“Blonde Ops” by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
Quality of writing: 3 out of 5 stars.
My rating: 2 out 5 stars.
Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.
Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca “Bec” Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.
Bec quickly realizes that Parker’s “accident” may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady’s life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.
Can Bec catch the person who’s after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker’s accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.
I was excited for this book, I really was. I had seen “Blonde Ops” in Barnes and Noble and had wanted to buy it because its description made it sound like a cute, light summer read, but I didn’t end up purchasing it on that visit since I don’t have much cash to just randomly buy books with, unless, of course, I have a great coupon. Eventually, though, amazon had it for a reasonable price and I really needed a fun book to read, so I bought it. Whenever I talk to my sisters about this book and its purchase, I start the conversation with, “In a moment of mental obstruction…” because of how much I ended up disliking this book.
I feel awful for disliking this book so much because it wasn’t technically a “bad” book, but it wasn’t a good one either. It sounded so cute, but while I was reading it, I was like,
It just baffled me how a girl could be such a good hacker, yet SOOOO stupid. If you have a hacker of sorts as a main character, shouldn’t they be smart? I’m assuming (since I don’t have a lot of computer skills) that being a good hacker requires a lot of brains, talent, and commitment, especially to become as good as Bec supposedly was. But Rebecca was completely lacking all of those qualities. She was unable to commit to anything (other than hacking), she never seemed to have used her brain cells during this book, and as a reader, I never figured out if she was good at anything (other than hacking, of course).
My complete and utter disdain for this female character made me graze most of the book (I do feel bad about that), and I just wanted to get away from Bec as soon as possible. I couldn’t even enjoy the descriptions of Rome because of how irritatingly delusional Bec was (this made me very sad because I adore Italy and reading descriptions of it)! And Bec wasn’t just stupid in “Blonde Ops,” she was also delusional. I say delusional because there were moments where she would go gallivanting off with boys who were total strangers to her while in a foreign country, and somehow managed to not think that maybe she shouldn’t hang out with these guys because they could be potential kidnappers or killers. *Slow Clap* She also come to a point where both the guys she liked could have possibly been her guardian’s almost-killers. Whoops! her bad! Oh, but even worse is the fact that she continued to hang out with them and sneak off without anyone’s knowledge. Maybe while I was grazing over this book, she did something really smart that justified her actions, but I really don’t think so; plus she didn’t have any character growth, so that’s another downside to this book.
Another thing about this book was that I never felt endeared to a character. I thought that I might like Dante because he seemed to be nice, but I didn’t have enough time with him in this book to actually care. It made me sad because, given a chance, he would have been a great character to read about. *Sighs* “Blonde Ops” had the potential to be a really fun and cute read, but it just didn’t do it for me.
I am truly sorry for my harsh review, but for me, “Blonde Ops” was not a good fit.