A charming, contemporary YA caper that pays homage to the films of Audrey Hepburn, written by the creator of “Clarissa Explains It All” (AKA the quintessential TV series of my childhood & early adolescence)? Of course I was destined to adore Being Audrey Hepburn by Mitchell Kriegman! And I did — this charming book did not disappoint.
Lisbeth comes from a broken home in the land of tube tops, heavy eyeliner, frosted lip-gloss, juiceheads, hoop earrings and “the shore.” She has a circle of friends who have dedicated their teenage lives to relieve the world of all its alcohol one drink at a time.
Obsessed with everything Audrey Hepburn, Lisbeth is transformed when she secretly tries on Audrey’s iconic Givenchy. She becomes who she wants to be by pretending to be somebody she’s not and living among the young and privileged Manhattan elite. Soon she’s faced with choices that she would never imagine making – between who she’s become and who she once was.
In the tradition of The Nanny Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada, this is a coming of age story that all begins with that little black dress…
Though a little older than most YA protagonists, Lisbeth is easily relatable for teen readers, as she struggles to figure out what to do with her future, find what makes her happy in this world, and cope with a tumultuous family life.
I cringed as Lisbeth stumbled through some rocky situations, and cheered for everyone of her successes, and then cringed some more as I watched her make typical 19-year-old mistakes (having been there, done that myself some years ago). But following her adventures did remind me, in a subtle way, of what I loved about watching “Clarissa Explains It All.” And while the TV show and Being Audrey Hepburn are quite different, Kriegman’s flair for capturing the adolescent woman so perfectly is still apparent.
Being Audrey Hepburn captures that impossible time between adolescence and adulthood, when you must find your path in the world and figure out what exactly you want out of life, and how to make it happen. Toss in some romance, a high society scandal, and plenty of personal drama, and you’ve got a rollicking, charmer of a novel.
Being Audrey Hepburn is in stores now.