*I received a free ARC of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: At the age of 28, Kat Porter has become the it-girl of British TV Production. Gut, gumption, and artistry have carried her through a dozen impossible scenarios to arrive at her first run as Executive Producer, and now all three muses point to Ian Graham’s star power as the key to Los Angeles and golden statues.
But disaster looms as Ian twists Kat into a chameleon fit for success. Ian’s young daughter is thrown into the spotlight and Kat must face the consequences of her neverending quest for acclaim.
Production Values takes a biting but fun look at Hollywood—from the way we interpret female ambition to the influence of the paparazzi on how TV shows and stars fail or succeed.
Production Values starts off as an effervescent double-romance/comedy, with a fun insight into the frenetic world of television production and two mismatched female friends with high-powered careers searching for a bit of romantic excitement with the promise of a tender longer-term.
It doesn’t take long for the storyline and characters to become something deeper and more emotionally involved, as it becomes clear that few of the characters, main and side, are happy with their chosen path or partners. Substance abuse and casual flings abound as flawed, insecure people are placed in front of cameras and told to smile through their self-doubts.
Unusually, although this does technically involve romantic entanglements for both Kat and Bea, the real focus of the story is not about them finding love at all: it is about the love they already have… for each other. Just like a romance novel, their friendship is tested via external forces such as work pressures and backstabbing, but also (as the title suggests) by the intrinsic differences in their values.
We get to follow the story from both points of view, Bea and Kat alternating, so the reader cannot easily dismiss either character as being ‘wrong’. Instead it is clear that these are fundamentally very different women, with different upbringings, and virtually polar-opposite moral compasses, who have somehow managed to forge a strong relationship (and working partnership) despite all of the above. The novel forms an in-depth examination of the sticking-power of opposites, and the results are complicated, saddening and admirable.
If you are looking for a story about women with successful careers, about female friendship, with some romance, laughter, tears, and a lot of thought, then this one is for you.
Someday, they’ll choke on regret while I fill my shelves with golden statues – Emmys, BAFTAs, Globes.
Because I am a genius.
An evil genius, with an equally evil plan. I’ve decided to hire megastar Ian Graham as our major guest star this year so that I can ride into the production hall of fame on his very famous arse.
The only thing standing between me and über-success is Bea, my own best friend and business partner, an irony I can’t quite grasp.
– Liv Bartlet, Production Values
Production Values is available on Amazon right now!