Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review: Skinnydipping

Author: Bethenny Frankel
Publication Date: December 4, 2012
Publisher: Touchstone

“Who do I have to sleep with to get a drink on this plane?” Beloved by countless fans for being devilishly dishy, outrageously funny, and always giving it to us straight, four-time New York Times bestselling author Bethenny Frankel now makes her fiction debut with the story of Faith Brightstone.

Faith’s an aspiring actress who moves to L.A. determined to have it all—a job on the most popular TV show, a beach house in Malibu, and a gorgeous boyfriend. But when reality hits, she finds herself with a role that has more to do with T&A than acting and even worse relationship prospects. Finally, Faith decides she’s had enough of La La Land and moves back to New York with just a suitcase and her dog, Muffin.

Five years later, Faith has found her groove as an entrepreneur and manages to land a spot on a hot new reality TV show hosted by her idol—the domestic goddess Sybil Hunter. Soon, however, Faith’s loud mouth and tell-it-like-it-is style get her in trouble with her fellow contestants—the delusional socialite, the boozy lifestyle coach, and the moody headband designer. Even the ambitious housewife, Faith’s closest friend on the show, eventually stabs her in the back. As the show comes to a dramatic close, Faith discovers that the man of her dreams may have just walked into her life. Will she choose fame or love? Or can she have it all?

“Who do I have to sleep with to get a drink on this plane?”- Paperback Copy pg. 1

“He grinned even wider. ‘You’re much juicier than the girl I was going to be seeing tonight,’ he said. It broke my heart a little that he wasn’t even trying to fool me into thinking he was my dream man. He wasn’t even pretending not to be a player. I wished he wouldn’t be so transparent about it, so I could have my illusions for a while.” – Paperback Copy pg. 61

“I was feeling really good. In one day, I’d scored a roommate, an apartment, and a hot producer for a date, and I’d flirted and bantered with real actors and real directors and a television network president. I was getting this L.A. thing down. This was the kind of career advancement I could understand. This made sense to me – much more sense than stumbling my way through random auditions or putting photographs of myself in the mail to agents I’d never met. I felt like I could do anything, like the road ahead was wide open and I really was going to be a star.” – Paperback Copy pg. 66

“I thought about him all night, and the more I thought about him, the angrier I got, until he began to represent all men to me – every man who had ever disappointed me, betrayed me, or left me. Had I learned nothing from my time in L.A., and from the last five years in New York? It seemed like we connected, but I guess my sleaze meter was off. Screw him.” – Paperback Copy pg. 176

Skinnydipping takes readers on a journey following Faith Brightstone as she picks up her life in New York City and moves to L.A., pursuing a life of fame and fortune in show business. After watching a video of Bethenny Frankel talk about her first work of fiction, this novel, I want to say that I feel pretty confident that this story is based on certain parts of her life. Faith moves out to L.A. and moves in with her father, who she really has no valuable relationship with and immediately immerses herself in the Hollywood party scene. I knew that I was going to enjoy this book when we first see Faith on a plane picking up her life and moving, with only one carry on, and she meets an actual Hollywood producer. I knew that we were in for it and that Faith’s journey to fame was sure to be worth it.

Faith, honestly, was not my favorite character just because at times I read her as cynical, sarcastic, and a little too cocky. I can deal with the cynical and sarcastic part, but not so much the cocky side of Faith. In Part II of this book I began to like Faith more because by that point she was more accustomed to life in L.A. and she had mellowed out a little bit. In the beginning of the book she was living a rather risqué lifestyle, and a lot of drugs and alcohol were involved. It was important to me to see Faith’s character grow and I think when she landed her job with the reality show, she really began to blossom into a more fully developed character. I was praying in the first half of this book that Faith wouldn’t stay around the club scene and be drinking, partying, etc. throughout the entire novel. Faith was so determined to be noticed by the right people that she would stop at nothing to get to the top, and I know that is how a lot of Hollywood really works, but I just wanted to like Faith from the start so badly.

I felt that this book was a very concise interpretation of real life in L.A./show business/Hollywood. I think that this is one of the aspects of the reading that I enjoyed most. I really liked being immersed in the Hollywood scene with Faith and seeing how manipulative and conniving people really are because after all I am just a small town girl who has never even been to California, not to mention Hollywood! I know that Bethenny probably has firsthand experience in this world and I believe that makes her first fiction novel all the more readable and relatable because readers know that it is coming from one very reliable source.

 I know this may sound crazy, but I think I would have enjoyed this story better in the summer instead of when it is 40 degrees outside. I suggest this book as a perfect summer read. It is fast, fun, and definitely flirty. Faith is a character that you will either really like or will spend your time yelling at; I did a little of both. I hope that Bethenny plans on writing other works of fiction because I really enjoyed her writing style, even if it was snarky at times. This was a very fast and enjoyable read!

***A huge thank you to the publishers at Touchstone for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***



  1. I enjoyed this book!!!! Good review:)

  2. Good review :) It does sound like it would be a good summer read!