Review - Tan Lines - JJ Salem

41fEIHWedPL._SL500_ Synopsis

During one unforgettable season at a Hamptons summer share, three women's journeys unfold thrill by thrill and shock by shock, in this addictive story about the illusions of glamour, the dark side of success and the elusiveness of love.

Liza Pike--She's the It Girl for topical feminist spin--beautiful, successful, and ferociously fearless.  But as the media props her up to be the millennium's new Gloria Steinem, she's falling into all the old traps she cautions other women to avoid...

Kellyanne Downey--She's been holding out for her big break as an actress while enduring a series of dead end jobs and playing mistress to a rich developer.  But now she's wondering why the phenomenal looks that were supposed to take her all the way are leading her to the edge of nowhere...

Billie Shelton--She's the indie-rock bitch goddess with an appetite for self-destruction.  Men are candy, drugs are fuel, girlfriends are disposable commodities, and in her world, looking out for number one is the only way to live...


Upon first glance I immediately thought this would be a good summer read for me. I am a huge fan of Jackie Collins and have always enjoyed a fun, trashy romp with the rich and famous. So the quote for this book from Jackie Collins, “A really great beach read!  I loved it!”, was the selling point for me.

However, as I got about a third of the way through I started to seriously question whether or not JJ Salem was a real person. Surely it had to be Jackie Collins writing under a pseudonym. But so far as I can figure, JJ Salem is the real deal.

Much like most contemporary glam-fic, the reader is introduced to a small cast of characters and their entourage. Here we meet a rock star, an actress and a feminist, political talk-show commentator. But they are all having some problems at the moment, successful careers are in trouble, failing relationships, drug addictions and depression are what these ladies need to deal with. In order to escape and try to rebuild their lives, these three friends take on a summer share in the Hamptons, where they hope to re-connect and help one another get back on top.

The story is a steady read throughout and displays a great sense of character development. You can actually feel the ladies growing and becoming more self-aware while at the same time acknowledging the mistakes they have been making. At first they seemed much like three dimensional cut out dolls, but the author managed to create real people of these clones.

The only problem I had with this novel was the repetitious logo/brand-name dropping. Style and fashion descriptives are very good ways to describe the way a character presents themselves, however it becomes tedious when the brand and cost is mentioned this much.

All in all this is a great read if you are looking for something quick, fun and totally trashy. Any sensitive or younger readers should be aware that Tan Lines does contain lots of profanity, drug use and graphic sex. 

About The Author

J. J. Salem lives in the American South and is currently writing his next novel, Bikini Wax. Author Website

Published by St. Martin's Press


Check out what these great bloggers had to say about Tan Lines.

She Is Too Fond Of Books

Bookish Ruth


As Usual I Need More BookShelves

In The Shadow Of Mt TBR

BookRoom Reviews

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Ruth said...

Thanks for linking to my review! I devoured this book; it was a perfect summer guilty pleasure read. I found the label and name-dropping tedious as well, but the rest of the book made up for it. Great review!

Anonymous said...

Hey Book Zombie! yes, sex, drugs, rock & roll and profanity ... *Tan Lines* had it all (I even hid the cover from my kids!). It's not something I'd usually read, but it fit the bill for a summer book that kept the pages turning! Thanks for linking to my review.

Nicole said...

Brand name dropping is the worst. One or two fine, but really, we get the point.

Tracy said...

Ha Ha, I like Dawn's comment about the cover, I did the same thing! Agree it was very trashy read. Great review:)

Book Zombie said...

Lol love how you hid the cover! Luckily mine was a hardcover and I'm in the habit of removing the dust jackets when I read :)

naida said...

i've heard of this one before, it does sound really good.
great review!