Title: Last Night at Chateau Marmont
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Publisher: Atria (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: August 17, 2010
Last Night at Chateau Marmont was a fairly straightforward novel about the effects of celebrity on a marriage. By straightforward I mean that the plot followed the typical formula (not a bad thing) of a woman who marries a man, he shoots to stardom, it's fun until they realize the negative aspects of said stardom, rumors start circulating in the tabloids, and they reap the consequences of said benefits. Last night didn't have any crazy twists but was, rather, a typical chick lit that I really enjoyed reading. For a moment I worried about the direction of the book and how I would like it, but I ended up being happy with where it ultimately went. I read this during my vacation in North Carolina and all I wanted to do the whole time there was return to the story!
This book was also a great representation of New York City. I felt like through the actions of the characters, I was given quite the immersion into the city. I felt like I was right there alongside Brooke Alter in the beginning as she follows Julian, local singer/songwriter/musician, around to all the NYC dive bars for his gigs. Eventually they meet and marry. The book opens up to when they've been married for five years. Brooke is working two jobs to support her musician husband but feels no resentment as she is genuinely passionate about her career. Brooke and Julian seem like the perfect couple.
One of the things that impressed me was that the author was given 300-400 pages to illustrate the jump start of a career and then show the slow disintegration of the marriage. Lauren Weisberger paced it so well that I never felt things were unnecessarily rushed. Sure, you might have to suspend belief slightly at how fast the jump to stardom, but even that didn't come off as far-fetched.
I've read throughout the blogosphere regarding other readers who intensely dislike reading about affairs or any type of cheating. While I won't go into how this relates completely, there is talk and mention of it in this book that might make those readers feel uncomfortable. However, this concept was vital to the plot... if you pay any attention to the tabloids, pop culture, celebrity entertainment, then I'm sure you would understand that it shouldn't be skipped over in this story because temptation abounds in the land of celebrity for sure!
In all, Last Night at Chateau Marmont was a fairly typical chick lit story, but one that engaged me and had me returning for more. About three quarters through the book the tension rose and I had conflicted feelings, but that was right on cue for the pacing. And though I worried about where it was going, I have to say I really enjoyed the ending. But bet that will be a hot point for many readers to debate! Recommended for readers who enjoy chick lit and/or have enjoyed Weisberger's previous books.