In Four Blondes, readers were introduced to stunning Janey Wilcox. Author Candace Bushnell brings the model/actress back for more mingling and social climbing among New York's elite. Life is looking up for Janey. Her Victoria's Secret modeling career is paying off in party invitations and society column mentions.
Janey finds she's hooked on fame and fortune. Wearing lingerie on the catwalk pays the bills, but it won't give Ms. Wilcox the lifestyle she was born to live. Her new best friend and socialite Mimi Kilroy, introduces Janey to the CEO of MovieTime. Selden Rose isn't the youngest, most handsome or adventurous man, but he is rich. He's also Janey's fastest track to the high life in Trading Up.
Bushnell's third novel (Sex and the City, 4 Blondes) is a fun trip through the ins and outs of the New York social scene. Priorities of this social set include dressing in the right fashions, eating at the right establishments and being seen by the right people. The author writes intelligently with a small bite that makes Trading Up a little smarter than most beach chair reads.
Janey's gold-digger-with-a-heart portrayal is a bit confusing. She's willing to step on anyone and everyone on her climb up the social ladder. Simultaneously, Bushnell attempts to reveal Janey's vulnerable side with a look back at her troubling early career and involvement with a wealthy Arab man. However, little sympathy is garnered. Janey merely looks like a shallow woman who refuses to learn from mistakes.
Janey's troubles include rejection from a young Argentinean polo player and difficulty garnering respect as a movie producer/screenwriter. The latter event allows Bushnell to explore the wading pool depths of show business as well.
Do not expect the famous HBO series in print. Trading Up has money, fashion and sex but that's where the similarities end. Janey isn't too likable, but her trials and tribulations are the stuff of which savory summer novels are made.