatively nor paying the bills. And I understand that as Imogen is a sex blogger, sex has to be a vital part of her story and personality, however, I think there were times when the theme was used a little too much, getting out of place in the story and even overshadowing previous events.

After reading and completely adoring Insatiable I knew that I had to read Careering as soon as I could get my hands on it.

Especially in a particular moment when Imogen is pressured to do things that I'm sure are illegal and that unfortunately are not debated as such, just as a work “inconvenience” that soon dissipates when we know that in real life the pressures that we suffer at work can lead us to a deplorable state of mental health. Her books include the novels Insatiable (long listed for the CWIP prize), Careering (as heard on BBC Sounds), Limelight, and Pity Party, coming in July 2024.

The grind culture was celebrated as a badge of honour rather than criticised for its patriarchal and elitist nature. Maybe it's my fault for reading so many books about lost 20-somethings (don't read into this too much) but this book felt like it had been done so.She's full of determination, hopes and dreams for her future career but the late nights, an empty bank account and a rented room without a window aren't making climbing the corporate ladder particularly enjoyable.

One of the most poignant threads throughout the novel is this idea of ‘The Girl’ as someone who’s wearing designer clothes and getting regular beauty treatments, when the reality for many 18-35 year old women trying to make it in London is living in a mouldy bedsit eating beans on toast! A great exploration of relationships with ourselves, our families, our colleagues, our past and futures, our careers, our dreams, our voices. But you hear from Imogen a lot more and I didn't feel like I got to know Harri, so I'm not sure what her character's point-of-view added to the story. But don’t worry if you’re not an ambitious career woman (hi 👋), it’s still just a brilliant and often hilarious read! We are experiencing delays with deliveries to many countries, but in most cases local services have now resumed.Moreover, every side character felt like a complete caricature of what I would've imagined people in ~publishing~ and ~digital media~ to be like when I was 15. I found myself relating to some of Imogen's thought processes and difficulties, but every time I had to sit through a chapter from Harry's perspective I felt my eyes roll into the back of my head because it was so boring and so nothing. After devoting the best part of her career to Panache magazine, Harri is gutted when she doesn’t get the Editor role she’s always dreamed of. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!

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