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I have read all of Jane Costello's books and I love them as they are always full of down to earth humour, which make the books such a joy to read so having thoroughly enjoyed her previous I had no hesitation in ordering her latest book All the Single Ladies even though it meant I haven't been able to get the song out of my head!
As soon as we meet our main character Sam it is clear that her life has just been turned upside down. Partner Jamie has decided that he can't be with Sam anymore as he now has plans to move to South America and these plans do not include Sam although he insists he still loves her. This is hard for any girl to hear and it sounds like mixed messages as surely if you love someone you cannot bear to be without them. Distraught Sam soon comes up with a plan along with the help of her tow friends and Jamie's sister to try and win him back and change his mind.
We see some of Jane Costello's familiar humour shining through in some of the situations that occur to win back Jamie one of my favourites involving a malfunctioning boob boost! I found that Sam's character felt pretty in depth which I think is helped by the fact that the book is told from Sam's point of view so we get to see and feel her thoughts and feelings first hand. I did find at one point in the book closer to the end that I wanted to throttle her for the way she was treating character Ben as I loved him he came across as a true caring gentleman.
Although the book was witty throughout the book there was also a deeper topic which was briefly covered to do with one of Sam's friends and I thought this was covered very delicately and gave a lovely unexpected touch to the book.
I really enjoyed this book and part of me didn't want it to end however I love the ending to this book as it was unpredictable and in all honesty I couldn't have hoped for a better ending to a great book. I cannot wait for another Jane Costello book to come out, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
"Samantha Brooks' boyfriend has made a mistake. One his friends, family,and Sam herself know he will live to regret. Jamie has announced he is leaving, out of the blue. He is loving, intelligent and, while he isn't perfect, he's perfect for her - in every way except one: he's a free spirit. And after six years in one place, doing a job he despises, he is compelled to do something that will tear apart his relationship with Sam: book a one-way flight to South America. But Sam isn't giving up without a fight. With Jamie still totally in love with her, and torn about whether to stay or go, she has three months to persuade him to do the right thing. With the help of her friends Ellie and Jen, she hatches a plan to make him realise what he's giving up. A plan that involves dirty tricks, plotting and a single aim: to win him back. But by the time the tortured Jamie finally wakes up to what he's lost, a gorgeous new pretender has entered Sam's life. Which begs the question ...does she still want him back?"
I've read a few of Jane Costello's books in the past and have really enjoyed them - they're funny, like laugh-out-loud funny and have good plots as well. My little bugbear is the need to have a new chapter every 2 or 3 pages, something I've never liked but somehow I manage to ignore this and plough on anyway, because straight away I really liked this book. I have to say that the quote on the front of my proof copy, calling Jane Costello "the new Sophie Kinsella" is a little too ambitious for my liking and not entirely accurate since I find them similar but not actually all that alike as authors to be honest! Also, I defy you not to have Beyonce's song banging around in your head once you see the title of this book, a good job I quite like the song really! Let's see if Jane Costello's new title lives up to the hype and whether it's a good read or not!
Samantha Brooks is deeply in love with her boyfriend Jamie, so when he announces he is leaving her to go and live in South America, she's somewhat shocked and desperate to change his mind - and she's got three measly months in which to do so. She recruits the help of her best friends Ellie and Jen, the sometimes helpful advice from Jamie's sister, and a good deal of changing herself too. However, when a new man, Ben, makes an entrance, Samantha starts to wonder whether what she thinks she wants is what she really wants at all. I was a little worried that this was going to be too much along the same vein as other books I've read on this topic recently (Stella Newman's 'Pear Shaped' and Sarra Manning's 'Nine Uses For An Ex-Boyfriend) and while it had similar overtones, Costello delivered it in a very different way and made it stand out from the crowd somewhat.
Samantha was a really good character, and I liked reading her story throughout the book. It's told in the first person so we really feel like we get to know her really well, and as such I found myself rooting for her, and for her not to take Jamie back because it would all end in tears! It's another case of girl doesn't want to let go of her first boyfriend, even though he's a bit of a twit and everyone but her can see he isn't a good apple. I enjoyed the funny scenarios Samantha found herself in, but did feel a bit sorry for the man she was stringing along to make Jamie jealous, she was a bit blind with him as well I fear! Jamie on the other hand wasn't a nice man at all, giving up the woman he loved so much just to go travelling again?! Why can't these men commit?! I didn't like him at all, despite the gushing that Samantha did about him, and I'm glad he wasn't too prominent throughout the book, as I far preferred the lovely Ben!
The book was set in Liverpool, somewhere I've never been myself but Costello writes about it well and brings it to life for the reader. Samantha's job does come up quite a bit but it didn't capture my attention that much I have to say, and I was far more interested in Samantha's attempts to make Jamie jealous! I really enjoyed the fact that Costello covers a more serious issue in this book regarding one of Samantha's best friends. I don't want to spoil it by revealing the topic as I liked how it was gradually revealed, but I feel Costello covered this very realistically and while it wasn't a nice storyline to read, it was well done and I think the characters involved all handled it well and it felt realistic to read. It's nice to see issues like this coming out in chick lit too as they are far more frequently being seen in today's world.
This book is a really great read, and contains Costello's usual fantastic laugh-out-loud humour, and good characters that will have you hooked as well. While at times I felt it was a story that has been done before, and quite recently too, I enjoyed Costello's spin on it, and while it was a fairly long novel, it did pass by quickly and I was hoping for an ending that would make me happy and round off the book in a good way. As well as the funnier moments, there are more serious ones to balance these out and it certainly makes for a really good read. If you've loved Costello's previous novels then you are going to really like this one, and if you haven't yet picked up one of her books, this would be a good place to start! I'm not sure Jane Costello is the next Sophie Kinsella, but she's certainly marking out a niche for herself as a great comedy writer whose books I look forward to reading each year!
ISBN: 978-0857206572. Published by Simon and Schuster on 2nd February 2012. Pages: 496. RRP: £12.99. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com
Thank you for reading.