If you believe Alex Kuczynski, cosmetic-surgery junkies are just as desperate as substance abusers when it comes to getting their fix. In her upcoming book Beauty Junkies, the New York Times writer examines a world of cutting-edge cosmetic treatments where upstanding citizens beg doctors for medical injections not yet approved by the FDA. Or, if you prefer a fashion analogy, Kuczynski compares a patient's acquisition of youth-preserving procedures to a woman's lust for the latest "it" handbag.
Using her own cosmetic-surgery addiction as a hook, the author explores the worldwide business of plastic surgery and the creepy extremes people go to in order to stay looking young. I was first intrigued by this book after reading an excerpt in the September issue of Vanity Fair, which focuses mostly on Kuczinki's own tale of redemption after a botched Restalyn injection. Although her writing gets under my skin somewhat (pardon the pun), I can't deny that the material is fascinating, from the astounding facts right down to the writer's still-lingering self doubt. The book hits store shelves on Oct. 17, but you can pre-order it for $16.47 here.