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Chick lits, under normal circumstances, are not my style. However, every now and then – perhaps once a year – a shiny, girlie cover will attract my attention and I’ll feel compelled to read it, hoping it won’t disappoint. This was the case with Techbitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza.

After a six-month bout of sick leave, Imogen returns to her editorial post with Glossy magazine. However, on her first day back she discovers that the fashion magazine has taken a different direction: it is now being rebranded as Glossy.com, the new online magazine for all things fashion and beauty, updated constantly with fresh new content. On top of this, Imogen’s old assistant has taken charge of the website, and is erratic in her hiring and firing. Imogen scrabbles at the reins while she struggles to come to terms with all the unexpected changes.

I surprised myself by really enjoying this novel. The one issue I have with chick lits, particularly those based around journalist characters, is the excessive dependence on consumerism and material wealth. While this is present in abundance here, it does so in a conscious manner, offering characters who can’t afford to pay their rent in favour of new designer handbags. Most excitingly, the story pays homage to the traditional print magazine, something that is increasingly becoming extinct, and highlights the perils of a digital world that does not stop to breathe.

It is apparent that a lot of research has gone into this novel, and a lot of time has been spent to ensure that it is flooded with social media jargon, advances in technology, and forward thinking in the world of cat walks and fashion shows.

Imogen is an incredibly likeable character, and easy to agree with regarding her opinions of Eve. Techbitch itself is self aware and offers up an array of complex characters with honest emotions in real situations. I am glad that I had swept my usual thoughts about chick lits under the rug to give it a read. It is ahead of its game, very well written, and just as addictive as social media.

Written by Amy McLean

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