The BookBrowse Review

Published May 15, 2019

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

Necessary People
by Anna Pitoniak
21 May 2019
352 pages
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
ISBN-13: 9780316451703
Genre: Thrillers
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One of them has it all. One of them wants it all. Only one of them can win.

Stella Bradley is beautiful, rich, and very good at getting herself into trouble. Violet Trapp is smart, self-aware, and laser-focused on escaping her humble background--especially after Stella gives her a glimpse into a world of glamour and wealth. They are best friends, and from the moment they meet in college, they know their roles: Stella in the spotlight, and Violet behind the scenes.

After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she's finally free from Stella's shadow. Until Stella decides to use her connections, beauty and charisma to land a job at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce-and taking all the credit for it.

But Violet isn't giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, they each reveal just how far they'll go to get what they want--even if it means destroying the other person along the way.

Set against the fast-paced backdrop of TV news, Necessary People is a propulsive work of psychological suspense about ambition and privilege, about the thin line between friendship and rivalry, about the people we need in our lives--and the people we don't.

"Deceptively nuanced, and impossible to put down, this is escapism with substance...Sheer pleasure." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This stirring character study and treatise on the dark sides of ambition, friendship, family, and privilege will hook readers from the get-go." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Hand this to readers who like books exploring the dark side of female friendships, à la Megan Abbott, or fans of Tara Isabella Burton's Social Creature (2018)." - Booklist

"Delicious...Thrilling...I was so mesmerized by this story that I took the longer subway route to drinks more than once so I'd have more time to savor it."- Marie Claire (Best Books of 2019 So Far)

"A chilling mix of charm, danger, suspense and surprises... you think you know where this book is going--but you don't." - Lee Child

"Pitoniak's riveting and gripping novel nails the big personalities, intense competition and high drama of TV newsrooms. I was sucked in by the dark friendship of these two ambitious women, and did not see the final twist coming!" - Alisyn Camerota, Anchor of CNN's New Day and author of Amanda Wakes Up

"Necessary People is a complex, sharply written novel of female friendship and competition. Set in the cutthroat world of cable news, the story of ambitious, brilliant Violet and her moneyed, beautiful best friend Stella is everything I want from a novel and more - rife with plot twists and rich with insights, this is a book that will leave you desperate for whatever Anna Pitoniak writes next."- Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

Write your own review

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Vivian H
Unlikable Characters But Clever Story
Necessary People involves unlikable characters who use one another for personal benefit, exploit family connections and several scenarios that stretch credibility even in the cutthroat world of cable news. However, despite the strains on credulity, it was a clever story.

Anna Pitoniak is the author of The Futures. She worked for many years in book publishing, most recently as a Senior Editor at Random House. She grew up in Whistler, British Columbia, and now lives in New York City.

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