Park Avenue Summer

Park Avenue Summer

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief--Helen Gurley Brown--shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits...New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to...

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Title:Park Avenue Summer
Author:Renee Rosen
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Park Avenue Summer Reviews

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    I’m a big fan of Renee Rosen. She writes wonderful historicals with strong female characters, and I completely fall into the stories. I have been waiting for Park Avenue Summer to be on my shelf since I first heard about it, and I think it’s Rosen’s best book yet!

    Alice Weiss leaves small town life in the Midwest to make her dreams happen in New York City. She winds up working for none other than Helen Gurley Brown, the first female editor-

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    I’m a big fan of Renee Rosen. She writes wonderful historicals with strong female characters, and I completely fall into the stories. I have been waiting for Park Avenue Summer to be on my shelf since I first heard about it, and I think it’s Rosen’s best book yet!

    Alice Weiss leaves small town life in the Midwest to make her dreams happen in New York City. She winds up working for none other than Helen Gurley Brown, the first female editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan Magazine.

    When Alice begins work at Cosmo, she witnesses editors and writers leaving the magazine, all because they refuse to work for the woman who penned a lurid bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl.

    At the same time, things are happening behind the scenes to further scandalize Gurley Brown, and Alice gets roped into it. Instead, Alice turns the tables and chooses to help her boss advance. Will Alice and Helen Gurley Brown put Cosmo back on the map?

    Wow, talk about powerful female main characters! Helen Gurley Brown was a changemaker for her time, and this book highlights a turning point in history for women, especially as it pertained to women’s magazines at the time. I was completely enthralled with learning about Helen AND Alice. I truly had no idea how influential, determined, and free-thinking Helen Gurley Brown was.

    There’s some build-up leading up to a special issue of the magazine. I was so deeply invested in this story, I had to find out how it would all come together and whether Cosmopolitan would make its mark. What a fascinating time in history to illuminate and what a remarkable woman to take us there.

    Carve out some time for this one, friends, because it’s extremely hard to put down!

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5 (4.5/5)

    by

    is described as Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada, and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. As a lover of both of them, I could definitely see them both in this book.

    It is New York in 1965 and Alice Weiss has just moved there from Youngstown, Ohio looking for a job. Thanks to a friend of Alice's deceased mother, Alice gets an interview to be the assistant for Helen Gurley Brown who has just become the new editor-in-chief of C

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 (4.5/5)

    by

    is described as Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada, and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. As a lover of both of them, I could definitely see them both in this book.

    It is New York in 1965 and Alice Weiss has just moved there from Youngstown, Ohio looking for a job. Thanks to a friend of Alice's deceased mother, Alice gets an interview to be the assistant for Helen Gurley Brown who has just become the new editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. With people quitting right and left, Helen ends up hiring Alice pretty much on the spot. But growing up in the Midwest has not prepared Alice for the whirlwind she ends up in at Cosmo. Between the pressure of the magazine and trying to find her way in New York with both life and love, Alice has her work cut out for her.

    I can't quite put into words how much I was moved by

    , and I honestly don't think I even have the vocabulary to properly express just how good it was for me. I loved Alice's character even though she is fictional, and being able to see Helen and Cosmo at that time through her eyes. Alice is dealing with her own pain as well as trying to keep up with Helen, plus trying to make friends, pursuing her passion of photography, and vetting love interests. She is one very busy single girl, and I loved reading her story.

    I knew very little about Cosmopolitan magazine's history, and wasn't even aware of Helen Gurley Brown being their first ever female editor-in-chief. I used to read Cosmo all the time and it was so interesting seeing how Helen made it what it is today. I loved Helen's story almost as much as I loved Alice's, and

    made me want to read more about her as well as read her book

    because it was so controversial.

    The chapters weren't too terribly long, and even though it took me about 5 hours and 15 minutes to read, it felt like I was flying through the book. I laughed out loud so many times, but also cried a decent amount, especially towards the end of the book.

    is another one of those novels that I recommend having tissues close by for when you read it!

    I really loved Rosen's writing style, and this made my reading experience thoroughly enjoyable. I think that if you are at all interested in Helen Gurley Brown or the history of Cosmo magazine,

    will be a must read for you. I loved how much it felt like Mad Men, and reading about New York in 1965 was an interesting experience that I loved. I am most definitely looking forward to reading more from Rosen!

  • Norma * Traveling Sister

    Vibrant, inspiring, & empowering!

    This was my very first RENEÉ ROSEN book and just let me tell you it just had me asking myself, “Uhm, how come I haven’t read any of this author's books before?” I am definitely going to be checking out her other books, past and future ones that is for sure.

    PARK AVENUE SUMMER by RENEÉ ROSEN is a highly entertaining, delightful, captivating, and fascinating historical fiction novel that immediately drew me in and held my interest right to the very end. Lately,

    Vibrant, inspiring, & empowering!

    This was my very first RENEÉ ROSEN book and just let me tell you it just had me asking myself, “Uhm, how come I haven’t read any of this author's books before?” I am definitely going to be checking out her other books, past and future ones that is for sure.

    PARK AVENUE SUMMER by RENEÉ ROSEN is a highly entertaining, delightful, captivating, and fascinating historical fiction novel that immediately drew me in and held my interest right to the very end. Lately, with my books, I have been finding myself easily distracted and my thoughts wavering while reading but I’m happy to say that wasn’t the case here. I was fully immersed in this story and found the setting, characters, and storyline to be extremely engrossing and totally enraptured me.

    RENEÉ ROSEN delivers an intriguing, well-plotted and well-written read here that captures place and time fabulously placing me right into the heart of this story. There was this perfect balance of fact and fiction that I absolutely loved and found so appealing. I was never too much of a Cosmopolitan reader and still not but there is this attraction, fascination and glamorous appeal to the magazine that I have always found intriguing. So I just knew that I had to read this story and find out how the new editor, Helen Gurley Brown’s vision for her “girls” reshaped the look and feel of women’s publications everywhere. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Helen’s story through the perspective of her fictional secretary, Alice. I thought it was very telling and an effective way to hear about Helen and her story as editor of Cosmopolitan magazine. This was definitely an engaging page-turner and one that had me rooting for the success of the July issue when it went to print and hoping for all of Alice’s dreams to come true. I am especially fond of Epilogues and I have to say that I absolutely loved how this one wrapped up. Perfection!

    Norma’s Stats:

    Cover: Glamorous, nostalgic, beautiful and a fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love the simplicity, classic and vintage feel of this cover.

    Title: Intriguing, fun and absolutely loved how the title played so fittingly and wonderfully into storyline.

    Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, witty, fluid, engaging and readable. Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative, totally entertaining. There were even a few laugh out loud moments and some touching ones too.

    Plot: Glitzy, fascinating, atmospheric, sexy (without details), entertaining, and highly enjoyable.

    Ending: A goose bump ending that enveloped me with warmth leaving me with that ever coveted afterglow feeling of satisfaction that I just read a fabulous book.

    Overall: Wowza! This book gave me all the feels and it’s a huggable one that will stay with me long after closing the cover. Just fabulous and another one added to my Favourite Reads Shelf for 2019. Would highly recommend!

    Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy. It was an absolute pleasure spending time with this book!!

    Review can also be found on our blog:

  • Miranda Reads

    Alice Weiss leaves the Midwest for the Big Apple - chasing the same dream as her mother, to become

    Her mother's old best friend sets her up with a secretary job under Helen Gurley Brown -

    At first, everything is going aces for Alice.

    It's the 1960s and she's in her mid-twenties, no strings and ready to branch out into the working world.

    Alice Weiss leaves the Midwest for the Big Apple - chasing the same dream as her mother, to become

    Her mother's old best friend sets her up with a secretary job under Helen Gurley Brown -

    At first, everything is going aces for Alice.

    It's the 1960s and she's in her mid-twenties, no strings and ready to branch out into the working world.

    , Alice quickly realizes that her job may not be as secure as she would have liked.

    Nearly everyone

    - every move she makes is dissected and used for office gossip.

    think she knows what's best? Doesn't she realize that she needs to listen to the men in the office??

    refuse stable ads for diaper and hemorrhoid cream in favor of frivolous ones from makeup and hair companies? Doesn't she respect the dignity of the magazine?

    want to publish articles about how to look sexy or having no-strings sex? Does she have any morals?

    order writeups on birth control and menstrual health? Does she even have a clue what readers want to know?

    Cause there is

    - whether it be how to feel free and comfortable in your own body or about keeping you sexually healthy (in a time where this information is often completely censored from young "pure" women).

    I was blown away - I truly did not expect to enjoy this book so much!

    I have read a few historical fiction novels in my time, and for the most part...yawn. Or possibly yawn-fest.

    But Park Avenue Summer is

    the exception.

    Picture

    (movie version, not the awful book) but instead of Andy whining, she's actually doing things and making a difference. Great, isn't it??

    Helen and Alice were

    as main characters.

    I loved the way Rosen took Helen, such an outwardly strong character, and

    via crippling self-doubt and stroke-high levels of stress.

    I loved the way Alice starts as a timid young girl - crushed from the loss of her boyfriend - and

    she is now.

    And above all,

    . I am completely in love with this book - it is a fabulous feminist summer read!

  • Mackey

    Park Avenue Summer is a walk back in time to an era when women were just emerging from the sexual dark ages into a generation of power, opportunities and revolution.

    Alice Weiss has left her small, midwestern town in search of big dreams and opportunities in New York City. It's the mid-60s and times are changing, particularly at Cosmopolitan, the failing magazine where Alice has landed a job. The new editor, Helen Gurley Brown has shocked everyone as the first female editor of the publication bu

    Park Avenue Summer is a walk back in time to an era when women were just emerging from the sexual dark ages into a generation of power, opportunities and revolution.

    Alice Weiss has left her small, midwestern town in search of big dreams and opportunities in New York City. It's the mid-60s and times are changing, particularly at Cosmopolitan, the failing magazine where Alice has landed a job. The new editor, Helen Gurley Brown has shocked everyone as the first female editor of the publication but more so with her shocking bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. Alice soon learns that it's a man's world as those in power try to draw her into a scheme to sabotage Brown's work and ultimately lead to the failure of Cosmo. Alice learns, however, that in this new world a woman can make demands and have it all, succeed and come out on top!

    Admittedly I'm a child of the 60s and 70s and remember well the days of both the sexual revolution and the feminist movement. Reading Park Avenue Summer was very much like a walk down memory lane for me. There was a very clear division in my life's timeline: a before, when women were one way, and after, when things were very different. We have women like Helen Gurley Brown to thank for that. While Park Avenue Summer is the story of Alice's time at the magazine, there is quite a bit of historical fact throughout the book. Much of what happened at Cosmopolitan and what transpired with Brown is documented. While we look back on her with our present sense of power and women's rights, at the time so much of what she did and wrote about was considered scandalous. Churches across America were preaching against Brown and her magazine. Men wouldn't allow their daughters or wives to flip through the pages of it at stores, much less buy it. The only place I ever saw it was at the hair dresser's. We went there often. ;) Through Alice's eyes we see the world as it is changes; we see young women like Alice growing bolder and realizing their own power and strength. That is exactly what this period was about and Rosen captures that time, the feelings of empowerment beautifully. Park Avenue Summer is, in fact, the perfect 1960s historical fiction to illustrate the evolution of women from one era to the next.

    Many thanks to @ReneeRosen1 and Elisha @BerkleyPub Park Avenue Summer will be available April 30 at your favorite bookseller and Amazon

  • Berit☀️✨

    Renée Rosen has written one heck of a book that is being immediately added to my favorites shelf! When I was a girl in my late teens and my 20s I never missed an issue of Cosmo it was hands-down my favorite magazine. This book not only tells the story of the reconstruction of Cosmopolitan magazine, but also of the start of the sexual revolution in the 60s. As a girl who grew up in the 80s it is hard to believe how far we came in 20 years, I don’t thin

    Renée Rosen has written one heck of a book that is being immediately added to my favorites shelf! When I was a girl in my late teens and my 20s I never missed an issue of Cosmo it was hands-down my favorite magazine. This book not only tells the story of the reconstruction of Cosmopolitan magazine, but also of the start of the sexual revolution in the 60s. As a girl who grew up in the 80s it is hard to believe how far we came in 20 years, I don’t think anyone even batted an eyelash if I purchased a Cosmo in 1985? It is women like Helen Gurley Brown Who we have to thank for taking those first steps towards empowerment and liberation. And seriously what would we have done without those fabulous quizzes every month?

    Alice has moved from Ohio to NYC with the dream of being a photographer. Soon enough she figures out it’s not going to be quite as easy as that, so with the help of a family friend she lands a job as a secretary. Not really what she wants to do, but she is excited that she will be working with and for, Helen Gurley Brown. Hgb who became infamous for writing the controversial book about sex and the single girl is now editor and chief of Cosmopolitan. Hgb has plans to turn the magazine world on its head, something she meets with much resistance. HGB will not be deterred though she is going to write a magazine for her girls; the single working girl who loves fashion, beauty, and *gasp* sex. The book is told from the perspective of Alice and through her eyes we get a front row look at the life of this dynamic woman and transitional time in history.

    The story being told from Alice’s point of view I thought was extremely impactful. You really got to see how much Helen Gurley Brown cared for and wanted to mentor “her girls.“ Alice was a great character and I loved watching her navigate her way through her first real job and her first fling. Alice was smart and strong and I loved how she really knew what advice to take and what advice not to. Hgb’s message was so perfect. That as a woman it’s OK to have dreams and desires and to go after them, and probably even more important it’s OK to screw up. I also loved her theory about Don wands, because isn’t that the truth.

    This book perfectly marries fact and fiction.Miss Rosen’s engaging writing style gave me such a well defined sense of place and time. I felt as though I was completely transported to 1960s NYC. I loved all the little attention to detail, the runs in the stockings, the jewelry, and the smoking, oh the smoking, so much smoking.

    Simply put I was completely captivated by this enthralling story. I cannot recommend it enough!

    *** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    One of the best books I’ve read in 2019, I absolutely was captivated by Alice’s story about her summer in New York for Helen Gurley Brown! With a blend of historical fiction built around historical fact, Renee Rosen crafted a compelling story that allowed me to not only fall in love with the fictional Alice, but also love Helen, a woman who changed the way young women were able to think about their own bodies, empowerment, and relationships. An incredible novel!

    Friends and long-time readers will

    One of the best books I’ve read in 2019, I absolutely was captivated by Alice’s story about her summer in New York for Helen Gurley Brown! With a blend of historical fiction built around historical fact, Renee Rosen crafted a compelling story that allowed me to not only fall in love with the fictional Alice, but also love Helen, a woman who changed the way young women were able to think about their own bodies, empowerment, and relationships. An incredible novel!

    Friends and long-time readers will know I’m a big fan of Kate White, who happened to be the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine only two years after Helen Gurley Brown left. I’ve always loved the way Cosmopolitan magazine promotes a new way of female empowerment—feminism that focuses on not only equality, but celebrating all of the wonderful things about being a female. When I went into this book, I thought it would be the story of Helen told through Alice’s eyes, but it wasn’t that at all!

    In fact, the story of Alice completely captivated me. Alice is this amazing example of the type of reader that Helen’s vision of Cosmopolitan would not only reach out to—but change fundamentally. Alice is coming of age, in her early 20s and new to New York City. Alice struggles between being a “good girl” and finding out who she is and what she wants. Alice is the exact person to show readers about Helen’s girls (“my girls” as she calls them)—the ones who are young but empowered, who want careers, who want to be single but still have sex. This is the story of Helen’s girls told through Alice.

    I absolutely adored Alice!!! She was this wonderful mix of inexperienced and savvy, navigating challenging situations based on her instincts, which over time she learns to trust to lead her the right way. I loved how everywhere Alice goes in the city, she thinks about her mother and what could have been. How did her glamorous, talented mother end up in the Midwest raising a family?

    As Alice finds her way to working for Helen Gurley Brown on the re-imagined Cosmopolitan magazine, she learns who she is—a girl who is fiercely loyal, who wants to experience different men so she knows when she finds the right one for her, and who wants to be a photographer but is scared she isn’t talented enough. Alice and her Don Juan, as Helen calls him, was such a fun and relatable part of this book. Helen is right—we all have a Don Juan who we go back to even though we know he will leave us shattered.

    This was such a unique way to celebrate Helen Gurley Brown’s life—through a fictional story about the exact sort of girl that Helen reached through her pioneering efforts at Cosmopolitan. I hope readers love this book as much as I did!

    Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.

  • Holly  B

    3.5 STARS

    This was an interesting story that reminded me of a Netflix series I watch, Mad Men. The era when men seemed to be able to get away with pretty much anything, including office affairs and the sexism that was prevalent. Renee Rosen has a writing style that pulled me right into the era.

    The story spotlights Helen Gurley Brown and how she transformed Cosmopolitan magazine in 1965. She had to deal with a lot of males who didn't see her "vision" of the magazine. I learned some things about ho

    3.5 STARS

    This was an interesting story that reminded me of a Netflix series I watch, Mad Men. The era when men seemed to be able to get away with pretty much anything, including office affairs and the sexism that was prevalent. Renee Rosen has a writing style that pulled me right into the era.

    The story spotlights Helen Gurley Brown and how she transformed Cosmopolitan magazine in 1965. She had to deal with a lot of males who didn't see her "vision" of the magazine. I learned some things about how much she turned the magazine around and what she was up against in a time where such things were viewed as scandalous.

    Alice becomes her assistant and we get to know her and follow her life in the New York City as she grows, dates and follows her dreams.

    Well-written and a lovely ending. I would love to read more from the author.

    Thanks to the Berkley for my review copy. This one is available on April 30,2019

  • Susanne  Strong

    The year is 1965. Helen Gurley Brown becomes Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Ms. Gurley Brown’s ideas for the magazine are outlandish - at least compared to the old Cosmo. Ms. Gurley Brown believes in the sexual revolution, in the idea of women being sexy and sexual, in women being free and getting exactly what they want, in and out of the bedroom. Her pl

    The year is 1965. Helen Gurley Brown becomes Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Ms. Gurley Brown’s ideas for the magazine are outlandish - at least compared to the old Cosmo. Ms. Gurley Brown believes in the sexual revolution, in the idea of women being sexy and sexual, in women being free and getting exactly what they want, in and out of the bedroom. Her plan is to publish articles saying exactly that in the new Cosmo. Let’s just say that heads roll!

    Alice Weiss becomes Helen’s secretary and the two take Cosmo by storm.

    Alice is from a small town. New York is unlike anything she has ever imagined. Lights, camera and Helen! Oh and did I mention the men? Yes, they exist too. Much to Alice’s delight and confusion.

    What an incredible woman! I loved reading about her push for change and her fierce determination. I had heard of Ms. Brown before however reading this made me google more about her and I felt a bit like my friend Jan, who I consider to be the ultimate researcher. Let’s just say that I found the life of Helen Gurley Brown to be quite fascinating! While the character of Alice was entirely fictional, I enjoyed her backstory also.

    A huge thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and to Renee Rosen for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Goodreads, Amazon an Twitter on 5.14.19.

    Excerpt published on Instagram.

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    Ok, pussycats! I was definitely a Cosmo girl back in the day and I couldn’t wait for every new edition of the magazine and never missed one. I had stacks of magazines that I kept for years. I read it from cover to cover and loved those very brazen articles which weren’t so back in my day like they were here in this story. So when I got the chance at a complimentary copy of Park Avenue Summer. I jumped at it. I didn’t keep all those magazines and I wished that I had now. It would be fun to go bac

    Ok, pussycats! I was definitely a Cosmo girl back in the day and I couldn’t wait for every new edition of the magazine and never missed one. I had stacks of magazines that I kept for years. I read it from cover to cover and loved those very brazen articles which weren’t so back in my day like they were here in this story. So when I got the chance at a complimentary copy of Park Avenue Summer. I jumped at it. I didn’t keep all those magazines and I wished that I had now. It would be fun to go back and look at those titles and articles and see how they changed.

    We meet the brazen, determined and ambitious editor of Cosmopolitan magazine Helen Gurley Brown through our main character Alice who becomes her “secretary” which was the title used back in the day. I am feeling kind of old here. Lol, I enjoyed the dynamics here between the characters and loved just how ambitious both the women were. I was fascinated by Helen and enjoyed learning a bit about what the real Helen might have been like. I wished the story was focused a bit more on her and the magazine. I enjoyed Alice’s character but felt there was a little bit of unnecessary drama and a bit of a romance there which slowed down the story for me and left me rolling my eyes a bit. And this is where Norma and I differ as readers because she loves that stuff.

    I enjoyed my trip down memory lane with this one and glad I read it. I highly recommend.

    Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy

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