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Book Review: Parties, orgies, and rich people run wild in “The Pink Hotel”

There’s nothing like watching the downfall of society through the eyes of the ultra-wealthy. As an ordinary student from Texas, it’s deeply ironic–and horrifying–to view this downfall as the rich and famous pillage and glamorize the end of the world. Liska Jakobs' upcoming release “The Pink Hotel” does just that with spectacular accuracy that seems almost prophetic.

Newlyweds Kit and Keith are thrust into the glittering world of the ultra-rich when the Pink Hotel’s general manager invites them for a stay as a subtle bid to hire Keith. Moments into their visit, wildfires sweep across California, power outages roll through Los Angeles, and riots begin to break out. To preserve their slice of paradise, the hotel closes its doors to new guests, with Kit, Keith, the hotel staff, and other eccentric guests finding themselves trapped inside.

Our newlyweds are unprepared for the explosive events that follow in “The Pink Hotel.” Lavish parties, orgies, and shenanigans that can only be described as outrageous–this novel doesn’t feel like a work of fiction but rather an excerpt from a celebrity’s memoir.

The characters of “The Pink Hotel” jump off the page–often toeing the line between relatable and utterly unlikeable. Each colorful and eccentric guest leaves a lasting impression. There’s minimal character growth, but isn’t that the point? Watching the ultra-rich and arrogant fall into the endless spiral of greed is like watching a guilty pleasure reality show.

The narrative bounces from character to character–mostly following Kit and Keith's thoughts as they navigate their tumultuous stay at the Pink Hotel. Supporting characters weave their own thoughts on Kit and Keith's relationship and the state of their crumbling society–no holds barred. Jakobs creates a wondrous illusion of the outrageously wealthy and their ivory towers against the backdrop of societal collapse and revolution with lush details, immersive imagery, and a cinematic writing style.

\Although a bit slow in the beginning and occasionally confusing narration, the novel shines with sarcastic storytelling and unlikeable–but relatable characters.

Jakobs lures readers into the lush garden of the rich and famous without giving any warning to the horrors stalking our wide-eyed couple–and readers. Immersive, darkly satirical, and eerily accurate of the state of our world, “The Pink Hotel” is a modern-day Icarus retelling–a subtle warning to the masses of the ultra-rich, the class system from which they profit off, and the poison of greed.

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