Sex and the prime real estate

âÄúONE FIFTH AVENUEâÄù AUTHOR: Candace Bushnell PUBLISHER: Voice Publishing PAGES: 448 pages PRICE: $25.95 Every 20-something woman, or so it seems, has a deep and undying love for âÄúSex and the City.âÄù Sweeping generalization? Maybe, but whenever weâÄôre splashed by a puddle-jumping city bus or trip on the sidewalk in four-inch heels, we think to ourselves: âÄúIt was such a Carrie moment.âÄù Some of us consider ourselves opinionated Mirandas, while others identify with sweet, hopeful Charlotte. And then there are those who just couldnâÄôt help but proclaim themselves a Carrie, like âÄúOne Fifth AvenueâÄù character Miss Lola Fabrikant, a gorgeously vapid girl with a plan to marry up, and fast. Her âÄúSex and the CityâÄù obsession is so monumental that she talks her father into paying her rent in the very NYC neighborhood the fictional Carrie called home. The cast and characters of âÄúSex and the CityâÄù author Candace BushnellâÄôs newest chick-lit offering, âÄúOne Fifth Avenue,âÄù are women (and men) obsessed. TheyâÄôre not mad for shoes, like Carrie B., nor are they entirely focused on becoming top executives, like the women of âÄúLipstick Jungle.âÄù The characters of âÄúOne Fifth AvenueâÄù are totally obsessed with an address. Said address is a legendary apartment building, the lustrous home to various celebrities and luminaries, the titular âÄúOne Fifth Avenue.âÄù The book revolves around a revolving door of personalities: The movie star Schiffer Diamond (who in the world is named Schiffer?), the gay art dealer Billy, the career woman Mindy, the movie producer who Lola seduces with her nubile 22-year-old body âÄî stereotypes and caricatures all, but itâÄôs to be expected in the small world of the upper crust. ThereâÄôs sex, thereâÄôs bucketloads of money, there are Botox injections and there are power struggles. Typical. There are those who compare BushnellâÄôs litany of chick-lit (âÄúSex and the City,âÄù âÄú4 Blondes,âÄù âÄúTrading Up,âÄù book-and-NBC-series âÄúLipstick Jungle,âÄù and now âÄúOne Fifth AvenueâÄù) to the wry, sophisticated social commentary of Wharton and Fitzgerald . Such comparisons are aiming a bit too high, because the average chick-lit reading, rom-com loving consumer âÄî BushnellâÄôs prime target âÄî is perhaps a bit too label-obsessed to be compared with Daisy Buchanan. ThatâÄôs not to say Bushnell isnâÄôt clever or unfazed (most of the time) by the glitz and glamour that surround both her characters and the author herself on a daily basis, but what she intends her novels to do (satirize a completely shallow and ridiculous, if enviable, social sphere) often gives into the temptation of other poolside reads âÄî make it end happily! Keep talking about shoes! But Bushnell can write, and sheâÄôs got cred. She even used to hang out with Bret Easton Ellis in the âÄô80s. She creates characters that are easy to identify with, often flirting with making them a bit too stereotypical. âÄúOne Fifth AvenueâÄù in particular is probably best digested in between study sessions. It wouldnâÄôt be surprising if Hollywood snaps up the rights to âÄúOne Fifth Avenue,âÄù given its current fascination with the land of Lanvin and the lifestyles of the rich and famous (see âÄúPradaâÄù and âÄúConfessions of a ShopaholicâÄù,) and turns it into a cheesy romance-come-drama starring the newest up-and-coming social climbing young starlet. ItâÄôd be a perfect fit.