Techbitch – Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Techbitch “Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, is a legend in the fashion world. But when she returns from a sabbatical to find her twenty-six-year-old former assistant, Eve Morton, behind her desk, she realises times are changing. Eve announces she has been brought in to turn Imogen’s beloved magazine into an app. With herself at the helm. In this terrifying new world, Imogen is almost invisible, but she isn’t ready to give up her hard-earned career without a fight. Even if it means going to war with a ruthless Techbitch…”

When I received my copy of Techbitch, I was immediately impressed by its production values. Even though it’s just a proof copy, Penguin have gone to town on this book, using a clear acetate cover, with the title and author name, wrapped around the book. When it’s taken off, all we see is the cover image: the New York skyline, which is very fitting for this book, as I imagine it’s the view Imogen Tate sees when she looks out of her window at Glossy – the beloved magazine that she edits. When she comes back to the office following a half-year medical leave, she’s surprised to see an old face – Eve Morton, her once-treasured assistant. But Eve has evolved, into a glossy, tech-savvy, iPhone-wielding ‘Techbitch’ who has been hired by Glossy‘s owners to turn the magazine into an app, embracing the increasingly digital society we live in – a change that has hit the publishing industry probably the hardest.

But Imogen has no idea how to tweet something, or Like something, and she thinks a hashtag is some kind of food. How is she going to turn Glossy into an app? While she struggles to embrace all of the new technology surrounding her, she’s also having difficulties with Eve. Once a sweet, grateful girl, desperate to help, she’s now a manipulative, conniving woman who is doing everything she can to show Imogen up whilst she tries to ‘update’ the magazine – even though she’s driving it into the ground by not knowing how Glossy works, not treating her staff properly and trying to do business in a tacky, pushy manner – the exact antithesis of Glossy.

As Imogen grits her teeth and gets on with it, she’s having problems at home, too. She’s barely around to see her husband and her daughter, a once happy and bright child, is being bullied so badly that it’s destroying her self-esteem. The bully is hiding behind a fake name – but when their identity is revealed to Imogen, she knows exactly what she has to do to get her family – and her career – back on track…

Techbitch is a fast-paced, witty read that delivers a satirical attack on our increasingly, sometimes ridiculously, technology-ridden society. With its cast of razor-sharp characters that will make you grateful for your sane (by comparison) colleagues, scatterings of genuine sartorial advice and unputdownable writing, this is an addictive read that should be on every female twentysomething’s shelf. You won’t just love it; you’ll Like it.

Many thanks to Penguin for the review copy.