"Cover Story" ($28), Susan Rigetti's fiction debut, has a roller-coaster plot that gives off huge Anna Delvey vibes and an ending that will leave you with your jaw on the floor. Through journal entries, emails, FBI documents, receipts, texts, and more, Rigetti tells the story of Lora Ricci, an NYU student who's just lost her scholarship but is still desperate to achieve her dream of being a published writer.
"I tell myself that our friendship is based on something real. That she really is my friend, that she truly cares about me. That I know her. But then, on nights like tonight, I realize I don't really know her at all."
When she lands an internship at Elle, she feels like it's her big break. And then she meets the mysterious and chic Cat Wolff, a contributing editor at Elle whose wealthy father funds her extravagant lifestyle, which includes permanent residence in a Plaza Hotel suite. Lora is properly captivated by Cat, who solicits Lora's help for a few of her Elle features and discovers the young writer's talent for crafting short stories.
The pair quickly become inseparable — quite literally, as when Lora doesn't have the money to pay for her apartment or the next semester at NYU, Cat invites her to live in the extra room in her Plaza suite, working as her ghostwriter for a book of short stories. It's clear as the story progresses that Lora feels torn between wanting to be a part of Cat's glamorous life and following her gut when it comes to some of Cat's odd behaviors that are leading Lora to believe that Cat may not be who she says she is.
If you're a fan of tales about scams, grifters, and mysterious schemes, "Cover Story" needs to be on your TBR list. Keep reading to learn more about the con-artist story, which releases on April 5.
"It's strange. Some days, I feel like I know Cat pretty well — that even though we've only known each other for a few months, we have a special kind of bond. And I've noticed that there's this trick she has of making the people around her feel like they're her closest friends. It's why everyone is drawn to her. Maybe it's why I was drawn to her. I notice it very clearly when she's around other people — how she flatters them, confides in them, flirts with them — but I tell myself that our friendship is based on something real. That she really is my friend, that she truly cares about me. That I know her. But then, on nights like tonight, I realize I don't really know her at all."
Prepare to be deceived! Like with the Anna Delvey saga, "Cover Story" has tons of twists and turns when it comes to the life and secrets of Cat Wolff. Put on your detective hat and try to figure out said twists before the end, if you're up for the challenge.
Where You Should Read It
"Cover Story" is the perfect beach or pool read, but really, anywhere that you can sit for a few uninterrupted hours to devour this novel is just fine.
Read This If You Like . . .
The Netflix series "Inventing Anna;" Jessica Pressler's article in New York Magazine about Delvey's deceptions, "Maybe She Had So Much Money She Just Lost Track of It;" any of the various Anna Delvey documentaries and podcasts; stories about scammers; quick reads; novels written in unique formats (i.e. this story being told through journal entries, texts, emails, etc.); movies about con artists like "Catch Me If You Can" and shows like "Inventing Anna"; books about the publishing and media industries; books with a plot twist.
POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt(s)
This novel can check off more than one 2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt; just pick the one that fits best for you.
- A book published in 2022
- A book about a secret
- Advanced: A book with a reflected image on the cover or "mirror" in the title
- Advanced: A book about someone leading a double life
How Long It Takes to Read
At 342 pages, this book took between five and six hours to read. (I finished it in just two sittings!) It's an easy read and a real page turner — in part because of the cadence of the story, but also because the writing is fairly simple and the pages read quickly, especially due to the various formats it's presented in, such as half-page emails.
Give This Book to . . .
The friend who can't stop talking about Anna Delvey and her various schemes.
The Sweet-Spot Summary
In "Cover Story," NYU student and aspiring writer Lora Ricci lands an internship at Elle, where she meets contributing editor and heiress to a clean-energy fortune, Cat Wolff. In exchange for a room in Cat's Plaza Hotel suite, Lora begins working as her ghostwriter for a book of short stories instead of going back to college, and begins to feel like meeting Cat is the best thing that's ever happened to her . . . until Cat starts acting odd. Is their friendship too good to be true? Is Cat who she says she is?
✍️ + 💸 + 🕵️♀️