Wednesday, 16 May 2018


I think it’s time for me to focus on 2015 THE KNOCKOFF (called TECHBITCH in the UK) by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza via Doubleday. Last year I gave their second work FITNESS JUNKIE an outstanding review and I remember promising myself that I would get to their first novel ASAP. Problem was my shelves were and still are so filled with unread books that I completely forgot about it. Cut to a few weeks later during my hard-earned vacation overseas and what do you know, the book cover is staring at my face. So of course I buy the thing and I dig right in. Suffice to say I’m far from being disappointed. In fact, I’m ecstatic and here’s why. 

Just like in FITNESS JUNKIE, the main character in THE KNOCKOFF is a likable one. She’s a 40 year old cancer survivor whose world as an editor in chief for a renowned fashion magazine in New York is turned upside down when she is forced to share her position with a twentysomething former assistant now internet wizard. Imagine a spoiled child turned adult and you get a pretty good idea what that character is like. She claims she can bring the magazine into the 21st century of digital craze—to the expense of our heroine who not only feels threatened by her but who also has to learn the tricks of the cyber trade to survive this merger of technique and creativity. In comes a series of situations so wacky and humiliating that the idea of her quitting and owning a dream house in New Orleans becomes more and more tempting. That in a gist is the premise of this firecracker of a novel. Of course there is more to it than the work place, like family and the cyber bullying of her pre-teen daughter or the fear of facing cancer again…  All told with pizzazz and a habit of making the readers turn the pages very quickly. 

I found myself smiling often enough while investing myself in this novel. The central character is sure relatable and the way she’s thrown into the swing of things makes for a fresh and satisfying read. I got to admit that the plot, while always interesting, has a tendency to feel like a cumulation of events more than anything else but, like in FITNESS JUNKIE, it works perfectly well with the theme of the story. I plan on continuing following the journey of these talented authors, whether a solo act or partners in crime. They sure have this je-ne-sais-quoi to render anything worth checking out.

You can still catch this title wherever digital or non-digital books are sold.

Until next post—Martin 

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