Sunheri and Suhana—twin sisters who share a horrific childhood—get caught up in a vortex of pain and deceit when Sunheri, a popular item girl in Bollywood, is accused of murdering her vicious uncle and is sent to jail.
Suhana, an aspiring filmmaker, is determined to seek justice for her sister but comes up against Kala, their stepmother, who has hatched diabolical plans of her own. And when three other manipulative item girls—Nargis, Digital Dolly and Daisy—are identified as key eyewitnesses in Sunheri’s case, the matter only becomes more complicated.
Throw into the mix an explosive rape-tape, a brutal blackmailer, a cruel boyfriend, a cynical journalist who knows too much, and a hard-boiled cop, and what you have is a mind-bending psychological thriller that will hold you hostage until the end. An intense, gripping account of the dark side of showbiz, there is never a dull moment in Item Girl.
~ Synopsis from the back of the book
During my twenties, I used to binge read a lot of Jackie Collins books. Often billed as explosive, scintillating, juicy, and such, her books were a fictionalized version of real Hollywood doings (or at least that’s how they were marketed). Reading Item Girl by Richa Lakhera reminded me of those good old days when I used to thrive on such books.
I think now though I am not just not that into them anymore? Because Item Girl was a little disappointing. It has all the elements of a good Bollywood-ishtyle pageturner, very much in the mode of Jackie Collins, but something seemed missing.
I realized very quickly into the book what that missing something was. I really missed having one strong character to root for. Here is a story about a really vile character getting killed in a vile way by another vile person. In fact hardly anyone in the book is nice or pleasant. The few hero/heroine types have such poor character development that I found myself not caring very much what happened to them during the course of the book.
Another point that bothered me was how the book moved jerkily from past to present and from one person’s POV to another’s rather randomly, and the heaps of bad language scattered throughout the book. Yeah, yeah, it’s a book about Bollywood, of course it’s going to have some foul words, but I think it was really overdone and unnecessary in many places, and I just plain found it tasteless and repetitive.
It’s a pity that a little more time didn’t go into writing and editing this book, because I did find the book engrossing and fast-moving, and it has a strong plot line, and I never would have guessed the murderer, but the lack of strong main characters and the jerky way the book progressed meant that I didn’t get all that vested into the story.
I did enjoy the insider style tidbits about various celebrities, and I had a fun trying to guess which real-life celeb she was referring to. There was one juicy gossip about the actor – John Abraham. If you are reading this book, watch out for that one! I also enjoyed the epilogues at the end of the book, which give a nice closure to the story lines of all the characters in the book.
Overall, it was an uneven read, and I enjoyed it only in parts.
Huge thanks to Rupa Publications for sending me this book for review consideration.
You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon