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Book Review: Snapped: A Novel by Pamela Klaffke

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I grew up reading Glamour magazine and laughing every month at the fashion don’t photos as I received my education in how to throw an outfit together. But as I grew older I always wondered about the karmic implications of branding someone as a fashion don’t for all the world to see, black strip over the face or not.

Sara B., the unlikely protagonist of Snapped, is a veteran style guru who founded the must-read style magazine Snap by identifying, snapping photos of, and publishing fashion do’s and don’ts without the bars over their faces. After 15 years she can spot a great outfit from miles away, as well as a fashion disaster. But she has also made 15 years worth of enemies.

On the cusp of 40 Sara finds herself so much older than most of her readers that she sometimes has a tough time distinguishing the dos from the don’ts. So when the 23 year old Eva insinuates herself into Sara’s life and becomes her assistant it seems almost like a blessing. Eva has a good eye, gets along with everyone, and is organized. But when Eva starts to have sex with Sara’s business partner Ted (who happens to be married with a new baby) and takes over Sara’s entire column in the magazine, things get very ugly very fast.

Sara is saved by Esther and Lila, angels in the form of elderly women with notebook diaries and a serious fashion archive of mint condition magazines and clothing. Even after Lila dies, they teach Sara that she can do whatever she wants and do it without judging or making fun of others. Snapped manages to be both laugh out loud funny and inspirational. I enjoyed it immensely.

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