MIM WARNER'S LOST HER COOL

Lynn Messina, Author . Red Dress Ink $12.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-373-89513-7

From the author of Fashionistas —a very funny novel and soon-to-be film about the fashion magazine industry—comes this mildly entertaining novel about young Manhattanites in the cool industry. For Mim Warner and her staff at Pravda , "coolhunting" is a way of life: they predict and track teenage trends to help fashion companies develop and market their products. Pravda founder Mim is famed for her keen trend-sniffing ability, but when she begins making outrageous cool forecasts ("slut" T-shirts for third-graders; snuff pipes as accessories), her credibility and mental sanity are called into question. Meghan—an affable 20-something junior coolhunter, narrates, as she investigates Mim while dealing with her own widowed father, dramatic roommate, and sometime-boyfriend, writer Ian. Of these subplots, Meghan's relationship with Ian is the most detailed and layered: Ian's first book is a gritty urban crime story with—oops!—a Meghanesque villain ("he gave the symbol for the decline of Western civilization my face," she laments). Ian aside, however, Messina's novel struggles to find juicy subjects: the much-discussed subject of cool, for example, wears thin. A love story and a bizarre mystery develop during the second half of the book, though, and Messina's bouncy chick-lit style will keep the reader curious throughout, if not deeply concerned. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/28/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-7783-0121-9
Paperback - 280 pages - 978-0-373-09092-1
Open Ebook - 978-1-4592-4851-9
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