#BookReview: I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland

i'll eat when i'm deadSummary:

Every weekday morning, as the sun rose above Sixth Avenue, a peerless crop of women-frames poised, behavior polished, networks connected, and bodies generally buffed to a high sheen-were herded by the cattle prod of their own ambition to one particular building. They’re smart, stylish, and sophisticated, even the one found dead in her office.

When stylish Hillary Whitney dies alone in a locked, windowless conference room at the offices of RAGE Fashion Book, her death is initially ruled an unfortunate side effect of the unrelenting pressure to be thin. But Hillary’s best friend and fellow RAGE editor Catherine Ono knows her friend’s dieting wasn’t a capital P problem. If beauty could kill, it’d take more than that.

When two months later, a cryptic note in Hillary’s handwriting ends up in the office of the NYPD and the case is reopened, Det. Mark Hutton is led straight into the glamorous world of RAGE and into the life of hot-headed and fiercely fabulous Cat, who insists on joining the investigation. Surrounded by a supporting cast of party girls, Type A narcissists and half- dead socialites, Cat and her colleague Bess Bonner are determined to solve the case and achieve sartorial perfection. But their amateur detective work has disastrous results, and the two ingénues are caught in a web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that changes their lives forever.

Viciously funny, this sharp and satirical take on the politics of women’s bodies and women’s work is an addictive debut novel that dazzles with style and savoire faire.


For some reason, I really wanted to like this book. Even though the beginning started off slow for me, I tried convincing myself not to give up and to stay invested. I liked the idea of following women who worked for a fashion magazine, but it was quickly evident that they weren’t going to be my cup of tea. I held on until about halfway through, but the chapters seemed to drag on and there were so many unnecessary plot points that I had to start speed reading. The ending seemed a bit all over the place and it was just too hard to like any of the characters and to really focus on any particular storyline due to the frenzied writing. Interesting premise, but overall fell flat for me.

2 stars

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