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The Botox Diaries

The Botox Diaries

4.3 26
by Janice Kaplan, Lynn Schnurnberger

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In a world where plastic surgery is as popular as a pair of sexy Manolo Blahniks, suburban single mom Jessica Taylor is trying to make it past forty with nothing more than moisturizer and a swipe of mascara. Her glamorous best friend, TV producer Lucy Baldor, has a different idea of aging gracefully. “My body is a temple,” Lucy explains. “I just


In a world where plastic surgery is as popular as a pair of sexy Manolo Blahniks, suburban single mom Jessica Taylor is trying to make it past forty with nothing more than moisturizer and a swipe of mascara. Her glamorous best friend, TV producer Lucy Baldor, has a different idea of aging gracefully. “My body is a temple,” Lucy explains. “I just don’t want it to crumble like St. John the Divine.”
Jess and Lucy’s friendship has weathered the trials of marriage, the births of children, and the transition from itty-bitty bikinis to “Kindest Cut” one-piece suits. Now the women are discovering that midlife crises aren’t just for men—they’re equal-opportunity dilemmas.
To Jess’s dismay, Lucy announces that she’s taken a lover. A very famous lover. Her husband, Dan, is bound to find out (especially after a picture of the amorous duo appears on Page Six of the New York Post), but Lucy’s too wrapped up in the joys of expensive lingerie and romantic retreats to care. Jess finds herself in the midst of her own romantic predicament when, after ten years of silence, her sexy French ex-husband, Jacques, ends up back in her life—and in her bed.

Whether navigating bake sales, bicoastal affairs, or bagels-and-Botox parties, these wise and witty women know that their friendship will remain the one true thing they can count on. Well, that and a good push-up bra, of course. And their bond withstands everything—from an orgy in Willie Nelson’s trailer to a reality TV-show bachelor named Boulder.
Funny, brazen, and often poignant, this irresistible novel offers an unexpected and entertaining look at two women’s midlife adventures. From Thai massage to tantric sex, who would have thought forty could be so much fun?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Warning! Reading this book could cause laugh lines! May also lead to sleep deprivation—since once you start, you won’t be able to stop. I loved it.”
—LAUREN WEISBERGER, author of The Devil Wears Prada

“Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger may have written the Ur Post-Chick-lit novel. The Botox Diaries is a romp that lauds the ‘tender’ virtues we all embrace. Try not to deepen your laugh lines as you follow the adventures of these two lovable grownup girls.”
—JACQUELYN MITCHARD, author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A sexy, sophisticated romp guaranteed to keep you entertained. Highest ratings to the hilarious TV tales, told with an insider’s wry and loving eye. A great read!”

“What midlife crisis? The Botox Diaries is the perfect antidote to scalpel scandals and yoga yuppies . . . and far, far more satisfying than a carb-free éclair will ever be.”
—KAREN MOLINE, author of Belladonna

“Talk about a lift! The Botox Diaries is a potent injection of humor and insight.”
—JEANNE WOLF, Jeanne Wolf’s Hollywood

Julia Livshin
Fast-paced and with a zinger on every page, The Botox Diaries is good summer fun.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Moneyed suburban moms are the belles of this midlife romantic comedy. Divorced Jess Taylor saw the back side of 40 a few years ago, but doesn't much care. She's got her bubbly 10-year-old daughter, Jen, a house in New York City suburb Pine Hills and a fulfilling job at the Arts Council for Kids. She's also got a similarly equipped best friend-except Lucy has a glamorous TV producer gig, loving husband Dan, and now, suddenly, a famous TV show host lover. Jess is appalled, but secretly she wonders if she's not missing out. Enter Jacques, long-ago ex-husband, who's just as unsuitable-and sexy-as ever. Sprightly Jen is determined to get her mom hitched, up to and including booking her on a reality dating show. Meanwhile, Jess has to get New York City's wealthy and aptly named Alpha Moms together to cast their children alongside project kids in a small-scale benefit production of My Fair Lady, which somehow ends up taking place at Lincoln Center. This amiable, good-natured comedy will put the reader in mind of her favorite flannel pajamas-not sexy, exactly, but comfortable and fun. Agent, Jane Gelfman. (June) Forecast: The novel mines the same tired territory as a host of Nanny Diaries imitators, but will fit the bill for those still mourning the end of Sex and the City. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Forty-plus and loving it-well, sort of. A rambling tale of two New York friends, Jessica Taylor (a single, suburban mother of an 11-year-old daughter) and Lucy Baldor (a TV producer), who have shrieky, girlfriendy conversations at all hours about life and womanhood and shoe sales and, um, other stuff. Lots of other stuff. (Too bad they don't get a funny or sophisticated or even just plain bitchy line once in a while.) The plot: Lucy, a well-preserved 41, is having a fling. Never mind that her husband Dan is nice, sexy, and smart, though apparently clueless. Bedeviled by sensual dreams of Jacques, her French ex-husband, Jessica can't help wondering whether she should fool around with Dan. Then daughter Jen schemes to get her mom on a pick-a-bachelor show, where Jessica meets a muscular loverboy from Colorado-but, darn it, that's just not her scene. Yes, unlike actual, genuinely obnoxious-and-proud-of-it New Yorkers, these two cardboard characters never, ever swear: they say darn, heck, and gosh. And they don't ever say mean things. Ho-hum debut supposedly set in Manhattan-the place names and designer brands are right-but totally lacking in attitude, hustle, and flavor. Agent: Jane Gelfman/Gelfman Schneider

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.16(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

champagne corks are popping and it’s only five a.m.

“Darling,” Lucy trills as I groggily cradle the phone between my ear and my goose down pillow. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”

Of course not. Why would I be asleep at this hour when I could be up repotting the azaleas?

“Where are you?” I ask, fumbling for the Brite-Lite clock on the night table to confirm that, yes, it’s still two hours until my alarm goes off. “Traveling?”

“L.A., darling,” Lucy says. “Working.”

I knew that. When she’s in New York, Lucy lives around the corner in a big Tudor house, but she regularly packs off to Burbank to produce glamorous TV shows. Being on the opposite coast causes her to sink into saying “darling” too much.

“Everything okay?” I ask, awake enough now for my worry genes to have kicked in.

“Absolutely, yes,” Lucy says as I hear what I swear is another champagne cork popping in the background. She bursts into giggles, covers the phone, and calls out, “Watch it, darling!”

“What’s going on there?” I ask.

“It’s not what you think. We’re rehearsing for a show and there’s a scene with Dom Perignon. We’re using real French champagne, even for the sound check.”

French champagne. I sit up abruptly realizing that when the phone rang, I had been dreaming about Jacques, my very own Frenchman. We were lying naked, with our arms wrapped around each other at the edge of a warm, sunny beach. He was kissing me passionately as the waves lapped over us. Wait a minute. Didn’t I see that same scene in some old movie? I put the phone down and notice the TV across the room is still flickering. I must have fallen asleep watching From Here to Eternity. Again.

“Yoo-hoo, ” Lucy calls impatiently. “Earth to Jess. You still with me?”

I clear my throat. “Jacques,” I say. “We were making love.”

“Jacques? Jacques is there?” Lucy screams so loudly across the country that she doesn’t even need her brand-new cherry red Nokia 120000RICH cell phone.

“No, Jacques isn’t here. Of course not. We were on the beach.” That’s not what I meant to say. “I mean I was dreaming about him on the beach. Nude.” I manage to stop myself before I get to the climax. Of the story. Next topic. I realize it’s two a.m. on her coast so I say, “But anyway, you’re working late.”

“I know. All night. Everyone thinks my life is all poolside meetings with Ben Affleck, but all I do out here is work, work, work.” Lucy sounds awfully cheerful for a poor working girl. But then again, she’s downing champagne while I’m cozying up to a blue plastic tumbler of tepid bathroom water.

“So what’s going on?” I ask, wondering why this call couldn’t have waited for daybreak—on either coast.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, ” Lucy says, taking a deep breath, “but it’s about the bake sale.”

Ah, right. The fifth-grade bake sale. Now that’s certainly worth a call at five a.m. In fact, I bet she’s halted shooting on her million-dollar production in order to get this handled.

“I need a favor, darling,” Lucy says. “Dan said he’d pick up something for Lily to bring, but that means it will be store-bought. Uck. I’ll look like a bad mother. So two questions. What are you making for Jen to take, and would you mind very much making double?”

Double what? I haven’t even given it a thought. I’ve just barely recovered from making nachos to send to school last week for International Lunch Day. The week before it was homemade yogurt for the Dairy-Tasting Project. Did I miss the PTA meeting when they installed Martha Stewart as the new principal? Jen’s homework tonight will no doubt include long division, current events, and . . .

“Cupcakes!” I say brightly. “Jen and I are going to make cupcakes.”

“I knew it!” Lucy says gleefully. “You make the best cupcakes! And you could make Jen’s with pink frosting and Lily’s with blue frosting, so they’d each feel special.”

I groan. That’s just what I need, cooking instructions from three thousand miles away. “Lucy, stick to producing your show and I’ll produce the cupcakes, okay?”

“I’m sorry,” Lucy says, sounding genuinely contrite. “I don’t mean to be so controlling. It’s hard being out of town and I just want everything to go right. And I’m only calling at this crazy hour because once we start shooting for real, I won’t have a second.”

Now I feel bad for jumping at her. So I try to compensate. Or overcompensate, as usual. “Listen, why doesn’t Lily come over tonight and the girls can make the cupcakes together. Then they can decorate them any way they want.”

And so what that after the girls are asleep I’ll probably gorge on gobs of leftover frosting—both pink and blue? I eat when I’m tired, and without a real-life Jacques around to notice, who really cares if a single mom has a little extra frosting on the hips?

“Oh, that’s so sweet of you,” Lucy says. “Lily will love that. I’ll call Dan and let him know.”

Dan, the husband of the year.

“Tell Dan that Lily should come for dinner, too. It’ll be easier for him.”

I have to stop. In another minute, I’ll be offering to run over and scrub her bathrooms and sleep with her husband so that her being away doesn’t inconvenience anybody too much. Anybody except me.

“Are you sure it’s not too much trouble?” Lucy asks.

“Of course not,” I say. “I love having girls’ night.”

“Well, we need one of those girls’ nights for just you and me as soon as I get back,” Lucy says. Then lowering her voice, she whispers into the cell phone, “You won’t believe what’s happened on this trip. I can’t wait to tell you. You’re the only friend I have who’d understand.”

Another champagne cork pops in the background, and Lucy dissolves into giggles. This time she covers the phone, but I can still hear her say, “Enough already! I’ll be right there.”

When we hang up, I pull the comforter up around my shoulders. I should try to fall asleep, but the minute I close my eyes I see Jacques again on that beach. I open them. This will never do. Jacques is my ex. In fact he happened so long ago that he’s an ex-ex-ex.

Alas, it’s the Triple-X elements of him that I seem to miss the most.

I make myself sit up and flick on the Itty Bitty reading lamp by my bed. As long as I’m awake I might as well get something done since my to-do list is longer than the newly revised tax code. I desperately need to deep-condition my hair, order a new bath mat, reorganize the closets, reupholster the sofa, recaulk the counters and renew Jen’s library books. And while I’m at it I should find a faster printer, a faster Internet provider, and a faster exercise program. I’m still spending thirty minutes twice a week on the treadmill, when everyone else is building Better Abs in Five Minutes a Day. With all the time I’d save, I’m sure I could do something about world peace.

But world peace is going to have to wait, because I end up spending the next hour flicking through the Lands’ End catalog and por- ing over pictures of the “Kindest Cut” bathing suits. All modeled by women more-or-less my age, apparently grateful for the extra bra support and the no-ride backside. The one-piece suits are cut high on top, low on bottom and loose all around. How did I get this catalog anyway? Do the fashion police know I’m over forty? I reflexively glance down at my breasts. Still firm, but less than perky. Maybe I just need my morning coffee. I was reading just yesterday that caffeine is a great pick-me-up—for your breasts. No wonder Starbucks stock is on the rise.

I sigh and toss aside the catalog. From the next bedroom, I hear my daughter Jen moving around, humming happily to herself. Why would I worry about long-gone bikini-wearing days when the present is blessed by a loving daughter with a crooked smile who gets up in the morning singing? Sure enough, a minute later she comes bounding into my room.

“Hey, Mom. Wanna hear my new song?” she asks, bursting with more energy than Britney Spears in a Pepsi commercial.

“Sure,” I say, sitting back with a smile. My little girl—well, not as little as I think she is—has on a teeny-tiny pink nightgown that makes her look more Baby Doll than baby. Even straight from bed, her skin is dewy and her big brown eyes are clear and bright. I’d need alpha hydroxy, two moisturizers, and Visine just to look half that good.

Jen grins and poses dramatically at the foot of the bed, arms flung out wide and hips bouncing from side to side as she starts to sing. It takes me a minute to register the tune. But then I get it, that Madonna song, “Like a Virgin.” Like a virgin? She’s eleven years old, for heaven’s sake. As far as I’m concerned, the only time she should use the “V” word is in an ode to the Virgin Mary. It makes me long for the days when she warbled that unbearable Barney song.

“Love your singing,” I venture, trying to be supportive. But I’ve got to know. “Where the heck did you learn that song?”

“They play it on the oldies station,” she says, jumping onto my bed.

Madonna on the oldies station. I shudder to think where that puts the Rolling Stones—or me.

“I’m going to sing it for Ethan,” Jen says excitedly.

Ethan, her boyfriend. One of us has to have one. Although hers is twelve.

“You are not going to sing that for him,” I say just a little too prissily. I look around the room to see if my mother just came in, because that was definitely her voice. I soften my position. “I mean, the whole act might be a little much.” Touched for the very first time? I don’t think so. No use giving the boy pointers.

“Well, I’ll sing it but I won’t wear a belly shirt, okay?” she asks with a mischievous twinkle. Then suddenly she leans over and looks at me wide-eyed. “Mom, your hair. What happened? It’s all gray!”

“What do you mean?” My hand flies up to my head.

“It’s all gray,” Jen repeats. “Ooh. Eck!”

Horrified, I tug at my roots. Is it possible? I’ve avoided the L’Oréal aisle at the drugstore for all these years and now it’s suddenly an emergency. Who knew this would happen overnight?

“How bad does it look?” I ask anxiously.

“Pretty bad,” Jen says. But then she breaks into giggles.

“April Fool’s!” she crows triumphantly.

“Got me,” I say, laughing and throwing the pillow at her as she ducks, doubled over in laughter. Scary that she knew I’d buy into anything about looking old.

Jen runs back to her room to catch up on more oldies—yup, Britney should be hitting that category any day now—and suddenly it occurs to me what my dream this morning was all about.

It’s April first.

My subconscious knew the date, even if I didn’t. Sixteen years ago today, over a breakfast of crepes and champagne, Jacques, my passionate French lover, handed me a sapphire-and-diamond ring and asked if I’d marry him. I gasped and said, “This isn’t an April Fool’s joke, is it?”

To which he said, “What mean, ‘April Fool’s’?”

Perhaps I should have taken our cultural chasm as a sign that the marriage wasn’t going to last any longer than the delicate Chanel sandals he’d bought me. Kisses in cafés, long luxurious lovemaking and out-of-body orgasms—okay, even many of them—don’t necessarily a solid marriage make. Although it does take you a while to notice. And I didn’t really have anyone to blame but myself when six years later the marriage crashed.

But enough. I haven’t even showered yet and already I’ve dreamed about sex with my ex, been April-fooled into feeling like Barbara Bush, and gotten vicariously giddy on Dom Perignon. But today’s a workday and I have a great idea for the charity where I’m gainfully employed—at least part-time. Of course if I don’t get moving I’ll be presenting the plan in my p.j.’s.

What People are Saying About This

Warning! Reading this book could cause laugh lines! May also lead to sleep deprivation-since once you start, you won't be able to stop. I loved it.
author of The Devil Wears Prada
Talk about a lift! The Botox Diaries is a potent injection of humor and insight.
Jeanne Wolf's Hollywood
A sexy, sophisticated romp guaranteed to keep you entertained. Highest ratings to the hilarious TV tales, told with an insider's wry and loving eye. A great read!
What midlife crisis? The Botox Diaries is the perfect antidote to scalpel scandals and yoga yuppies . . . and far, far more satisfying than a carb-free éclair will ever be.
author of Belladonna
Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger may have written the Ur Post-Chick-lit novel. The Botox Diaries is a romp that lauds the 'tender' virtues we all embrace. Try not to deepen your laugh lines as you follow the adventures of these two lovable grownup girls.
author of The Deep End of the Ocean

Meet the Author

Between them, authors Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger have lived in three countries, married four times, raised three children, and published seven books. They’ve produced hundreds of hours of network television shows and written articles for just about every women’s magazine in America. Both have appeared regularly on television shows including Oprah, Good Morning America, and Today. Each is happily married and living in New York. This is their first collaboration.

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Botox Diaries 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book pokes fun at the inane things we women go through in the name of beauty. Sharp, smart and laugh-out-loud funny, this is a don't miss!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was good but not amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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fight_the_signs_of_aging More than 1 year ago
Just didn't pass the fine chick-lit test. Characters didn't focus on the fight for aging and the story was not inspiring or particularly funny. For someone that has has a long love affair with chick-lit and an introduction to botox - this one just didn't deliver results.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really loved botox diaries i feel like you can almost know lucy and jess. it is funny keeps your intrest. will deffently be reading more of there books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept my interest from the very first page. Parts of it made me laugh out loud. Made me think of the friendship between my best friend and I and the things we have gone through together over the years. It was a fun and humorous read. I would recommend this for anyone who wants to just tune out of their everyday lives and escape into one of friendhip and humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Every page made me laugh and think about my girlfriends. This is the perfect summer read for women of all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was terrible, I was struggling to get through it. Not worth it at all. I wouldnt even recommend it at the library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My guess is that the authors must have had a really good friend in the publishing biz. The jokes are pathetic. The literary / linguistic references are, to put it kindly, sophomoric. The editing is so bad that apparently nobody even bothered to check the (incorrect) French, or to catch the use of 'Coventry' Garden for Covent Garden. Sheesh! Here's another guess: this opus made the bestseller list by becoming a hit among chick lit fans like myself, who kept reading it simply to see if it could possibly get any worse.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could, ahem, relate to this book! A must have for mommies and those of us holding onto our youth! If not for you, buy for a loved one this Christmas!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Botox Diaries is a fabulous book about two women in their forties, Jess and Lucy, which is breezy, fun and more. Lucy goes through a mid-life crisis and ends up in an affair with a famous TV star -whose name I just loved!- Hunter Green. Jess' French ex-husband, Jacques, has come back to New York and is chasing her again. The plot is fast paced and funny and you really end up caring about Jess and Lucy and their friendship. This is a fabulous book which is perfect for all of us who loved 'The Devil Wears Prada' and 'Sex and the City'. LOVED IT.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for an engaging, warm story about believable characters 'The Botox Diaries' is for you. It's a realistic story about suburban life, but it's also a send-up. (My favorite detail comest at the moment when the doctor who is about to give out injections at a 'botox party' first wipes his sweaty hands on his trousers.) And the writing is so smooth- so seamless--that once you start reading this book,you can't put it down. A perfect escape.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up a copy of ¿The Botox Diaries¿ and read it practically straight through, it is that funny! I loved all the dishy stuff = like the bagels and Botox party, the behind the scene TV machinations= but I especially loved the heroines, two hilarious and lovingly drawn characters who face the trials and tribulations of mid life with humor spunk. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sophisticated, funny and delightful! Rare that you can find a novel that makes you laugh out loud-but that also has intelligence and wisdom behind it. The main characters-Lucy and Jess-are such very real people that by the end of the book, they feel like your best friends. The writing is quick and clever-but never obvious. Constant surprises in the story keep you turning the pages. I finished it and wanted to start over again. The book is smart fun on every page. Highest recommendation!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
While in Burbank Lucy Balder asks her best friend Jessica Taylor back in New York to bake something for her fifth grade daughter when the she makes something for her own child to take to school. While Lucy is happily married to Dan and has two other children, Jessica still dreams of her ex Jacques. She still desires him though his babyish behavior ended their marriage. Afterward she adopted her child..................................... Lucy informs Jess that she has taken on a lover. Since Jess likes Dan, she is concerned about what her friend is doing to what seemed a stable contented marriage. From work, Josh Gordon wants Jess, but Jacques is back and in her mind no one measures up to her former French spouse. Josh plans to prove otherwise that he, Jess and her daughter belong together instead of the unreliable French lover......................................... . THE BOTOX DAIRIES is an interesting character study that looks deep into the souls of two women closing in on middle age. The story line focuses more on Jess, but also provides the audience insight into Lucy. The secondary cast, especially the males, enable the audience to glimpse even more so than normal into the respective essences of the two female friends. Though there is very little action, fans of powerfully insightful life stories will appreciate the profound collaborative effort of Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger. ................................ Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 'Mine are Spectacular' first so my expectations were extremely high for the Botox Diaries. It was still amusing and enjoyable but not the 'LOVE IT' value that Mine are Spectacular had.