Bit of a different post today, but something I am hoping to do at least 2-3 times a month. As an English student, I'm always reading. Most of the books on my university list are not ones that I would choose ordinarily, and on the most part not something I see any reason to review on this blog. However, having made a conscious effort to delve into books outside my set reading I have come across a few I'm sure you would like. So here's the first...
PERFECT TIMING by Jill Mansell
First line: 'The thing about going out on your hen night, Poppy Dunbar couldn't help noticing, was that nobody - but nobody - bothered to chat you up.'
A catchy first line with underlying humor is, in my opinion, often the best way to start a book. Having spent the year reading Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf, this book jumped at me when I was troweling the shelves of a local second hand bookshop (guilty pleasure right there). Poppy Dunbar, the protagonist, is happily celebrating her hen night when she has a brief encounter with the man of her dreams... who isn't her fiance! Realizing that her feelings towards a total stranger suggests she isn't as in love with her partner as she perhaps thought, Poppy changes every aspect of her life. She ends her engagement, moves to London, finds a new job and emerges herself into an entirely new world.
Moving into a new house, starting a new job and socializing with new people, readers quickly become advocates for Poppy's success. For me, the most infectious part of this story is Poppy. As well as being quick witted and sharp tongued, she's also clumsy and spends a lot of time saying the wrong things / sensationally putting her foot in it. She's described as quirky, yet beautiful, which I think most women strive to be: attractive and interesting too. Being able to relate to such a 'cool' character is one of the reasons I read this book so quickly; you quickly adopt her viewpoint and start thinking like the character. As well as dealing with romance, Poppy is confronted with the discovery of a long lost parent she was otherwise unaware of, which adds a complexity not often found in this genre. Featuring annoyingly lovable characters, we begin a journey with Poppy as she begins to discover who she truly is.
I don't want to give away too much, but if you're looking for a romantic, humorous, empowering story, this 400 page book is for you.
You can buy this book new from £2 here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Timing-Jill-Mansell/dp/0755331664