27 April 2010

Review: THE LOVING KIND by Sarah Webb ****

Two months to write a raunchy bonkbuster set in the glitzy world of modelling should be easy. Right? Wrong!
Life can’t get much worse for romance writer Libby Holliday. She’s been dumped by her agent and her publisher, and now she’s discovered her fiancé, Jeremy, is seeing their mutual friend, the shameless Ruth-Ann, behind her back.
So when broken-hearted Libby’s offered the chance to ghost-write a novel for model and reality show darling, Lulabelle Ryan, she leaps at the chance. Lulabelle is in the middle of filming a new TV show about plastic surgery – which means five star travel for her entourage to San Francisco, Paris and Antigua. And even better, Libby’s best friend spiky-mouthed journalist, Celeste O’Connor, is coming along for the ride.
Lulabelle proves to be the diva of divas, but there are some benefits – her handsome and enigmatic manager, Leo, to name just one. If only Libby could forget about her other male addiction . . .

I knew this book was a must-read for me as soon as I first heard of it months ago - I just fell in love with the cover and the plot sounded fantastic too so I pre-ordered my copy and couldn't wait to read it. It came out in February in trade paperback and the UK paperback will be available in September, I think. Anyway, I really really enjoyed this books - it had '5-star material' written all over it and I was having a blast reading it ... and then the ending happened, bah. I wasn't too keen on it, but most of the book was fantastic!

What I loved most about this novel (apart from the gorgeous cover, obviously) were the fab characters and the hilarious writing - I was really laughing out loud reading it! I honestly loved all the characters (well, except the cheating fiance Jeremy and Libby's mum), from our main girl Libby, the dumped ghostwriter, to her amazing best friend Celeste, all the guys (Leo, Alex, Dion etc.), but I have to say I was most surprised by Lulabelle - based on the plot description above, I expected her to be some sort of an airhead and a completely useless diva, but I think she was actually the person with the most depth in the novel. Yes, she could be a total diva, but she was also badly damaged as she's been through a lot in the past, and she had some very serious self-image issues, even though she appears to be perfect already. I loved how she was involved with the book writing process (needless to say, her fiction debut is pretty much an autobiography so it meant a lot to her) and I was really quite intrigued by her complex personality. Funny this is, I expect to be annoyed by her, but she ended up being my favourite character - even though it was a hard decision as other characters are were brilliant too!

The plot itself was great too. I enjoyed reading more about the book writing process and I loved reading about Lulabelle's entourage travelling the world A-list style - honestly, the treatment Lulabelle received was just mind-blowing. Lulabelle's determined to turn her name into a worldwide brand so she's decided to film a reality show called Plastic Fantastic about her going under the knife with the help of the world's leading plastic surgeons - she receives her Botox injections in San Francisco, has her breasts augmented in Paris and wants to have a liposuction ("Liposculpture!") in Antigua, but then something happens that changes everything ... And that brings us to the ending, which had me unexpectedly rolling my eyes and sadly it nearly ruined the book for me. Yeah yeah, it's good to know that all the characters got their happy ending and I wasn't really all that annoyed with Libby and Celeste's story, it was totally obvious who they would end up with, what I was most disappointed by was Lulabelle's ending. Well, I know the book and the madness had to end somehow, but this just felt rushed and corny and unrealistic and too sudden and just too much of a change for Lulabelle, I just couldn't swallow it.

So apart from the ending, the book was a fantastic read and I absolutely loved it! It was my first my Sarah Webb and I'll definitely be reading more by her!

overall rating:
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5


Emidy said...

Cute! I have to say that I love the cover. Too bad the ending sucked, though!

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Ahh, bummer about the ending, but other than that it sounds incredible! Glad you enjoyed it :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review!

Kirsty said...

Glad you're back - hope you're okay?
Great review - I haven't been really keen on Sarah Webbs stuff, but this one sounds great :)

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thanks for the great review - I'm intrigued! I've read and enjoyed Sarah Webb's teen novels, so I think I'll look out for this one.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Thanks, everyone!
Kirsty - not fully back yet, but much better now, thanks! :) x

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