March 4, 2013

book review: for internal use only

A woman takes a close look at love through the lens of her camera in Cari Kamm's For Internal Use Only.

Natalie Portman lookalike Chloe Kassidy's life changes the day she receives an invitation to participate in a Manhattan exhibition for up and coming photographers. With the prompt of capturing love with her camera, Chloe gets to work following her dream.

At the same time, she realizes that having never truly been in love her personal life might need some assistance. Despite having a supportive group of friends there, she finds herself opening up to a mysterious new man in the hopes that he can be her happily ever after.

As someone who hangs out with quite a few photographers (they do make up a good chunk of the journalism industry, after all) I found Chloe's drive, focus and passion for her craft similar to what I see in my friends. In actuality, any one with a love for something (writing, movies, baking, etc.) will be able to understand it and also realize how she could so easily put her personal life on hold in the pursuit of it.

Likewise, it was just as real that when the prospect of serious romance suddenly appears it would have major appeal, even if some warnings should have sounded from the get-go. Without giving away details about this main romantic figure in the book, I will say I found myself worrying for her about how much she put into it without knowing his specifics. I wished she would tell her friends more about it, because I couldn't shake the paranoia that something would go wrong and the story would become a cautionary tale. Not that it would have been bad, but like I said, I worried for her.

That's well done on Kamm's part -- creating a character worth worrying about.

And of course, I was all the happier for her when elements of her life went well.

My favorite element of the book was the cast of friends surrounding Chloe. From slightly nutty to stable, all of them are willing to help her out when she needs it and are quick to support her dreams.

Filled with plenty of unexpected turns that led to complications, For Internal Use Only was an entertaining and intriguing read.

Rating: 4 of 5

Be sure to check back tomorrow for my interview with the author!

About the Author
Cari Kamm has worked in the beauty industry for over a decade, building brands, working behind the scenes, and even selling her own skin care line. She has a master’s in clinical nutrition from New York University. Kamm currently works in corporate social media management with clients in the beauty, fashion, and restaurant industries. Living in New York City with her mutt Schmutz, Kamm loves finding inspiration in the most unexpected places, being a novelist, and convincing her fiancĂ© that ordering takeout and making dinner reservations are equal to cooking.

More information can be found on her website, CariKamm.com. To check out the book trailer, click here: http://tinyurl.com/bdr7bfn.

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