PLOT: 4.5/5 CHARACTERS: 4.5/5 WRITING: 4.5/5 CLIMAX: 4.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 4.5/5
I loved watching Inventing Anna on Netflix, and though I haven’t yet seen Hulu’s The Dropout when I first came across the description of the book, I just knew that I had to give it a try. Don’t get me wrong, it was definitely the gorgeous cover that got it me first, but the final blow was the blurb itself. And so, I sat down, with eager anticipation, to read Susan Rigetti’s Cover Girl.
Just amazing! The cover and the blurb get you hooked right from the very start.
Who can read?
The language isn’t too complicated and hence the book can be easily read by readers across all levels – from beginners to voracious.
What to expect?
Expect a scandalously tantalizing read that would keep you second-guessing at all times. Expect a read that would remind you of Anna Delvey from Netflix’s Inventing Anna. Expect a book that serves fashion, glamour, and the ultra-luxe in generous doses. Expect the adventurous story of a master financial scammer and con artist.
The story as it goes
Lora Ricci, a scholarship student at NYU breathes a sigh of relief after she lands the opportunity to intern at ELLE magazine. She has had a difficult year adjusting at NYU (New York University) and as a result, loses her much-coveted scholarship.
But as fate would have it, at ELLE she meets the charming and enigmatic Cat Wolff, a contributing editor who is also the rich daughter of an energy tycoon. And by rich, I mean, in your-face-filthy-rich.
Soon the two strike an uncanny friendship and Lora ends up giving up her term at NYU and dropping out to assist Cat as a ghostwriter.
They bond like besties, and it seems to Lora that the good times and luxurious life that Cat has shown her would never end.
But before she has the time to fully comprehend the extent of Cat’s riches, there start appearing cracks in Cat’s perfect demeanor and carefully curated personality. And what lurks beneath is only the deepest, darkest, shadiest version of the truth.
What strikes you as different is the unique format of writing through which the story is presented to the reader. The story is revealed through the diary entries of Lora Ricci and other people’s exchanges through emails and memos.
Just like the main character, these entries, memos, and emails keep playing hide and seek with you, confusing the reader with new information and unexpected twists at every juncture, while keeping the stakes high enough to have the reader leave everything else and pursue the mystery with a single-minded focus.
The diary of Lora Ricci
These entries which come across as innocent ramblings of an aspiring writer, serve a purpose much greater than the reader can initially fathom. Lora’s diary entries are a reflection of who she is. Ambitious, honest, ethical, eager, hardworking but flawed. They give an unfiltered peek into her innocent soul.
There is more to the storytelling than just a diary
The diary entries are not the only way the story is told. The hooks and the traps are laid through the email conversations between a brother and a sister. And no, these aren’t glaring testimonies to the joys of familial bonding, but an indication of the extent to which a top-notch financial swindler has laid her trap. These emails talk about various transactions that take place in the dubious world of fake news, fake social media followers, high profile and anonymous bitcoin transactions, and forged personal and financial documents.
Some conversations take place between Cat and financial institutions and Cat and the hotel staff. Another conversation that conveys the story takes place between the agents of the FBI office and an employee of the ELLE magazine whose rising suspicion about a member of her team calls for the agent’s attention toward something dark and sinister that lurks behind the carefully curated façade of the Austrian business heiress Cat Wolff.
Something off about Cat
It is through these exchanges that you get to know that there is something definitely fishy about the charismatic and diva-like beauty. But what it is and how it will fare out for Lora is something that the reader keeps worrying about right till the end.
The characters are something. Since the story revolves around Lora and Cat, it is only fair to discuss them with maximum focus on their association. Firstly, what comes around as most shocking is that they are two very different individuals. There is nothing remotely similar about them, and yet the two make a good pair. Yes, there is most likely an underlying motive, but in the most carefree of moments, the two share an inspiring bond.
Two, both are very good at confusing themselves, and also confusing the readers. And let me warn you, they both will stay with you for a long-long time.
Entertainment and climax
The book is a unique take on the Anna Delvey story. It surely takes a whole lot of inspiration from it. But what the author weaves in the end, elevates the original story to a whole new level. With a book like this one, one surely can never get enough. The climax is also way better than what one would expect. It shocks and surprises you, questioning everything that you have read so far.
In the end
Cover Story is a massive entertainer in the female crime fiction and financial scam sub-genre. The story is fast, the narration taut, the writing inventive, and the characters are oh-so-shocking. The overall effect is a hundred percent entertainment which once picked would be difficult to put down.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Cover Story using the link below.