Review by Booklist Review
Iranian American fashion blogger Noora makes ends meet by working as a tutor and crashing on her older sister's couch while she waits for her big break as a writer. An opportunity arises at Vinyl, the fashion and culture magazine that shaped Noora's teenage years, to work as the assistant to the magazine's iconic editor, Loretta James. But dreams of seeing her byline in Vinyl quickly evaporate as she realizes her job is to be at Loretta's beck and call. When Noora seizes an opportunity to see her writing in print, the piece goes viral, and she finds herself caught between the person she idolized as a teen and her dream of being a professional writer. While the workplace drama is the juicy center of the story, Hariri-Kia offers several subplots, including a romance with the office IT guy and the relationship between Noora and her sister, Leila. Noora's personal journey will resonate with millennial and Gen Z readers, and it's also a good choice for fans of dishy workplace dramas like The Knockoff and The Devil Wears Prada.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
DEBUT Crashing on her sister's couch, 22-year-old Noora spends her days updating her blog and tutoring rich teens while she works toward her goal of becoming a writer. When she secures a job as the assistant to the editor in chief of New York City's Vinyl, her favorite culture magazine, she thinks she's finally on the right track. But Noora's childhood icon turns out to be demanding, Vinyl is being yanked back and forth by warring digital and print departments, and, to make matters worse, Noora has an unfortunate crush on the magazine's IT guy. Caught in the middle of a corporate tug-of-war, she's forced to question her morals and sense of self. Noora is a perfectly flawed, expertly crafted protagonist, and a highlight of her character arc are the explorations of her Iranian American identity and of the meaning of family. The distinct and vivid narration, especially the electrifying descriptions of NYC, makes this debut engaging. VERDICT New York--based Iranian American journalist Hariri-Kia delivers a debut that's relevant, witty, and easy to devour; libraries looking to connect with Gen Z patrons should consider adding it to their collections.--Grace Caternolo
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Noora, a 22-year-old Iranian American lifestyle blogger, lands her big break when she's hired as assistant to the editor-in-chief of Vinyl magazine--Vinyl, her political compass, her guiding light, her everything since she was a kid. She quickly learns, however, that sometimes things are too good to be true. Loretta James, her boss, is a chaotic nightmare, and the staff of Vinyl is caught up in an all-out turf war between Print and Digital. Between her fast affinity with the Digital team, her desire to write, and her reluctance to leave behind the woman she once idolized, Noora finds her loyalties fractured. Pulling from a mix of real-world scandals and pop-culture cues, Hariri-Kia has created a cast of characters who are vibrant yet grounded in their moral grayness while conjuring up the media-industry allure that's needed to keep Noora, along with the reader, pushing through an otherwise toxic environment. When Digital Editor Jade Aki gets canceled and freelancers start dropping off, Noora's second opportunity of a lifetime arises: She's asked to write a column for Vinyl Digital. "For the reader" is Noora's mantra as she navigates the tension between her goals and loyalties, consistently reaching for justification for everything she's going through. Her energetic and self-reflective voice elevates the book from a classic "old guard vs. new guard" tale into a sophisticated meditation on the function of audience. Noora learns there is nothing fulfilling in sacrificing your morals for an institution and that the most important reader can be someone who sees herself in you. The ultimate decentering of legacy institutions makes this debut the perfect reflection of contemporary attitudes toward the media industry. A refreshing take on the classic media-insider novel, championing the value of passion and thoughtfulness over career. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.