The Regulars by Georgia Clark

In brief: Evie, Krista and Willow are three girls in their twenties in New York, each with their own issues. But when Krista receives a vial of Pretty, which has the ability to turn them into the most gorgeous versions of themselves, will it turn their fortunes around?

The good: Raw, honest and quirky – this is life how it is.

The not-so-good: Would have loved to find out exactly how Pretty worked for the scientist in me.

Why I chose it: The description of Girls meets Bridget Jones had me super excited– thanks Simon & Schuster for the ARC.

Year: 2016

Pages: 394

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Setting: New York City

My rating: 9.5 out of 10

The Regulars is a story about young women in New York –just that information alone usually has me ready to read a book. But it add a hint of fable, some OMG! moments, some painful feelings and a little purple vial that can change you into the most beautiful version of you. It’s Girls, gritty and no holds barred meets magic. It’s raw, yet sweet. The Regulars contains fantastical elements, but tells it exactly how it is to be young and female. That feeling of not quite being there yet, of having your dream life just out of your grasp.

The Regulars revolves around three girls, Evie, Krista and Willow who are…well, regular. None of supermodel gorgeous and Krista and Evie are far from their dream jobs. Willow has the seemingly perfect boyfriend, but feels she falls under the shadow of her famous father. When Krista meets a gorgeous girl in a bar after really stuffing up an audition, she’s given a vial of Pretty. One drop her acquaintance tells her, will make her gorgeous for one week. Evie thinks it’s a load of rubbish, Krista’s interested and Willow doesn’t say much until she goes to try it. Becoming pretty with Pretty certainly is not a pretty event (avoid eating during this scene). All of a sudden, Willow is transformed into a beautiful woman who even her friends don’t recognise. It doesn’t take long for Krista to follow and Evie is determined to resist. Until her dream job becomes available, where she can make the world of women’s magazines more powerful…then one drop of Pretty is practically a necessity.

The girls revel in their new found beauty – suddenly everyone wants them. Krista skyrockets into her first movie role. Evie gets her dream job. And Willow is producing powerful work. But there’s a downside too. Willow begins to test her boyfriend’s fidelity. Evie realises that she can’t change the world. Krista is getting in even more trouble than before. But what happens when people fall in love with the Pretty versions of themselves?

I loved how The Regulars examined how ordinary characters’ lives changed just by making them beautiful. I’m normally not too big on fantastical elements in a story, but Pretty worked well for me. (I would have loved the story behind how it all worked, why it was constructed etc. but I can’t have everything, just like the girls). Georgia Clark writes some incredibly funny scenes and some tender moments too. I found that I got to know Evie and Krista very well, but not so much Willow. Evie is a strong feminist, a passionate believer that she can do anything and I really warmed to her. I felt that Krista was a bit of an airhead initially, but as her feelings were revealed and she got caught in a number of crazily hilarious scrapes, I really looked forward to her scenes. Willow was more of an enigma. I didn’t feel like I knew what she really wanted (actually, I don’t think Willow knew either). She was more wispy, a mystery as to her actions.

The theme of beauty and the way society tends to look only skin deep was very well done. It’s also got very strong feminist tones, but never did it feel preachy. It’s simply part of a great story that asks you to suspend your disbelief but gives you a clear mirror of many of society’s aspects. This is definitely worth a read!

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