What I love about Gloss by Marilyn Kaye is that it’s set in sixties New York, a time period I haven’t come across much, if at all, in YA fiction. It follows the intertwining stories of four young girls as they start their summer internships at a magazine called Gloss. While some of them have their lives mapped out, others’ futures look hazy at best. None of them know that interning at Gloss will change them forever.
Sherry Ann is very much the typical good girl who follows all the rules. But after the future that looked so certain, crashes around her, she slowly but surely evolves into a strong woman. Pamela only wants to have a good time in New York, but she’s a young girl trying to act much older than she is. I really wanted to shake Allison. She seemed like a smart enough girl but she made a lot of wrong choices. Donna’s story was incredibly sad but a tale a lot of other girls would have also gone through and still do.
I enjoyed the details on the fashion industry, reading about typewriters and the working world. It’s interesting to compare then to now. Of course, there was a lot of sex discrimination and unfairness in the book. The four main characters are looked down on or used by at least one man. However, the girls learnt important lessons throughout the story.
Kaye’s writing style was great. It contained all the excitement of sixties New York. I felt the pace of the story could have been sped up as the middle section was slow. Overall, Gloss was an easy-to-read story about girls coming of age; discovering their identity for the first time. Obviously, there is a huge gap in the YA market because I would love to read more books set in this time period. I look forward to reading more books by Marilyn Kaye.
Brilliant review, thank you Kulsuma!