Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Review: Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins


First there’s Denver Jones, the hotshot attorney working in L.A. and Carolyn Henderson – personal assistant to a powerful and very married Senator in Washington with whom she is having an affair. Then there’s Annabelle Maestro – daughter of two movie stars – who has carved out a career for herself in New York as the madame of choice for discerning famous men. The three twenty-something women used to go to high school together in Beverly Hills and Denver and Carolyn have always kept in touch, but Annabelle is out on her own with her cocaine addicted boyfriend Frankie.

Bobby is Frankie’s best friend – Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous, that is, Kennedy-esque son of Lucky Santangelo and deceased Greek shipping billionaire Dimitri Stanislopolous. Now he owns Mood, the hottest club in New York, but back in the day he went to high school with Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle, and hung out with all three of them. Which means that Bobby knows everyone’s secrets – and he has some of his own, too.


Debauchery, betrayal, frivolity and adultery all wrapped up in one entertaining plot, played out by a comedic array of characters. Poor Little Bitch Girl focuses, primarily, on 4 characters but incorporates those around them. Each chapter provides the name of who it "focuses" on- Annabelle, Denver, Carolyn or Bobby. Denver's chapters were strictly first person while the others were third person, not only showing inside the minds of their namesakes but to those around them as well, giving the reader insight into the majority of the events happening.

Individually, these 4 plot lines could conceive their own books but Collins does a remarkable job skipping between them, weaving everything together, and keeping the reader entertained. Each chapter is relatively short- a few pages and most of them skip around within the chapters between the different relevant people. While this choppy method could cause the book to be hard to follow, Collins somehow waves it seamlessly, in part because the length between character chapters isn't extensive. In essence, this book is filled with cliffhanger after cliffhanger, each one strong enough to keep the reader turning the pages and remembering the various subplots. It was very refreshing to be able to follow the rapid transitions without much disonance on the reader's part.

As for the characters, Collins does a marvelous job casting the rough characters into an empathatic light and some of the seemingly innocent, sweet characters as something cruel. In many ways, several characters were trainwrecks waiting to happen- even the ones that started out as someone responsible and intelligent. Annabelle is the "bitch girl" associated with the title, having grown up as the daughter of two movie star parents- but little to no attention as a result. I altered between enjoying her story and finding her repulsive, falling into it exactly as Collins intended with every action Annabelle does and stands out most notibly as the character who I felt an array of emotions and responses towards.

In their own way, several of these characters seemed morally depraved, pitching everything into black and white before blurring it and turning everything an intruiging variety of grays. The motivations behind many things for several characters, while not excusable, were understandable and believable. The sex, of course, is rampant throughout this book, coming in at some surprising and hysterical times. For many of these characters, their sex lives are a big part of them and Collins held nothing back in showing all of it. Never once did it seem added just to be added and in its own way, kept the story moving. Many personality traits of the characters came out as a result and I enjoyed Collins' use for it.

The largest mystery of the book is the person behind Annabelle's mother's murder but throughout, plenty of suspects came up and the air of intrigue built until everything came together at the end. The final outcome was a mixture of vindication and justice with a truth about getting away with crimes and even hints of karma. Collins finishes the book with an epilogue, covering most of the characters introduced and leaving the reader with an overall sense of closure while still holding some smirks and questions.

This is a well developed and well written book that casts a comical light undershadowed by a murder investigation. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys these kind of books- it's a hit and several scenes will stand out and leave the reader still laughing, rolling their eyes and shaking their head at the antics these characters get themselves into. Despite the large range of characters, Collins develops them all and ties their stories together masterfully.

Source: Finished hardbound copy received for review from publisher
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312567456
ISBN-13: 978-0312567453
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.8 inches

Author's Website

Read Chapter 1


  1. This sounds like a fun read, and I really love the title. I'll be adding it to my 'summer reads' list.

  2. I find taking an author seriously when my mom reads their books is quite difficult, but maybe I'll pick this one up.

  3. I LOVE the title. I watched an interview and I love how Jackie says it! Cool cover to!

  4. Cover and title sounds fun. I haven't read any Jackie Collins till now. Seems like I have to give her a try,especially after your lovely review :)

  5. This doesn't seem like my type of book, but the cover is really cute!! Great review!