Review: So 5 Minutes Ago

So 5 Minutes Ago So 5 Minutes Ago by Hilary De Vries
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. Grab your cell phone, bottled water, planner and join Alex as she battles the press to protect the image of her client, battles her client to protect her sanity, and battles her boss to keep her job. Life as a publicist is crazy, hectic, and unrewarding, but somebody has got to do it. However, Alex is starting to wonder if it should be her. As a publicist, she must protect the image of her clients and play spin-doctor when things go astray. At the DWP agency, she mostly re-launches the careers of Hollywood stars that have fallen on hard times. She gives their image a total makeover and sends them back into Hollywood to find their way back to the top. Yeah sure, it sounds easy—but when you have a client that is perpetually drunk and/or high, as well as a complete womanizer, it can certainly be a challenge.

Besides a troublesome client, the DWP agency has unexpectedly merged with a larger press agency known for their drastic overhauls when merging and taking over other agencies. As the story unravels, Alex quickly watches the underminded tactics of the merging company, BIG and their hidden intent to dissolve DWP. A sublet war of threats and discharges sugar-coated with niceties and smiles quickly ensures while Alex determines what side she should be on or if she should just give up and find a new career.

Alex is the typical sassy, bright, sweet, somewhat-klutzy, and strong-willed woman that in recent years has been an archetype for “chick lit.” Like similar heroines, she’s having trouble both with her job and her personal life. Rather Alex’s personal life is non-existent as her career dominates her life. Most people she meets are the “Hollywood type” that she is just not interested. However, she does find herself quickly becoming involved with Charles, a manager at DWP from the New York division. Of course, as the company is jumbled around and rumors spread about BIG’s course of action, Charles and Alex have their issues about the future of DWP, their careers, and their budding relationship.

Laura Hamilton reads this audiobook with all the spunk and sass one would associate with a young female publicist in Hollywood on the brink of breakdown. Partially high-maintenance but moreso hyperactive, Alex comes to life with Hamilton’s reading. With youthful vibrancy mixed with sharp attitude, Hamilton makes one’s time listening to Alex, quite intimate.

De Vries tells a fantastically fun story with plenty of jokes and laughs to keep listener enthralled. Alex finds herself in numerous awkward and amusing situations, including dealing with her stoned client while at a photo shoot as well as being caught in the office with Charles on the verge of having sex. From one chapter to the next, the story moves quickly keeping the listener entertained and wondering. The nature of her book is fast-paced (after all, in Hollywood, life happens much faster), but making this book abridged might not have been the best decision. The book moves so fast that the end hits the listener a little too quickly and almost wishing for more. Give us more of Alex and her exploits!

What’s interesting is that the author uses both real and imagined names when discussing Hollywood actors. The imagined names strike great interest because there is always the possibility that they are modeled after someone and for fear of a lawsuit are given a pseudonym.

“So 5 Minutes Ago” recants a lonely girl’s adventures in the eternal thunderstorm known as Hollywood. Akin to many females, she’s up against a sexist system and comes out on top in the end, but certainly with her share of war stories. However, de Vries’s story is not nearly that melodramatic, but rather fun, witty, and entertaining; a great audiobook to listen to when looking to escape your own daily rut.

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