15 April 2010

Review: SCANDALOUS by Martel Maxwell *****

Meet Max and Lucy Summers - half-sisters and the best of friends.
Max is a gorgeous showbiz reporter whose life is a whirlwind of celebrity parties, glamorous bars, juicy gossip and gorgeous men. Lucy, a beautiful, elegant fashion writer, has always been the sensible one, taking care of her little sister and never seeking the limelight. But that all changes when she falls for Hartley, Britain's sexiest royal bachelor, and her lovelife is suddenly splashed across the front pages of the tabloids. And when Hartley's ex-girlfriend starts scheming to get her man back, Lucy realizes that she's up against more than just the paparazzi…
Meanwhile Max, tired of the non-stop partying that her job entails, has finally met the perfect man but when she finds out who he really is, she realizes that they can't be together. Can Max walk away from the love of her life? And will Lucy play the fame game in order to keep hers?
Don't you just love it when books turn out to be better than you expected? I expected Scandalous to be a fab read, but I had no idea I'd be having *so* much fun reading it!

The plot delivers so much more than the blurb promises. Like the author herself, Max is a tabloid journalist and through story offers some great insight into how tabloids really work - I honestly don't read them, but I still enjoyed reading about how stories are made (up) and what being a tabloid journalist really includes, heh. Speaking of which, I can't help but compare this book to a tabloid article as they both sound far more 'scandalous' than they actually are. I'm not saying the book was boring, far from it, but it wasn't all that scandalous either - I guess there's just the right amount of drama involved, no complaints here.

I can't fault the characters either - they were fabulous! Max was my personal favourite and I loved how she was entertaining and flawed and determined, I really enjoyed reading about this wild sister, who managed to get herself into several embarrassing situations that had me laughing out loud. Lucy didn't really impress me much at first, I found her too boring, but then she started to enjoy life more and I started liking her more. Their mother Marj was great too and she reminded me of Mama Walsh (Marian Keyes) - what is it with these fab Irish mothers, heh? When it comes to guys, I was rather impressed by Luke and oh, the bitchy ex Bridget was fun to read about too - jeez, she really came with some crazy plans to get her ex back! I enjoyed reading about Shagger Sheri misadventures too - she wasn't the most positive character at first, a tragic glamour girl really, but I liked how things ended for her. All in all, I thought pretty much all characters had depth and were well portrayed and they just worked in this novel.

Another thing I liked was the writing style - the prose itself is simple, yes, but it's also fresh and modern and it just fits the novel. There is quite a bit of swearing, which I don't mind at all, and on the whole the book was easy to read and rather enjoyable too.

I suppose my least favourite thing about the book has to be the cover - I don't mind it, I think it's pretty but I just find the colours sort of not strong enough? I just thought that perhaps if the colours were bolder, then the book would stand out even more, but other than that the illustration is nice enough.

In conclusion, I thought this was a great light read with a lovely set of characters that I really enjoyed - definitely recommended if you're into showbiz chick lit or if you're just looking for some entertainment!

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

The book is out TODAY and you can read an extract online. To learn more about the author, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

AWESOME review :)

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Oh, this sounds really good. Thank you for the great review!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This one looks really fun! I hadn't heard of it before, thanks for the great review!

miss cindy :) said...

Great review, this sounds like something I should read!

Nina said...

Great review for such a sweet book. Love that the characters are great and how you think of them as fabulous! :)

bookaholic said...

This looks so cute and such a sweet review :)

Emidy said...

This sounds so great! It's good that it's a fun read, too. That's always nice! Excellent review.

P.S. I got my copy of Daughters of Fortune in the mail today. Thanks again for hosting that giveaway!

Lauren said...

Great review! I really love the idea of seeing how tabloids really work and the characters sound great too.

S-J said...

I just read Scandalous. And thank God (apart from being very sad to part company with fab sisters Lucy and Max) - my life was gripped and put on hold for three days while I read. I could not put this book down and you're right, the back page blurb sounded good but the actual novel offered so much more. I've been so let down by many chick lit books recently - girl looking for boy-so many bad dates- meets boy-finally falls in love. I'm (very!) early 30s now and have grown out of the predictable plots. This was gritty and naughty and funny and romantic - everything really. I feel I could be a showbiz reporter tomorrow having read Martel's account of what it is like (I see that's what she used to be and she's poured so much of the trade tabloid secrets in here it shows) Wow. And she's such a a party girl, complimented perfectly by her graceful sister Lucy. I've already written lots so I won't go on. But this is the best chick lit book I've read in years - maybe ever! Looking to see if Martel has any other novels but this seems to be her first? Thanks for spot-on review. If you can recommend any more like this much appreciated.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Hey, S-J (ha, we have the same initials!), thanks for stopping by! Yep, this is Ms Maxwell's first novel, but I think she's already working on another - can't wait!
Other books that I'd recommend are:
SPOTLIGHT by Ilana Fox
THE NANNY by Melissa Hill
I've linked my reviews so you can see if these tickle your fancy. :) Are there any books you'd recommend to me? :)

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