Learn from Smart Women

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I’ll be  the first to admit — as much as I wish I hated reality TV, I really, REALLY love it.  I mean, what’s better than coming home, grabbing some chips and guac, and unwinding to the tune of ‘Literally Kim, you’re being so rude’ or ‘designers, make it work?'  But when your brain starts turning into mush and your biggest concern in life is whether or not Blac Chyna and Rob will produce another aptly named heir to the Kardashian throne (seriously though, they better use a K name), it’s probably time to try to get your drama-fix elsewhere...at least that’s what I told myself when this exact thing happened to me.  So, I went on a quest to find some fun, girly reads that could rival the likes of Real Housewives, WAGS, or even Gossip Girl.  Trust me, these books will have you wanting to stay inside all day just to find out what happens (with a pint of ice cream, of course).


Purchase Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell here!

1) Tales From the Back Row by Amy Odell

Amy Odell, author of the bible (aka editor of Cosmopolitan.com), narrates this hilarious take on what it’s like to climb to the top of the fashion ladder through a series of sarcastic and witty personal anecdotes that are as fascinating as they are touching.  As Amazon so aptly put it, ‘As she describes the allure of Alexander Wang’s ripped tights and Marchesa’s Oscar-worthy dresses, Amy layers in something else: how the fashion industry is an exaggerated mirror of human fallibility—reflecting our desperate desire to belong, to make a mark.’  By the end of the book, you will have laughed, felt inspired, and had moments of self-reflection that leave you with a whole new take on the fashion world and the real world, too.

2) Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Through relatable moments that will hit every 20-something ~right in the feels~ Jennifer Close narrates the lives of three young girls looking to find love, career success, and themselves.  Whether it be dating boys they don’t like that much, working jobs they know are going nowhere, or attending weddings of girls they aren’t always happy for, the wry humor of the day-to-day events these girls encounter provides a backdrop for the overall purpose of the book: a fresh, introspective look into what it’s really like to maintain solid friendships and a sense of self in your young-adult city-living years.  You will finish the book feeling remarkably close to the characters, and wondering how Jennifer Close managed to provide a mirror through which you could learn about yourself in such a deep yet lighthearted way. 

3) The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

Think Gossip Girl meets The Great Gatsby meets kick-ass real-life legends like Truman Capote and Frank Sinatra.  The Swans of Fifth Avenue documents the glamorous adventures of New York’s rich and powerful as they chase lust, success, and drama in the lavish 1950s.  With plot twists and secrets and a roller coaster of emotions that leave you somehow feeling betrayed, this book will have you googling names to learn more about the mysterious and opulent past of New York’s elite, all while wishing you were enjoying a martini on a rooftop, just like them. 

4) Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Another Gossip Girl-esque setting but with grown-ups, the plot begins as privileged Ani enjoys glamorous days with a high-end wardrobe, a dream job, and a drool-worthy fiance.  But the reader soon learns that her luxurious life is but smoke and mirrors, as flashbacks reveal fatal character flaws and surprising turns of events that leave you ignoring your responsibilities so you can turn another page.  As one Amazon review put it, ‘This is a brilliantly written novel with an identifiable if unlikable narrator who proves in the end that it is possible to take charge of your own life, even in the face of a cold and uncaring world.’


These books will have you wanting to stay inside all day just to find out what happens (with a pint of ice cream, of course).


5) A Wonderful Life by Melissa Hill

Reminiscent of  classic chick flick The Vow (and therefore perfect for the girly girl who needs a good cry), A Wonderful Life follows Abby as she embarks on a journey to rebuild her lost memories by replacing them with new and fabulous ones.  Along the way she learns about her real, true, deep self, and, of course, finds love in the city that never sleeps.  A cutesy novel for the beach or the couch (wine in hand, of course) this book will leave you swooning, and feeling especially appreciative of the blessings in your own life.


Alex is a Junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Communications and minoring in Digital Studies. She got her start in writing at age 4 when she authored Jace the Frog, which, much to her dismay, never had much success outside her dolly tea parties. She now prefers to lend her talents to blogging and writing Instagram captions that only she finds funny. She also loves all things food.


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