Opening the cover of Simply Irresistible is like opening a door and finding yourself in the middle of Manhattan’s upper East Side. The first character you meet, Madison MacCallister seems to be your typical spoiled prep school girl who has always been given everything she wanted. She doesn’t like to lose and is used to being the center of attention in every group in which she finds herself. But Madison or Mad as her close friends call her, finds her perfect life turned upside down when her mother suddenly takes up with a much younger guy. To add to the agony, Mad originally thought of him for herself. If you include the addition of Casey McCloy a girl from a small midwestern town who has moved into Madison’s upscale apartment house, The Bram, it is hard not to get sucked into this story.
Not having read the entire series I am not familiar with all of the characters, but reading this book made me want to learn more about each of them. As the story progresses each girl’s story is delineated and it’s hard not to feel sorry for some of them. Though they wear expensive designer clothing and shoes and go to extravagantly expensive parties and restaurants, it’s difficult for any of the characters except maybe Casey, to enjoy this. Their personal lives overshadow everything that they do; yet they seem to hold everything together in public.
Casey’s story is different, since she was forced to move to Manhattan to be with her Nanna, who lives in The Bram. But Casey has attracted the attention of Drew, Madison’s ex-boyfriend, and the secret heartthrob of every girl in her school. All Casey wants to do is fit in. Could she help it that a TV producer wanted to make a show with her and her so-called friends? Will she be able to hide this from her mom? Or will her mom find out and yank her out of Manhattan? What will happen with Drew? Will the girls ever accept her?
All of these questions are answered and more as the story progresses. Told in the point of view of each character, it feels like an expose of life as a teenager on the upper East Side. The story is woven through the lives of the girls and boys as they navigate the rocky terrain of teenage life with parents who are not great role models.
In conclusion, Simply Irresistible is simply irresistible. Once you start reading it you will find it hard to put down. The writing doesn’t disappoint, and that is one thing that makes me urge you to read this book. At last the editing is excellent and the sentences flow easily and smoothly. This is a book that will appeal to both girls and boys, since there is a large chunk in a male’s point of view and to women and men who are still young in heart. It’s fun to wander through the lives of these privileged people and it almost feels like eavesdropping during some of the dialogue. I am looking forward to reading the first two books and hoping that Jennifer Banash will write a fourth book in this series.