Skip to main content

DNF Review: The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Melanie Benjamin - The Swans of Fifth Avenue 
Expected publication: January 26, 2016 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 368
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: N/A. (No rating. DNF, remember?)

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife comes an enthralling new novel about Truman Capote’s scandalous, headline-making, and heart-wrenching friendship with Babe Paley and New York’s society “swans” of the 1950s.

Centered on two dynamic, complicated, and compelling protagonists—Truman Capote and Babe Paley—this book is steeped in the glamour and perfumed and smoky atmosphere of New York’s high society. Babe Paley—known for her high-profile marriage to CBS founder William Paley and her ranking in the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame—was one of the reigning monarchs of New York’s high society in the 1950s. Replete with gossip, scandal, betrayal, and a vibrant cast of real-life supporting characters, readers will be seduced by this startling new look at the infamous society swans.

DNF @ 20%

Because absolutely not.

I'm all for historical fiction. Just look at my TBR. It's monstrous in all its might. Obviously, when I heard of this little mystical historical wonder here, I jumped for it. New York society life. The '50s.

The story takes place in the early '50s. Truman Capote takes great pride in his "swans," who are unfortunately not gorgeous birds but women he enjoys gossiping with, Babe, Slim, Pamela, Marella, Gloria, and C.Z. He attends their parties, dines at their houses while their husbands are away, and partakes in plenty of shopping. Life is swell.

Believe me, I usually love anything associated with NYC society. I'm a big fan of Gossip Girl, but these people were so petty. Truman would dine at Babe's house and laugh with her, all friendly-like, then he'd visit another friend and talk massive shit about her.

In another irk-worthy scene, Babe's husband, William, who just so happens to be the founder of CBS, returns home after a strenuous day. Truman happens to be there. Babe worries whether she should wash her face and put on a whole new face of makeup to appease her man, but Truman insists she's fine. Seems fine, yes? Truman decides to stay for dinner, so when Babe decides to dote on her husband, offering him hors d'oeuvres and a foot massage, Truman is disgusted by the woman she's become and how his "Goddess turned into a mere housewife." Also, he gaslights her when she admits to having caretakers watch her children.

Like, who even are you? Truman gossips with a plethora of woman each day and has the nerve to pick on a happily-married woman? Please, save me the drama.

Though the writing is lovely, it's somewhat exaggerated. The constant celebrity name-dropping was unnecessary. I also could've done without 600% of their appearances and all the defamation, but it's cool. Good writing, nonetheless. Just a terrible cast.



  1. "Because absolutely not" is the BEST reason I have ever heard for DNFing! I love it! And yeah, it sounds kind of awful. I mean, he just gossips and name drops all day, and then judges his own friends? Not surprising I guess. What's the saying, something about "If people gossip TO you, they will gossip ABOUT you"? Seriously though, sounds like a real pack of winners ;) At least the writing was good, but good thing you put the kibosh on this in a hurry!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. A quote for the ages, heehee. My first DNF of the year, too! Way horrid. Could only wonder if the real Truman was like that. I've never heard of that quote, omg, but how true! It makes me think of The Great Gatsby for some reason!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Antisocial

Jillian Blake - Antisocial Published: May 16, 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Romance, Young ADult
Pages: 256
Source: NetGalley
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2/5

Alexandria Prep is about to be exposed.

Senior spring was supposed to mean sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her perfect basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hack…

Blog Tour Review: Christmas In London

Anita Hughes - Christmas In London Published: October 3, 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genres: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 4.5/5

A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge's in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want L…

Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn

Marianna Baer - The Inconceivable Life of Quinn Expected publication: April 4, 2017 by Amulet Books
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads
Rating: 2.5/5

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?