Washington Square Press, 6/4/2013
Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, cousins Logan and Kelsey Wade were raised like sisters. Rarely separated, they became each other’s lifelines, escaping into the small joys of childhood to survive the increasing chaos in their family.
Then one day Logan woke up and Kelsey and her parents were gone.
Years later, Kelsey has been propelled by her relentless parents to mega-stardom, her voice a radio fixture and her face on billboards worldwide. Meanwhile, Logan is trying to carve out her own life in New York City despite the constant reminders of her cousin’s absence. Though she has long since stopped trying to solve the mystery of their last hours together, the inexplicably fractured memories haunt her.
Then on Logan’s twenty-seventh birthday, she gets the call that she’s been longing for—and dreading. Before she can second-guess herself, she’s on a plane to L.A. to reunite with Kelsey and the parents who ripped them apart, but Logan will soon learn that some family secrets are kept hidden for a reason.
Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus follows the career of Kelsey Wade through the narration of her cousin, Logan. Logan hasn't had contact with Kelsey for years and suddenly is flown out to be with Kelsey and instantly becomes her assistant. Kelsey is loosely modeled after Britney Spears - the meteoric rise to fame, dysfunctional family, controlling parents, and spectacular meltdown and fall from grace.
Between you and me, Between You and Me was all over the place and not much was good. The writing is good. McLaughlin and Kraus are good writers technically. The story itself jumped over facts and transitions that would have made the plot more credible. Why, after being estranged from her cousin and her aunt and uncle for years, would Logan, who supposedly has a MBA, drop everything to become her assistant. Why would she tolerate the treatment Michelle and Andy, her aunt and uncle, dished out to her. They are both domineering control freaks.
The bottom line is that I didn't like or connect with any of the characters and Logan's behavior, in most ways, actively annoyed me. It also reminded me why I need to stay away from chick lit. Setting the lack of morals and inability to set healthy boundaries aside, Logan's promiscuous behavior is dangerous today. I guess I'm just not going to accept that it is ever a great idea to get drunk, sleep around, and believe that you are establishing a relationship with that person.
But I did keep reading to discover what the big secret was that caused the original estrangement between Logan and Kelsey's family. Once I had that answer, truthfully I no longer cared, beyond wondering, which I had been doing long before the big reveal, why Andy was even allowed in her life. And why the media hadn't released that story years before.
Between You and Me has too many holes in the plot development and too many implausible actions by characters for me to recommend it unless you are a Britney Spears fan and want to look for the similarities between her career and Kelsey's.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Washington Square Press via Netgalley for review purposes.