RETAIL THERAPY

Author(s): 

Well-heeled Alana is dealt quite a blow when her father abruptly cancels her credit cards and demands she make her own way in the world.

Jobless, Alana is broke but can't stop spending. Best friend Hailey, a struggling soap actress who's better than the role she's stuck in, can't help either—her cards are maxed out. It takes their tough-talking friend Marcella to show them that what they need to buy is a little self-respect.

Bailey has a firm grasp of the chick lit formula in her tale of girlfriends in need of something more fulfilling than a shopping spree. Alana's stubborn sense of entitlement might wear thin for some readers—her whining can be annoying. But it's refreshing that she doesn't automatically turn to another man to bail her out of her financial woes.

The author might have spent more time on Marcella, whose character seems neglected. Still, this is a pleasant, easy read, enlivened by fast-paced storytelling. (Sep., 304 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Donna Carter