Book Review: The Spotlight

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Author: Roxy Jacenko
ISBN: 978-1-76011-144-1
RRP: $24.99

The Spotlight is the third Jazzy Lou novel by Sydney PR powerhouse Roxy Jacenko, founder of Sweaty Betty PR and runner-up on the 2013 season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Jacenko founded Sweaty Betty PR at just 24 and worked tirelessly to build it into the well known brand that it is today.

I loved the first two Jazzy Lou novels, Strictly Confidential and The Rumour Mill, so I was looking forward to The Spotlight from the moment I knew it was heading my way.

Roxy’s writing style is still an honest, no holds barred look inside the high stakes and ever changing world of fashion in Sydney’s social scene but, though I enjoyed the story, The Spotlight didn’t capture me in the same way as the previous two.

Queen Bee PR is about to head in a new direction, Jazzy has been watching the way the scene has changed and she wants to get involved in the action. Bloggers are becoming a hot commodity and Jazzy Lou recognises an opening for her to branch out and start representing bloggers as well as brands. It means a reshuffle because already the Bees are working ridiculous hours trying to keep up, now with all this extra business they need to cull somewhere.

If a new venture isn’t enough for Jazzy Lou to contend with she also has a lot going on at home. The house is being remodeled, the honeymoon is over with Michael and Fifi is fast becoming a pint-sized fashionista.

Fifi is a mini Jazzy, being primed for a life in fashion and it sparks much debate, as all parenting decisions do. Everyone has an opinion and when you are in the public eye people feel they are entitled to voice that opinion, often extremely rudely. I think Jazzy makes a valid point in that she chooses to keep Fifi with her instead of leaving her with a nanny while she’s working. They are only young for such a short time, before you know it they are off at school. Jazzy is so dedicated to her career that taking the time off work wasn’t an option, this way she still gets that special time together. Most people wouldn’t have the opportunity to do that but I think if you can make it work good for you, it beats leaving her in someone else’s care most of the time.

the spotlight

The Spotlight seems to share some major parallels with Jacenko’s life which leaves me wondering just how much is imagination and how much is inspired by her life.

For a who’s who and what brands are hot The Spotlight drops names by the dozen and offers an insight into the fast paced and ever-changing fashion and PR world. To balance what I found to be quite a superficial narrative of clothes, designers, tabloid stories and hotel living complete with the latest language I personally love to hate there was the much more personal story of Jazzy Lou the wife and mother. Her marriage is feeling the strain of two workaholics who are missing out on lots of time together and though she is spending lots of time with toddler Fifi her parenting methods come under fire. Jazzy Lou starts to pay more attention to her decisions and reflect on the impact her business life has on her personal life, at times it seems quite defensive and as though she is justifying the decisions she has made but it still shows a growing awareness.

This behind the scenes look is as gossip filled and catty as we have come to expect from Jazzy Lou and this time round we are treated to a look at what things can be like for the big time bloggers. Instagram and hashtags have a huge role in this one and it reflects the current trend of the importance placed on Facebook and Instagram followers and Likes.

I like The Spotlight, it was an enjoyable enough read to curl up with in the post Christmas drain and I look forward to seeing what comes next for Jazzy. At only 232 pages it’s a quick and light holiday read.

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