Novel looks at life of am­bi­tious news an­chor

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY LINCEE RAY

“Amanda Wakes Up’’ (Vik­ing), by Alisyn Camerota

If any­one has the tal­ent to write an in­no­va­tive nar­ra­tive about the re­al­i­ties of work­ing at a pop­u­lar ca­ble-news sta­tion, it’s Alisyn Camerota. As a cor­re­spon­dent and an­chor for mul­ti­ple ma­jor news out­lets through­out her ca­reer, Camerota’s ex­pe­ri­ence en­ables the reader to en­joy an eye-open­ing be­hind-the-scenes look at broad­cast jour­nal­ism in her de­but novel, “Amanda Wakes Up.’’

Amanda Gallo’s dream is to be a hard-hit­ting jour­nal­ist at a le­git­i­mate ca­ble news sta­tion. When me­dia mogul Benji Diggs no­tices her spunk and gump­tion, he in­vites Amanda to leave her lo­cal sta­tion to join him for a cov­eted morn­ing co-an­chor slot at FAIR News. In a mat­ter of weeks, Amanda has the salary, the wardrobe and the re­spect she’s al­ways wanted.

What Amanda didn’t ex­pect was a re­al­ity check on her will­ing­ness to sub­sti­tute in­tegrity for rat­ings. With an elec­tion year com­ing up, Amanda swells with pride that FAIR News is the only morn­ing show that tack­les is­sues from both sides.

Un­for­tu­nately, the pro­duc­ers have a dif­fer­ent view­point.

For­mer Hol­ly­wood wild-card pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Vic­tor Fluke is a right-wing joke. He’s also rat­ings gold. Amanda un­der­stands her boss’ affin­ity for the ob­nox­ious man, but shouldn’t the left-wing can­di­date also be al­lowed to have her voice heard on FAIR? And why is her co-an­chor, the an­noy­ing yet in­cred­i­bly hand­some Rob Lahr, in­ca­pable of chal­leng­ing any of the guests from Fluke’s po­lit­i­cal party?

Amanda de­cides to take mat­ters into her own hands. As her per­sonal life and ca­reer be­gin to un­ravel around her, Amanda faces the big­gest story of her life. Will she do what she knows is right in her heart? Or what is easy in or­der to ex­pand her ca­reer?

“Amanda Wakes Up’’ is an en­er­getic and some­times sur­pris­ing look at the life of an am­bi­tious news an­chor. Read­ers’ loy­al­ties will swing back and forth as dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters’ per­spec­tives are in­tro­duced into the story line. At its core, the novel of­fers a lot of com­edy, a touch of ro­mance and a healthy dose of what it means to weigh am­bi­tion against truth.

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