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SQUADPOD REVIEWS: Don’t Believe the Hype by Natalie Lewis

Published April 13th, 2023 by Hodder Paperbacks
Humorous Fiction, Urban Fiction

Today I’m sharing my review for one of our Squadpod Reviews titles, Don’t Believe the Hype. Thank you to Hodder Paperbacks for the invitation to read this book and the gifted copy.


‘An addictive, glorious romp . . . Don’t Believe the Hype feels like spending time with your funniest, most gossipy, best dressed friend’ Clare Pooley

The world of fashion is supposed to be glamorous . . . isn’t it?

Meet Frankie Marks: the world’s least likely fashion PR. She got the job by fluke, she doesn’t know the first thing about designers, she’s always hungry, and she struggles to think before she speaks. When Frankie crash-lands in the prestigious GGC agency, her friends and family can’t believe it – least of all her long-term (and long-suffering) boyfriend, James.

Frankie quickly realises she needs to use everything she’s got to survive life behind the scenes of this glamorous and chaotic industry – with its eccentric characters, towering expectations, and quite frankly ridiculous requests. But first, she needs to learn the difference between velour and velvet . . .

As the pressure builds and Frankie’s personal life begins to take the hit, she starts to wonder if she’ll ever manage to escape the strange world of fashion unscathed. And, for that matter, does she even want to?



Frankie Marks is not your typical fashion PR. But finding a job that utilises her History of Art degree has been far from easy, and she’s getting desperate. So, she applies for a job at the prestigious GGC agency, feeling certain she’ll not get the job as she knows nothing about fashion. But to the surprise of herself and all those who know her, Frankie is hired. Forced to take a crash-course in the chaotic world of fashion PR, Frankie soon realises she has a lot to learn if she’s going to succeed in her new role. But does she really want to succeed? And if so, what will she have to sacrifice along the way?

Entertaining, witty, gossipy, snarky and stylish, Don’t Believe the Hype pulls back the curtain to offer us a glimpse of what it’s really like to work in the crazy world of fashion. Debut author Natalie Lewis sets the tone perfectly, opening each chapter with a faux press release that correlates to that chapter. Perfect for reading in the sun with a glass of wine, it feels like dishing the dirt with your bestie, or reading a tell-all memoir. 

Frankie is a great protagonist. She’s someone we can relate to, and starts out at GGC as a real fish out of water. After all, this job is just a brief stepping stone to help her in her ‘real’ career. But, to her surprise, she finds herself being drawn into this relentless, exhilarating, absurd and stressful world, and is no longer sure she wants to leave. But as her personal life slowly begins to fall apart from neglect, you have to wonder if it’s all worth it, and there were many times I wanted to reach into the book and shake her yet also wanted her to keep entertaining us by remaining in this strange world. The cast of background characters has been filled with some eccentric, memorable people who were an absolute joy to read. And we can’t forget the must-have conflict that is provided courtesy of Dominic Carter, the handsome but irritating character who runs a rival PR company.

Fun, lighthearted and totally readable, I highly recommend this brilliant debut. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰



Natalie Lewis was a leading fashion pr for three decades. As an agency owner she launched brands including net-a-porter and Jimmy Choo before going on to work with several designers and high-profile clients such as Claudia Schiffer, Bella Freud and latterly Victoria Beckham. After deciding she couldn’t discuss camera angles or lighting up nostrils any longer she retired from the industry in 2020 to concentrate on writing.

Her first novel features Frankie Marks, the most unlikely fashion pr in London. Fashion isn’t her forte, she’s always hungry and sometimes she doesn’t think before she speaks. As she navigates her way through a sometimes-absurd fashion world trying and failing to balance her professional and personal lives, she provides a contemporary take on insider access to the worlds of fashion and celebrity pr. Don’t Believe The Hype will be published in Spring 2023.



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