26 May 2009


"Sophie is a girl about town - living the party lifestyle with Daddy footing the bill. But when she gets embroiled in a scandalous affair, she is thrown out of home and left to fend for herself on the mean streets of London. Scraping a living as a cleaner in a photographic studio, living in a bedsit on the Old Kent Road, eating baked beans from the can - this is one spectacular fall from grace. On top of that, she is papped by photographers every time she leaves the flat, with her so-called friends laughing at her downfall. But stepping in to solve a crisis at the studio, Sophie discovers that she is also quite handy with a camera, and a new career behind the lense is born. But when she is hired as the photographer for a society wedding, Sophie is thrust back into her old lifestyle, and discovers that perhaps money can't buy you happiness after all ..."

(click for detailed summary)

This was actually the first Jenny Colgan novel I've read and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised as the story was more serious than I expected and the heroine was luckily less ditzy than I imagined her to be from the description. The beginning was rather sad and Sophie's world crushed completely, but she managed to pick up the pieces and eventually start again. In the process, she discovered her strengths and learned to stand on her own two feet while also started to accept the little things in life that she used to take for granted before. I have to say, Sophie handled her fall from grace surprisingly well and the novel on the whole was very enjoyable with quite a few hilarous bits, which is always a plus. As I said, I was pleased to discover that the novel was far less silly than I anticipated it to be and I'm glad Sophie got her happy ending, even though it wasn't a fairytale one.
I could easily give this one a 5/5 as it was well written and funny and real, but it didn't completely blow me away (plus the title is rather misleading, no?) so I guess I'll have to go with 4/5 - make that 4.5/5 actually!

I think this book was a great introduction to Ms Colgan, whom I shall definitely be returning to - possibly sooner than later as I already have a copy of Operation Sunshine waiting to be read (my boyfriend gave it to me for my brithday last year), but I think I'll save it for my holiday as it does seem like a beach read. Lastly, I'd be happy to receive some suggestions which other Jenny Colgan novels are particularly worth reading. :)

ps: The plot seems very similar to Cecelia Ahern's next book The Girl of Tomorrow - cannot wait to see how Cecelia will deal with the story!


Amy said...

Wow what a beautiful layout you have! It's gorgeous, I'm drooling! I'm afraid I can't help you with the cut (is that where you click a link to see the rest of the post?), as I'm a technophobe, but I can tell you how much I liked your review!

I used to know someone who rated Colgan's books very highly, and trust me she had a great taste in books! But I've never read any of her myself, even though this friend gave me some of them. I tried to read 'West End Girls' and got a teensy bit bored, that was quite a while ago though and apparently not one of her best books anyway (according to amazon reviews).

I take it you're a Cecelia Ahern fan as well, fabulous! I think she's amazing and I want her career :P

Suzana said...

Hey, thanks, I really like the layout too! I spent aaaaages looking for the right one and then when I nearly gave up, I came across this one. Wish I could take credit for it, but I just copied the code and altered it a bit, the credits are below.

I also know someone who loves Colgan, but Diamond ... is the first book by her that I actually really wanted to read. As I said, I also have Operation Sunshine waiting to be read, but I'm saving it for summer.

I am a Cecelia Ahern fan in a way, it's just that I haven't read any of her books yet. *bows head in shame* I bought PS I Love You aaaages ago but still haven't read it. I also have The Gift, still unread. Her covers are so beautiful though and she seems like a lovely person. However, I'm genuinely excited about The Girl of Tomorrow as it seems just like my kind of a book! Shame the release is still a few months away though.
But if I wanted to get into her writing, which of her books would you recommend most? :)

Amy said...

That is such a tricky question to answer! Most people like PS I love you, but that's my least favourite of her books.

I adore If you could see me now, but again it's not nearly as accomplished as some of her later books.

If you like mystical, fairytale stuff with beautiful writing, I'd try A place called here, or The Gift. These are her two most mysterious books.

Actually (and this is my final answer, honest!) I'd probably start with Thanks for the memories. It's romantic, heartwarming, and still has her trademark twists and 'magic'.

It sounds corny to sign off with 'happy reading!' but hope you enjoy her books! x

Anonymous said...

Hi there, its a good review but I think you've given away far too much plot for people that haven't read the book! I think just a paragraph of synopsis would be plenty as your analysis is excellent!

Suzana said...

Hey, I fixed it now, I hope that's better. :) I fully intended to remove the summary ages ago, but again I didn't get round to it until an hour or so ago, hehe. I decided to set up another blog used just for posting book summaries and then link that post to the book review so that people won't be spoiled. The detailed summaries will be used mainly for me so I won't forget the story so easily, plus writing a plot summary gives me a chance to reflect on the book etc.
Anyways, thanks for the compliment and I've fixed the problem of too much plot now! :)

Novelicious said...

Glad to see you enjoyed it - she's my absolute fave! :)

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