Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hot Mess: Summer in the City

Hot Mess: Summer in The City- Julie Kraut and Shallon Lester

Emma Freeman can not wait to have start her last summer of high school. She has been looking forward to life guarding with her boyfriend of officially 9 and a half months, Brian, who just graduated from high school. Things start off rough from the beginning, and Emma realizes that he summer may not live up to her expectations. When Brian goes away for 3 days to college orientation, Emma doesn’t receive a phone call or any responses to her texts and messages. When Emma finally gets an answer on his phone, it isn’t him. It is some college girl, talking about how Brian was “all tied up” at the moment. 

Heartbroken, Emma knew she couldn’t stay upstate in Bridgefield, NY all summer, so she decided to take action into her own hands. Her father had been pushing an internship in The City, so Emma decided that she was going to go. She had no idea what it was, but she knew it couldn’t be worse than life guarding with Brian. She finally convinced her best friend Rachel to come with her. Even though Rachel was looking forward to her Jewish Summer Camp job, she figured a summer in The City would be a lot better.

The girls think this summer will be glamorous and fun, yet they have no idea what they are getting into. Their parent’s have given them enough rent money for each person to pay 800 dollars a month, and then also enough for a hotel room for a few nights. Emma decides that she would be the one to take the initiative to find a few apartments to look at the next day. They feel that it won’t be as hard as people seem to make it out to be, but they learn that all the good ones have a catch. After two days of hell, Emma and Rachel were thinking about giving up, but then they decided to go to one more. And that was how they ended up with Jayla, a Manhattan socialite who probably hasn’t worked a day in her life.

After they move in, Emma and Rachel begin their jobs. At first, Rachel doesn’t know what to expect at her internship for a feminist online magazine, because she thinks it will be overrun with lesbians. And Emma realizes that she doesn’t know the first thing about what MediaInc actually is. And to top it all off, her boss, Derek is a complete nut. He raps to bad 90s music, harasses Emma, and insists on being called Dorfman.

When they are not working, Emma thinks this will be a great bonding time with Rachel, but soon Rachel has been taken over by online dating and she can’t hang out with Jayla, because she is always partying. The one time Emma actually goes out with Jayla, she meets this adorable guy named Colin. Emma lies to him and tells him that she is actually out of college, thinking that she will never see the guy again. Needless to say, Colin actually works for MediaInc, and things go haywire from the start. She spends her day trying to hide from him, or at least trying for him not to find out she’s actually an 18 year old high school intern.

This book is the perfect summer read. The authors show the realities of The City. It allows the readers to imagine the “perfect” summer, and also allows the readers to live vicariously through the lives of Emma, Rachel and Jayla. There were a few little things that bothered me, but most of the time I enjoyed it completely. I was always anxious to see what would come next, and to see the next guy Jayla would bring home. It kept me on my feet and kept me entertained, exactly what I was looking for in a summer read.

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