My review: Goodbye Newsroom, by Michelle Prak

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About the book:

When reporter Anna is sacked from the newsroom, she limps home for sympathy from her sister and housemate, Holly. But she discovers that Holly is jobless too, after resigning from the Fairweather Report, a celebrated women’s website.

Now, Holly has grand plans for starting her own online media empire, and she insists that Anna joins her.

Anna’s first task? She’s whisked away to an influencer tour of Uruguay. It’s scary stuff for a reporter who barely knows the difference between hashtags and HTML, but at least handsome Donovan is there to help.

Life becomes even trickier when Holly publishes Anna’s romantic adventures on their fledging website. The sisters become an online sensation, but Anna is furious that her private life is being used for clicks.

Will the sisters stick together and make a living in this new media world? Or will Anna return to a newsroom again?

And who is Holly’s menacing and persistent troll?

If you love career stories like Devil Wears Prada or The Bold Type, you’ll adore Goodbye Newsroom, a modern ode to self-made young women whose greatest tools are their smartphones.

“Perfect for the digital-savvy reader who wants to escape into a juicy world of public relations, A-list parties and online intrigue.”

My review:

It took me an unusually long time to finish Michelle’s debut novel because the release coincided with my own debut as a mum of a baby girl. So, reading was happening bit by bit, during and between the feeds and naps. Sometimes I felt so tired that couldn’t read a single line, even to save my life.

Anyway, enough complaining, back to the review 🙂

The book brought back many familiar feelings. The area of work of two main characters, Australian specifics, some events in girls’ lives. It all made me feel like I know Holly and Anna for a long time. They are your usual friends – girls living next door, with their own interests, love life, ambitions. Both of them are very likeable and you empathise with them immediately.

Holly is bold and brave, Anna seems to be a little bit more sensitive. Anna’s redundancy brought back my feelings of the time when I got redundant at work. All the hurt and regrets… looking for options and trying to find a new ‘me’. I felt all the sympathy for Anna who had to come back to her workplace and keep the face in front of colleagues.

It is a great debut for Michelle who incorporated her experience with media into the plot of the novel and effortlessly raised some important questions.

I quite enjoyed the book, an easy read that touches close personally to me and many current subjects – the world and the challenges of mainstream media, social media community and influencers, career choices in this industry, ethical issues and boundaries that people can face on social channels.

What I also liked about the book is that to me it is about the change. Changes in the industry, person’s life, way of living, in everything and Goodbye Newsroom shows well how all these changes, despite being scary and daunting, are still positive and only happen for the best.

The only downside for me is that the book finished too fast. It felt a bit rushed to the end, I would’ve like to read more. I guess I will wait for a sequel 🙂

My score is 4* out of 5*.