Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler
Published by: Simon Pulse on July 19, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Plot: Meet Harper Anderson. Talented writer, but clueless about boys and dating, which is not really a big deal… unless you are Shift’s newest summer intern and dating blogger.
Review: Let me just put some little pros and cons right here for you:
- Laura Stampler has talent. While this might be Stampler’s first book, it’s pretty obvious that she is a pro writer. The pace and structure Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies are spot on. On a technical level, Stampler is aces.
- The characters and setting feel authentic. It isn’t easy to tap into that otherworldly essence of “teen authenticity” that can make or break a YA, but Stampler does it. However fantastical the situation is (Harper magically has a super-rich pseudo-aunt to shack up with and swath her in couture to help her acclimate to her new surroundings? Yeahhh…), the characters still felt real enough to invest in. Weird insecurities and awkward adolescent moments? Check! Teen snark? Nailed it! Peer pressure? You know it. It’s all there and seems plausible.
- Pug Prom. It’s a real thing. I googled it. Bless you, Laura Stampler for enlightening me. It’s pugtastic.
- It’s been done to death. It hurts me to say this, but Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies felt like so much of what has come before. Imagine that you take The Devil Wears Prada, Ugly Betty, and Gossip Girl and put them in a blender. Pour that into a big ol’ cup of The Carrie Diaries, and voila, you have this book. I don’t mind seeing the same basic formula used, but what really hurt my heart was the lack of something, anything I just didn’t see any original content that would set it apart from similar titles.
- It needs more substance. The whole book revolves around Harper trying to figure herself, her new job, and her moral compass. She comes across as an intelligent, thoughtful, and spirited young woman. For the love of Ben & Jerry’s why does she not see how this will all turn out? I get it, she’s young and wonderstruck by her surroundings, but if one thing didn’t feel quite right, it was her blindness towards Carter Bosh. Like, girl, get it together.
- The ending is too neat. I get that readers want closure and fairytale ending, but this one just rings a little too sweet and neat for my reading pallet.
My feels: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies is one of those quick, guilty pleasure reads. I liked it well enough, even with its minor flaws. Overall, if you don’t take the book too seriously, it’s a nice little summer read.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: If you are looking for a light read with a little Mean Girls flavor, this might do the trick.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*