Anya St. Clair is, like so many others in the fashion industry, incredibly stressed out. Her boss keeps telling her to lose weight, even though she’s only a size 6, an internet troll keeps commenting on all her blog posts, and her work BFF keeps saying “we’re not friends” “you’re a sad pathetic loser” “write all my articles for me”, whatever that means. Sarah’s so funny.
Between green juice cleanses and putting together photoshoots, Anya has to figure out how to beat Sarah out for this promotion while simultaneously making sure that Sarah likes her and relies on her. Sometimes the easiest way to do that… has some collateral damage. In the form of bodies.
I picked this up because I saw the author, Amina Akhtar, tweet about a manuscript she’s querying about “white women using brown cultures and bodies for wellness” set in Sedona, Arizona. And, well, I’m a big fan of the subversion of Gothic and horror-mystery tropes to talk about white occupation and exploitation. But that doesn’t have a release date yet! So I figured I’d start with this one.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first; the main character isn’t exactly clearheaded so her thought process is a little hard to follow. But once I got used to it, I really sunk into the world. You can tell Akhtar used to work in fashion.
It’s a little gory, but those parts are pretty easily skimmable if you’re squeamish. It’s filled with satire and WTF-moments and overall engaging! I’d recommend it if you like lighter suspense — it’s not particularly twisty, but it does keep you turning the pages.