'So 5 Minutes Ago'
By: Hilary De Vries
(Hardcover / 304 Pages / Villard; 1st edition / ISBN: 1400061385 / $21.95)
Description: Alex Davidson has been a celebrity publicist for three years at an L.A. public relations firm that has seen better days. She is a professional hand-holder, little better than a nanny, to some famous and not-so-famous stars. When the company is bought out, Alex is unsure how long she'll be kept on board. In between juggling stars who are just out of rehab, arranging photo shoots, orchestrating red-carpet events, and spinning publicity stunts that went bad, Alex has to decide if she is going to look the other way as her old boss gets pushed out and how to handle the partner who may or may not be hitting on her.
Verdict: De Vries nails "the biz" and does it with a gift for satire that transcends itself. Alex Delaware is no paper-thin comic foil. She's Every-Girl tumbled down the Rabbit Hole trapped in an Alice-in-Wonderland parallel reality that would be impossible to believe, except IT'S ALL TRUE. Half of the fun lies in decoding the Roman a Clef aspects of the novel (De Vries is an entertainment industry journalist with major credentials). On second thought, make that one-tenth of the fun. The real fun lies in the rich characterizations, the fun-house plotting. I could not put this down. Reading it, I couldn't help but think - this would make a totally cool TV series. ('Sex in the City' has ended and I'm already pining for its replacement!) What can I say? I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on De Vries' next opus.
Reviewed by Sarah Hickson