This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Susan Lobban
Jenny Taylor does not look back on her childhood with fond memories. Then, when her fragile teenage heart is broken, it is the last straw and she is determined to start afresh away from the family home.
When her self-confidence is at an all time low, best friend, Philippa, steps in with the smiling manifesto. Ever since then, Jenny has been following this religiously every day and her life has been transformed. However, just as Jenny is feeling settled with her lot in life, her mother lands on her doorstep and she meets aspiring musician Joe King, which turns her life upside down.
From the moment we first meet Jenny, she had me laughing out loud. Her turn of phrase was hysterical and her self-deprecating humour is bound to resonate with many a reader. Jenny loves reading slushy romance novels, but unlike her best friend, knows that they are fictional and does not expect any romantic escapades in real life. She has settled for Matt, who does not set her world on fire, but then who will? Joe King that’s who. As soon as she meets him, she feels sparks and this makes her doubt her engagement to Matt.At first I quite liked Matt and thought that Jenny could settle for worse, but as the book progressed my opinion changed and I could see why her best friend in particular objected to the marriage. Joe on the other hand did sound ideal and it was sweet that he had been teased about his name in the past too. Although why Jenny referred to him by his full name every time I am not sure, as this did begin to grate.
If you pick up this book thinking it will simply be a run of the mill romance then you would be mistaken. Jenny has a woeful past, which we gain further insight into as the story unfolds. She reluctantly puts her heart on the line by accepting her mother back into her life and confessing her feelings to Joe, but unfortunately both have unexpected outcomes. Luckily, Jenny has her best friend Philippa and her smiling manifesto to get her through the tough times.
Jenny may not like glorious highs and ghastly lows, but her life is full of them, which makes great reading. It really was an emotional rollercoaster of a book.