Over 50 years old, this groundbreaking book still remains a pop culture touchstone and is often cited as the bestselling novel of all time – never before had a female writer been so frank about sex, drugs and show business. Red or black, capsules or tablets, washed down with vodka or swallowed straight: for Anne, Neely and Jennifer, it doesn't matter, as long as the ‘dolls’ - AKA, the pill bottle - are within easy reach. These young, beautiful women become best friends in New York, struggling to make their names in the entertainment industry, but only when they reach the peak of their careers do they find there's nowhere left to go but down.
Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz, 1977
American artist and author Eve Babitz was a Los Angeles legend in the 1960s and 70s, seducing seemingly everyone in the city. Slow Days, Fast Company skirts the line between fiction and memoir, and is a fully-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California – movie stars distraught over their success, socialites on three-day drug binges holed up in the Chateau Marmont, soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow's script will kill them off and Italian femme fatales even more fatal than Babitz herself.
Social Creature by Tara Burton, 2018
Released today, this deliciously dark novel has been dubbed a “Ripley story for the Instagram” age’. It follows Louise, struggling to survive in New York. Juggling a series of poorly paid jobs and renting a shabby flat, she dreams of being a writer. Then one day she meets Lavinia, who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment… Soon, Louise gets sucked into her charmed circle, sharing her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account and her invites to underground parties – but it won’t last forever. So just how far is she prepared to go to have Lavinia’s life?
I’ll Eat When Im Dead by Barbara Bourland, 2017
This murder mystery novel follows Cat Ono, feminist powerhouse and high-flying editor at RAGE magazine, who knows the price of fashion. Her friend – found dead in her office - just paid it. Everyone thinks Hillary dieted to death, but Cat suspects if beauty kills, it'd take more than that. When Cat goes undercover in an attempt to solve the case, she gets in over her head. Soon she's snared in a very stylish web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturiser that will change her look – and outlook – forever.
Clean by Juno Dawson, 2018
Heralded as “the most addictive novel you’ll read all summer”, the latest book from award-winning author Juno Dawson (released this April) is a razor-sharp, adrenaline rush of a read. When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she's hit rock bottom - she’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she's forced into an exclusive rehab facility (think Gossip Girl meets Girl Interrupted). From there, she faces her demons and meets the mysterious Bradley, all the while weaving in addictive flashbacks to her lavish former life.
Girls Walks Out Of A Bar: A Memoir by Lisa F Smith, 2016
Lisa Smith was a bright, young lawyer at a prestigious law firm in NYC in the early 90s, but beneath the façade of success lay the reality of addiction. Girl Walks Out of a Bar is her darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, a candid portrait of a decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery, all shown through the lens of gritty New York realism. Smith openly shares the lies, secrecy, depression, and isolation that define a life only made “liveable” by alcohol, and unveils the pressures of her high-pressured job (20% of lawyers have substance abuse problems).
Party Girl by Anna David, 2007
The clue’s in the name with this novel. Celebrity journalist Amelia Stone is the quintessential Hollywood party girl: she stays out late, rubs shoulders (and occasionally more) with celebrities, and ingests copious amounts of cocaine. But after losing her job, her friends, and much of her mind, Amelia makes the drastic decision to end her drug abuse. Once sober, she's hired by a big-name magazine to write a column detailing her wild adventures and starts seeing the man who could be her Mr. Right. There's just one problem: her editors – who don't know she's got clean – want her to play the part of the ultimate party girl.
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