New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett:

hangover, check

feeling weepy, check

broken sense of self, check check check

Jobless and stuck living at home with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks, the one saving grace for Scarlett is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road. But even the pub is losing its appeal. Desperate to do something, she moves to London with no plan, no money and nowhere to stay. Unsurprisingly, she finds herself crashing on her ex-boyfriend’s sofa with all of her terrible life choices for company.

It’s after Scarlett starts interning at a modelling agency that she takes her first step to becoming something – but it’s also her first step to becoming something else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral. But people are starting to know her; she’s starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

With a vein of dark humour at its core, The High Moments offers an astute, often stark look at the fashion industry and the issues you can face as a woman in your twenties – fans of Girls and Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals will love this.

This is the story of Scarlett who has finished Uni and is jobless and back in a hometown that she hates. She dreams of being a fashion designer even though she hasn’t studied it at University and has only ever made one dress for her A Level Art. After another argument with her Mum she sets off to London and by some miracle lands herself a job at a model agency. It is the story of what she will do to get ahead and be liked and popular on social media.

This book is a read for a Summer afternoon in the garden or to take to a beach. I didn’t like the main character Scarlett at all, she wasn’t a nice person. She wasn’t a good friend, she wasn’t a good daughter and she used people in a terrible manner. I have a feeling that we are supposed to empathise with her slightly but I just didn’t. What it did show was the pressure of life in the modern world for young impressionable women who regard popularity as validation of who they are and where followers are more important than people. Of course the main character realises the error of her ways and takes steps to transform her life so there is a positive message in the end.

Thank you to @simonschusteruk & @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Sara-Ella Ozbek is a London-bred author of South African and Turkish descent. After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BA in English Literature, she interned at Vogue magazine and subsequently fell into a job at a modelling agency.

After six exciting, if somewhat draining, years as an agent, she left to pursue a career in writing. She attended the New York Film Academy screenwriting programme then went to Los Angeles where she joined the hustle of the screenwriters. Out of the frustration and misery came her first novel, The High Moments.

Aside from the novel, she has written non-fiction for titles including Because Magazine, Suitcase, Tatler, Drugstore Culture, Voyage D’Etudes and Soho House Notes.

One response to “#TheHighMoments”

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