Friday, March 10, 2017

Book Review: All That Glitters by Liza Treviño

Book Title: All That Glitters - A Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams

Author: Liza Treviño

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Koehler Books
Published Date: March 1, 2017

There are many books out there where the lure of Hollywood pulls a girl to the ultimate glamour destination where she arrives with dreams which are systematically shattered by the ugly truth. The girl may or may not get to taste success but she uncovers and lives the compromises while she becomes an actress. Sex, Lies, Drugs and a fake façade for a personality is what becomes of the character.

‘All That Glitters: A tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams’ promises all that directly through the title and doesn’t disappoint. Alex, our protagonist, along with Elly, her friend, encounter plenty of sex in the story. And that includes plenty of partners. Drugs are a part of story but they are just part of the scenery, hardly playing a role unlike sex which seems to drive the story forward in many places. And yes, our protagonist is not in for the glamour business to become an actress. Her dreams are behind the camera.

I lost count of how many men Alex has sex with. Sometimes out of attraction, sometimes just randomly for a one-night stand or to spite someone else. Personally, I found that very disturbing.

Alex comes out as a very strong character from the very start of the story. Incidentally, I was half way through the book on women’s day (8th March) and could relate to the strength of the character (but definitely not with her sex life).  But as the story moved into the last 25%, Alex seemed to have lost it. She becomes a sex slave to an obnoxious guy (whom she has earlier rejected … establishing her strength of character). She then becomes very successful.

At the end, I was wondering if the guy used the protagonist as his sex slave OR did she use him to become successful; compromising with his demands and becoming his sex slave willingly out of necessity rather than choice. The story does seem to show it as her choice which she questions herself.

There is no black or white or gold or yellow in the story. It is all a gray mess. It is extremely complicated. The characters are complicated (but pretty much real) and so are their thoughts and responses to situations. There is also a mess and mesh of relationships between the different characters and you have a tough time imagining how the other person would react.

It is a well written book. Easy to read, with a gentle flow albeit with a few surprises and climactic points.

But a book that is definitely difficult to rate. I don’t know whether I like the story or not. I don’t know whether I like Alex or not. I don’t know whether to sympathize with her or to hate/dislike her. All because I don’t understand Alex.

And that my friend is what is the absolute truth about Life.

People are not predictable. Not simple. They are complicated and they respond and behave in unpredictable ways. You prefer and like the predictable. The unpredictable can be fun but is not sustainable. You cant live with or like the unpredictability for long.

Liza Trevino has done a splendid job of capturing some sense of this unpredictability in her story.

I will leave a rating of 3/5 to this story – not because it is average. But because, I am not able to digest the character of Alex.

Book Review Courtesy: b00k r3vi3w Tours  Website * Facebook * Twitter

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