South Beach in the late 1990s is a town of blink-and-you'll-miss-'em nightclubs populated by celebrities, models, mobsters, heiresses, drug dealers, drag queens, and fun seekers of all stripes. It's a place where the famous come to party like locals, the locals party like rock stars behind velvet ropes, and the press is savvy enough to know what not to report.
Rachel Baum is a sheltered, career-oriented everygirl when she moves to South Beach from her quiet Miami suburb, searching for a life less ordinary. Quickly making friends among SoBe's most exclusive scenesters, she spends her days building a career and her nights building a reputation. But in a town where friends become enemies faster than highs become hangovers, the life less ordinary turns into more than Rachel bargained for. As she pursues the endless party in penthouses, dive bars, after-hours clubs, and cocaine speakeasies, Rachel struggles to balance her goals and ambitions with the decadence and excess -- especially her drug-fueled, on-again off-again relationship with Yale-graduate-turned-addict John Hood -- that threaten to destroy everything she's always worked for.
With tremendous wit and razor-sharp insight, Diary of a South Beach Party Girl portrays the innermost sanctums of South Beach's privileged Beautiful People through the eyes of a no longer innocent heroine.
A fourth-generation Miami Beach native, Gwen Cooper moved to South Beach in 1997 and contributed feature articles to Miamigo magazine and the South Beach News. Gwen currently lives and works in Manhattan, most recently as special projects manager for Wenner Media, publisher of Rolling Stone and Us Weekly.