"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.