Review Blog

Apr 01 2014

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

cover image

Angus and Robertson, 2014. ISBN: 9780732297053.
Themes: Careers - Fashion industry, Romance, Coming of Age/ Maturity, Self-image, Eating disorders. The Devil Wears Prada meets The Ugly Duckling in this Coming of Age story of the young Journalism student who wins an internship at a Fashion Magazine. The book reveals the transformation of Josie from the socially and romantically awkward A-grade student with a recognised flair with words, to a confident wordsmith who makes the most of her least desired placement at the city Fashion Magazine office. Her lack of social and fashion sense, her family distress, and a couch-surfing stay with a cousin and his dreamy flat-mate give this story a youthful sense of fun and exploration of life as an 18 year old. The interview she wins with a high profile boy band star and the subsequent articles she writes about him launch her into the spotlight. This attention also creates problems, with significant repercussions when things unravel in the social media spotlight after a drunken night out at a nightclub. Friendships that wax and wane, and form and reform, are woven into Josie's story of discovering who she is, what she wants and who she wants to share her life with. There is a 'happy ever after' feel to the book, with many loose ends getting tied into overly neat bows.
This is a story that will be enjoyed by teen girls who are impressed by the Romantic Comedy genre. Josie is not from the 'In Crowd', so this may connect to the young reader or aspiring writer who may have felt exclusion or has under-valued their own strengths. This is not a complex story, and although the teenage behaviour described is not always pure in its focus and interests, in comparison to many books written about this age group, it is somewhat naive and restrained (but not completely so).
The Intern also gives insights into Magazine culture and the beauty industry, and the sometimes damaging effects of self-image issues for many young women.
Carolyn Tull

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