“The Knockoff” Review #BirchboxBookClub

I somehow missed my notification that I had been picked for the April Birchbox Book Club, and so I was quite surprised when a heavy package arrived at my door! I still haven’t started reading the March Book Club selection yet, and so I decided that I needed to start reading The Knockoff immediately to have the best chance of starting it at all.’

It arrived on a Monday, I first cracked it open that afternoon, and I finished reading it very late on that same day. It was interesting in a way that I just couldn’t put down!

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The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, tells the story of fashion magazine Editor in Chief Imogen Tate, who returns from a break from work to find her former assistant making some big changes to her magazine. Namely, she is turning Imogen’s beloved Glossy into Glossy.com, an online-only app.

I thought the premise was really great, and also original. While this book could be compared to The Devil Wears Prada at first glance, it’s actually the opposite — a younger woman usurping an older one to revolutionize the fashion industry. This leads to a lot of interesting questions and conflicts. As a young woman myself, it was thought-provoking to be in Imogen’s point of view and start to understand her struggles and see her perspective on my generation. It also made me think about the integration of technology into the fashion industry, and consider the vast possibilities that exist when technology enters any new sector.

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On a different note, I think that Imogen is quite the role model. In this character, the authors have created someone who is very classy and poised, but also very human. I love that we get to see Imogen in so many different spheres: in her element at a classic fashion show, struggling in the tech world, as a friend, as a mother, as a wife. Although Imogen’s the main character, there are also a couple chapters from other characters’ points of view to give you a glimpse into their minds.

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I liked the writing style well enough — it was quite different from everything else I’ve been reading recently. I especially liked the use of invented vocabulary to keep the novel feeling both current and set ever-so-slightly in the future. Twitter exists, but so do Buzz and TechBlab. Because so much work was put into blending present and future, part of me wishes that the dates in which the story occurs (August 2015-2016) hadn’t been given so that it could keep that today/future feel beyond next year.

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I really enjoyed reading The Knockoff. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s into fashion or media, who’s interested in the way technology can impact an industry, or who just wants a modern, fast-paced read!

It’s a little thick for a summer beach read, but if you have room in your bag, or are staying at home, I say go for it!

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What are you reading right now?

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