Friday, 7 November 2014

What a Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

What a Girl Wants (2014) (Harper)
Lindsey Kelk
Grade: B+
Genre: chick lit
Sex scenes: mild
Source: library
About a Girl: (1) About a Girl, (2) What a Girl Wants
Romance RBC 2014: A book with 'girl/woman' in the title 

Not so very long ago, Tess Brookes had her life turned upside down. Her job at an advertising agency was her life, so when she’s made redundant, she thinks her life is over. This tumultuous period leads to Tess making a host of other bad decisions, including sleeping with her best friend Charlie and impersonating her bitchy housemate Vanessa and taking Vanessa’s place on a photoshoot in Hawaii. It is during this trip that Tess rediscovers her love for photography and realises that she is actually really good at it.

Fast-forward and Tess is back in London, wondering what to do with her life. From believing that her life was over a few short weeks ago, her options are now wide open. If she wants it, she’s got a dream photography gig lined up in Italy, all-expenses paid for. Since she’s been away in Hawaii, Charlie has had time to think and has come to the realisation that he and Tess belong together and should start their own creative advertising agency. Between London and Milan, Charlie and hot-but-all-time-jerk Nick from Hawaii, Tess needs to make up her mind about what she really wants …

I loved About a Girl – it was an honourable mention in my Best Of 2013 list and so I’ve been excited for WaGW for almost a year. Lindsey Kelk’s writing is fresh and funny and she’s one of a few chick-lit authors that I don’t consider it a hardship to read. Tess is an indecisive but brave heroine. All her life, she’s had a solid plan and a sound idea of what direction her career (and thus, her life) will go. When this is turned upside-down, she has no idea where to start re-building. This is Tess’ belated journey of discovery as she grabs opportunities by the scruff of the neck as she is given the chance to re-make her life and future like most people would only dream of.

I’m a Team Charlie girl and can only sneer derisively at anyone who proclaims that they’re Team Nick. We don’t get a particularly conclusive answer at the end of the book (thank God) but I have a feeling that it’s not going to end well for Charlie. Sure, he’s been a complete numbskull for his entire life in not realising Tess’ value until it’s too late. However, when push comes to shove, he’s there when he needs her and encourages Tess to pursue her photography (even when it means it’ll put their prospective company and hold and she continues to hide pertinent facts from him). Nick, on the other hand, is a complete asshole. His I’ve-been-wronged routine was just pathetic and I found nothing attractive about him whatsoever. There was just something … sleazy about him, which I’m sure wasn’t the effect that Lindsey Kelk was going for, but that’s the vibes I was getting all the same.

By no means do you have to read About a Girl first – it would help, but it’s not a necessity. This is a fantastic read if you want something light and fluffy with no commitments. Tess and her best friend Amy get up to all sorts of delightful trouble together and when you add Kekipi to the mix, it’s a sure recipe for disaster. Tess gets a little annoying at times with her indecisiveness (and, in my opinion, her failure to choose Charlie) but her experiences are grounded and Lindsey Kelk’s writing makes for wonderful reading. I would love another book in this series.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction

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