THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF VIVIAN

Vivian Livingston, Author, Sherrie Krantz, With as told to Sherrie Krantz. Ballantine $11.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-345-45354-9

This is less a novel than an extension of Krantz's popular Web site, Vivianlives.com, where interested parties can tour the virtual 20-something's apartment, learn about hip careers (life coach, e-commerce queen), get beauty tips and read her daily journal, which exhorts readers to "do something special!!!"—such as buying the products linked to almost every page. Our heroine is a remarkably shallow Pennsylvania girl who wins a songwriting contest and moves to New York, best friend Sophie in tow, and discovers firsthand the struggles of blazing her own path and finding true love. Bouncing from a gig in a Village cafe to an entry-level dream job at VH1, Vivian juggles no-good men, the demands of friendship, her dog, celebrity sightings, trendy clubs and cute outfits. Krantz is, like, totally into sarcasm, parenthetical asides, multiple exclamation points—"Yeah baby!!! (So scary!)"—and smiley faces, making Vivian sound more like a teenage mall rat than a college graduate. Reading her is the literary equivalent of being lashed to a chair in a coffee shop next to someone who is braying her life story into a cell phone. But online fans who can't get enough of Ms. Livingston's trenchant musings on everything from Madonna to Friends, handbags to hotties, may find this enjoyable. (July)

Forecast:Krantz's background is in PR, so the marketing juggernaut comes as no surprise. Look for an author tour, radio and print advertising, postcards in bars and restaurants, online interviews and, perhaps most interestingly, "tie-ins with Vivian's corporate partnerships." Of course it will be plugged on the Web site—which received 1.5 million hits in January—and is available as an e-book.

Reviewed on: 06/10/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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