Brooke loved reading the dishy celebrity gossip rag Last Night. That is, until her marriage became a weekly headline.Review:
Brooke was drawn to the soulful, enigmatic Julian Alter the very first time she heard him perform "Hallelujah" at a dark East Village dive bar.
Now five years married, Brooke balances two jobs—as a nutritionist at NYU Hospital and as a consultant to an Upper East Side girls' school, where privilege gone wrong and disordered eating run rampant—in order to help support her husband's dream of making it in the music world.
Things are looking up when after years of playing Manhattan clubs and toiling as an A&R intern, Julian finally gets signed by Sony. Although no one's promising that the album will ever hit the airwaves, Julian is still dedicated to logging in long hours at the recording studio. All that changes after Julian is asked to perform on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno—and is catapulted to stardom, literally overnight. Amazing opportunities begin popping up almost daily—a new designer wardrobe, a tour with Maroon 5, even a Grammy performance.
At first the newfound fame is fun—who wouldn't want to stay at the Chateau Marmont or visit the set of one of television's hottest shows? Yet it seems that Brooke's sweet husband—the man who can't handle hot showers and wears socks to bed—is increasingly absent, even on those rare nights they're home together. When rumors about Brooke and Julian swirl in the tabloid magazines, she begins to question the truth of her marriage and is forced to finally come to terms with what she thinks she wants—and what she actually needs.
I have seen the movie version of The Devil Wears Prada several times, but not until Last Night at Chateau Marmont, had I actually read a book by Lauren Weisberger. Luckily, Last Night at Chateau Marmont seems to have been the perfect place to start, as it the pure example of the ultimate guilty pleasure read. Filled with romance, drama, and even some heart at its core, there was not a moment where I could not be found eagerly flipping the pages, dying to know what would occur next.
For Brooke and her husband Julian, fame was only something they could dream or read about. Because while Julian has the voice of a god, his musician dreams seem to be going nowhere quickly, this is why Brooke has been supporting him for the past few years. Working two jobs, whilst Julian works on his latest album, Brooke does not complain much, because if anyone is her husband’s biggest supporter it would be her. Surprisingly enough Julian’s latest song sky rockets. Suddenly Julian is everyone… on TV, at the Grammys. However, at the same time Julian and Brooke’s personal life is splashed on every tabloid as well, and while Julian tells Brooke nothing will change, everything quickly comes to a halt when her husband is caught up in one big scandal, a scandal that could mean the end of their marriage as they know it. Will they be able to pull through it, or will they become yet another Hollywood cliché? Rich yet broken and alone? Only time and more pages call tell in this scandalous, name-dropping read that will have nearly any reader wondering about (and possibly rooting for) Brooke and Julian every step of the way.
Throughout Last Night at Chateau Marmont, I was constantly torn between liking and disliking Brooke for a variety of reasons, because while I loved Brooke’s dedication to her husband, friends, family and jobs, at the same time, I couldn’t always understand why she complained and bickered instead of voicing her concerns about Julian and their new lifestyle together. However, by the end of the book, I do have to say I enjoyed following her story, because she was a sweet girl deep down, who learned many lessons throughout. My favorite character in the whole thing would have to Nola, however, because even though Nola was a secondary character, she nearly always managed to steal the show with her personality and ways.
My favorite part of the novel, though, was the premise and more importantly the execution of the said ideas. It isn’t often you get to see what happens to a couple once one of them hits star status, and because of that and the compelling way in which Lauren told the story, I ate it all up. It was fun seeing all the twists and turns that occurred in Julian and Brooke’s relationship and lives, and I especially loved how with that, Lauren brought more heart and questions to the story. I also enjoyed the secondary focus on Brooke’s career as a nutritionist at a school, because it always brought more development to her character.
Weisberger’s writing was also easy to get lost in as well, because while Last Night at Chateau Marmont isn’t the best or most well written book out there, Lauren still certainly knows how to keep a reader entertained for an hour or two.
Sweet, fast paced, and romantic, Last Night at Chateau Marmont is a perfect beach read, and even better, it is now in available paperback!
Last Night at Chateau Marmont is now out in paperback!
Source: Publicist at Simon and Schuster- thanks Cristina!
Lauren Weisberger on Last Night at Chateau Marmont: