Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre: Nonfiction/True Crime
My Rating: 🍪🍪🍪🍪.5
I couldn’t look away from this book, mostly because I couldn’t believe it was nonfiction and that Anna is a real human person who’s actually out there somewhere. Rachel’s memoir explores the inception, and ultimate deterioration of her friendship with Anna. They are both living in New York City, Rachel pursuing a dream career at Vanity Fair, and Anna, trying to start her own foundation. Anna is eccentric and carefree, especially with money. She lives at a hotel, and never thinks twice about paying for extravagances far past the point of reasonable. Rachel finds herself sucked into Anna’s crazy life. Anna is always generous with paying, and Rachel understands that she gets monthly payment installments from her billionaire parents.
Much of this book is about Anna’s extravagant lifestyle, and reads kind of like an elongated magazine article. I guess that’s not terrible surprising coming from a writer who works at magazine. This didn’t seem like a fault to me. It was exactly what I expected from this book, and I ate up every page.
Anna’s character is, to say the least, unstable. She lacks the basic instincts of a functioning adult, and refuses to admit faults, and Williams’s writing articulated this wonderfully. The secondhand frustration I felt towards Anna was intense enough that I honestly cannot imagine how awful actually dealing with her must have been for Rachel. The depiction of Anna talking herself in circles was horrifying, and fully enthralling.
I did have a bit of a problem with Rachel’s apparent passivity throughout the book. Despite expressing anxiety and insomnia in regards to debt she racks up due to Anna’s refusal to pay her back for certain expenses, she didn’t explain any changes or plans she was making to actually try to deal with and address it. The second half of the book seemed a little thin in regards to insight from Rachel about her life outside of trying to contact Anna, but didn’t stop me from plowing through the story.