“Fake Plastic Love” (Flatiron Books), by Kimberley Tait
Having the ability to determine if someone is truly genuine or posing as a replica of himself is something college graduates try to master before heading off to the real world.
Sadly, being the low man on the totem pole only makes career politics more confusing. In her debut novel, “Fake Plastic Love,” Kimberley Tait follows the lives of two twenty-somethings in New York who are trying to make their mark without getting caught up in the chaos.
M. and Belle are unlikely best friends from college. M. is the logical one, who has just accepted a position at Bartholomew Brothers, a prestigious male-dominated investment bank. She plans on using her intellect to turn the heads of men both in her firm and in her personal life. Belle, on the other hand, is the creative one, who is following M. and her on-again, off-again boyfriend Chase to Manhattan on a whim to start her new lifestyle blog. She plans on using her natural beauty and charisma to charm her way into the social events of the season.
Belle has no need to turn the heads of local New Yorkers. They do that without her trying. It’s an instinct.
The long hours and strenuous deadlines at Bartholomew Brothers immediately dominate M.’s schedule. She doesn’t mind the hard work needed to achieve excellence, but it’s irritating that Chase and her friend Jeremy seem to be taking it all in stride. Perspectives change the day Belle breezes in on her old-fashioned bicycle. Jeremy’s focus shifts from the daily grind to the dazzling woman before him. A love triangle immediately develops, and Belle chooses romantic Jeremy over beefcake Chase.
M. worries about Jeremy, knowing Belle likes to move from one eligible bachelor to the next without a thought. Jeremy is a fun-loving guy, full of hopes and dreams. He’s the perfect prop for Belle, who has a whimsical reputation to uphold. Her “fans” expect her to behave, dress and act a certain way. In fact, M. soon realizes that it’s hard to tell where the old Belle ends and the online perfect version begins.
“Fake Plastic Love” dives into the depths of the digital age and the cost of a healthy work/life balance. M. and Belle offer varying perspectives on living an ambitious life stuck in a cubicle versus living a fabricated life portrayed on the internet. The book encourages readers to step away from the screen in order to invest in the lives of those living and breathing around them.