This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
Ellie and her sister Rose couldn’t be more different if they tried. After a boarding school education Rose returns with highlights, a new flare for fashion and a celebrity social life. Ellie, on the other hand, has a very relaxed way of living, preferring to hang out in joggers and eating a take-out with her friend Ben.
Ben and Ellie were once friends with benefits, but this ended when Ben met Nina, and their friendship dwindled in the light of Ben’s new girlfriend. When their relationship ended, Ben and Ellie grew close once again, minus the sex. One night when Ben and Ellie are having a normal night in on the sofa, Rose returns with a new man on her arm called Oliver. Ellie is smitten from the moment she meets Oliver, but there is only one problem: Rose.
There is only one way to woo the man of Ellie’s dreams, and that is to become more like Rose. Ellie decides it is time for a change; she begins a new exercise regime, eating healthily and putting a lot more effort into her appearance than she would ever have dreamt of. In between trying to impress Oliver, bagging herself a new job in the fashion world and keeping up with her new high maintenance regime, Ellie begins to realise what she really and truly wants and needs in her life. Will it mean hurting her sister by stealing her boyfriend, or will Ellie realise the things she has always wanted have been there all this time?
This book was a little hard for me to get into. The concept of ‘stealing’ her sister’s boyfriend meant that I found it very hard to empathise with Ellie and her high maintenance sister, which made it difficult for me to ever warm to the central character. There is a cheeky side to the general tone of the book, which helps soften the edge of what Ellie is planning to do, once she has Oliver in her grasp. The book is informal and humourous in its tone, which makes me think it would be well suited to someone who likes a book that feels as though they are having a heart to heart with a friend.
I found the plot easy to follow, and the characters are memorable, but some things seemed a little too convenient in order to tie up loose ends, such as Claire suddenly landing a well-paid job out of nowhere or Rose’s predicament being solved in a flash right at the end of the book.
When it comes to the main characters, I warmed to Ben immediately; he was kind and it was obvious he was in love with Ellie from the start. As always, the last person to see it is the person in question! Claire also stood out to me as one of the stronger characters, but I felt Ellie’s constant disgust of Claire’s flat unnecessary, coming across as quite selfish and judgemental, thus enhancing my feeling of not being on board with her. The storyline was quite similar to The Devil Wears Prada, with a nod to Bridget Jones’s Diary, but missing the extra spark that is so greatly needed in this kind of story.
Overall, I'm sorry to say that this book was a bit disappointing for me, and perhaps more suited to someone in their younger twenties.
Sophie Ranald's Website