White Girl Problems vs. Psychos

Babe Walker’s follow-up to 2012’s memoir White Girl Problems is, in many ways, more of the same–with the twist of a mystery novel combined vaguely with the premise of Single White Female. In our first full-length introduction into Babe’s world (she also has a blog in which she gives us her thoughts on dieting, Leonardo DiCaprio and other such important topics), she possesses a much more light-hearted air. However, in Psychos, Babe gets a bit darker as she deals with the complications of a stalker and the re-emergence of an ex-boyfriend.

The succinct cover of Babe Walker's latest novel
The succinct cover of Babe Walker’s latest novel

After freshly getting out of rehab for a shopping addiction, Babe is determined to adopt a more zen attitude toward life. This resolve is quickly marred by a welcome home party thrown by her best friends, Genvieve and Roman. Although Babe had expected something sophisticated and low-key (for which she chose a specific scent centered around lavender/old library), Genvieve opts for something more fraternity-inspired, complete with keg and Lakers team members. Enraged by the motif of her party, Babe is further irritated over the presence of a girl who is also wearing Pucci and keeps telling her to calm down.

One of Babe's many sketches of her various looks.
One of Babe’s many sketches of her various looks.

Trying her best to get over the trauma of the party and attempt to do “more regular-people stuff,” Babe heads to Equinox for a workout–something she claims Old Babe would never agree to. This tendency she has to separate different versions of herself is a common theme, and explains the frequent appearance of trashier alter ego, Babette. Just as in White Girl Problems, Psychos finds Babette boiling to the surface every time the love of Babe’s life, Robert, enters the picture. When she runs into him at the gym, her post-rehab tranquility is utterly shaken.

Book cover for Babe's debut novel, White Girl Problems
Book cover for Babe’s debut novel, White Girl Problems

To compound matters, Babe is horrified by the discovery that Robert is engaged, the inexplicable scrawling of a threatening note written in black lipstick on her mirror and her father’s engagement to his longtime girlfriend, Lizbeth. This is where Psychos starts to take on a distinct tone separate from White Girl Problems as Babe decides to flee Los Angeles and escape her stalker by traveling through Europe. Just when she thinks she’s safe, she encounters a fellow socialite-type named Thalia after a weed bender in Amsterdam (and several existential conversations with prostitutes). When Thalia invites Babe to Gstaad, she happily accepts, only to suspect Thalia of being her stalker (this is after realizing she was the same girl in the Pucci garb from her welcome home party).

Another sketch from Babe
Another sketch from Babe

Once she is helicoptered out of Gstaad, Babe assumes the worst of her troubles are over, landing a British boyfriend and a job at Vogue. Of course, things are never that simple in the life of a white girl, and, in this way, Psychos proves to be a more complex exploration of a character who feels as real as Meg Ryan looked pre-plastic surgery.