Cover-Up by Kibkabe Araya

cover up

Before my flight to Spain, I loaded up my iPad with as many interesting-looking free iBooks as I could find. I uploaded classics like The Secret Garden, short stories like The Time Machine, and a few contemporary fiction like Cover-Up. I must say, I started this book without very high expectations; the summary piqued my interest but I didn’t plan on taking the book too seriously.

And after finishing it, I still don’t take it that seriously. But don’t get me wrong, it was good. It was a light read that adequately filled up my free-time. A novel about make-up and appearances was about as frilly as can be expected. It mainly follows four girls in an omniscient style, Kennedy, Zara, Laurenne, and Venetia. All are black (which was honestly a pleasant surprise for me) and have their own dreams and goals for their careers. Focusing on Kennedy for a bit, her goal is to be a new reporter who specializes in reporting political and world news themes. But to get to that point, several companies tell her, some directly some indirectly, that she needs to change her “look”; this basically corresponds to adding a daily make-up routine, changing her hair, almost effectively changing her personality. After this drastic change, she “gets” the guy she’s been crushing on since high school and high-end employers/general people start to notice her.

But as expected, she realizes that this new her isn’t her at all, that she’s trying to follow something that she isn’t even passionate about. The ending wasn’t at all surprising, but it did seem a little rushed. I only wish that Araya mentioned more about Kennedy’s true passions and didn’t make her so flat. But it was a good “eh” novel.

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