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This book Any Way You Want Me is written by Lucy Diamond. I got any way you want me out of the library a couple of months ago and found that it is an ok read - it is something that took me a week to get through as it wasn't one of those books that you feel you can't put down but all the same i was interested to know what the out come was for the lead charachter in the end.
The book is about a mother of two who thinks that the grass may be greener on the other side and has an affair. The book focuses on her life with another man and how this impacts on her current 'real' life. It seems that she is looking for something that doesn't exist and she gets caught up in the drama of it all rather then the relationship. She soon realises that she has something pretty special already. She trys to rekindle her original relationship. It is a happy ever after book and her other half forgives her for sleeping with someone else - i found this a little far fetched. Not something that i will be reading again but would be ok for a beach read or something light!
It is published by Pan Books and is 384 pages. It retails at 6.99 which is an average book but it is possible to get it considerably cheaper in super markets.
Despite the enormous "to read" pile of books on shelves, I can never seem to resist popping into the charity shops in town when I'm doing the shopping. I'm always convinced I'll miss out on a really good book, so I always scour the shelves before I leave. One such find the other week was a copy of this book by Lucy Diamond, called Any Way You Want Me, and it was priced up at just 50p. It sounded quite interesting so I decided it was worth my 50p, and I took it home with me. Even now, a few weeks after reading it, I am still undecided as to whether I like this book or not!
Sadie is happily settled in her relationship, engaged to her lovely fiancé Alex with their 2 young children. But Sadie is convinced that there must be more to life, and begins to exaggerate the truth about her life in emails, meeting new people and catching up with old friends. But things take a massive twist for Sadie when she embarks on an affair with Mark, a distant friend. Can Sadie juggle her own family life, and the secret life she is hiding from her children and Alex? And will Sadie ever learn things don't always go to plan when it comes to relationships and families?
This is most definitely a chick lit book, but where it differed for me was the way the whole thing was written, and the attitude towards Sadie throughout the book. Being written in the first person, you got to hear Sadie's innermost thoughts and desires, and also her hates as well, and to be honest, from these I thought she was a pretty horrible person. At the beginning, she clearly loves her children and Alex, but soon the cracks begin to show and it was from then I really disliked her. I don't normally take a dislike to characters in books, but I made an exception for Sadie!
The idea for me that a woman could threaten her family life by having an affair is terrible, and perhaps this is why I couldn't like her. I didn't like the way she thought about her life, about her fiance and how she seemed to think she was stuck in a rut with her life... sacrificing a few personal freedoms is all part and parcel of being a mum, and I just couldn't understand why Sadie was so negative about her life. The author has clearly thought about the turns she wants this novel to take, because everything seems to happen to perfect timing and you could definitely guess what was going to happen, it was slightly predictable.
The characters themselves were all very well written. Although I didn't like her, Sadie's narrative was good fun to read, she was very bubbly and friendly sounding, and she certainly didn't hold back on her feelings. The way she described her other half Alex made him sound lazy and horrible, but I think he was probably a very nice guy! Mark was the only other main character, and I could smell him a mile off, not a nice chap at all. I could see how he was going to develop and was frankly a bit annoyed that Sadie couldn't! Overall, none of the characters were particularly nice people, all deceiving each other and not being honest, but I guess that is what some people can be like!
Although the main characters were good, there were far too many sub-characters for me to keep track of and this affected my enjoyment of the book a bit. I did find myself flicking back through the book to see who someone was and this was a pain. There were too many of Sadie's friends who popped up to irregularly for me to know or care about them, her sisters again weren't there much and I easily confused them, and there were too many of Alex's colleagues to keep track of. This was a pity, as with less characters, I may have enjoyed the book a bit more.
Overall, this is an okay chick lit book which does the theme of the book on a slightly different way to other books in the genre, but for me it wasn't something I could relate to at all, and consequently I found myself disliking the characters because of their actions. The story was relatively predictable, with a few bits along the way which surprised me but nothing major. A good writing style really saved this book for me, and I have got Diamond's second novel to read, so I do wonder whether it'll be an improvement on this. A good book, but definitely has its niggles for me.
ISBN: 978-0330446433. Published by Pan Books in April 2007. The paperback contains 384 pages and is available on Amazon for £5.49 (RRP £6.99). Lucy Diamond is a pseudonym used by author Sue Mongredien, who has written rather a lot of successful children's books.
Official website: http://www.lucydiamond.co.uk/
Thank you for reading.
Sadie has the clichéd yummy mummy life: nice house, a lovely baby boy and sweet young girl, a nice, hard working man (he's still not her husband, mind), the chance to stay at home with her kids. But being good on paper doesn't necessarily mean her life is perfect, that it's the way she would choose or, even, that she's very happy.
In between the outings to the park and girly nights out around which her life now revolves, Sadie begins to think that something is missing, and as this feeling gnaws away at her, she starts to take action, first understated and then quite explicit, to address this. The result is a life which goes from bordering on boring to crossing into highly complex within the matter of a few pages, with some quite catastrophic consequences.
The book is typical yummy mummy chick-lit, but is well-written, engaging and funny, and kept me laughing and guessing most of the way through. Reading this book made me want to get married just so I could cheat on my husband with one of his colleagues' partners. Seriously.
I only have a few niggles with the book. At times there seems to be a lot going on - perhaps too much. As a result, some of the avenues the book explores don't get very far. Her foray into the world of friends reunited, for example, doesn't actually lead down a dead end, but might as well have done since it stops abruptly and the story then switches to a different track. Equally, there are a lot of sisters and girlfriends introduced, but the sheer quantity means that you end up only knowing a little about most of them, rather than being able to learn more about who they are and what makes them tick. This is annoying when you find a character to identify with and they get "dropped", but doesn't really spoil the book.
I felt like I'd read this story before, because it is quite formulaic and of a certain "type": it is very reminiscent of "And What Do You Do?" Though there are some interesting characters, Sadie herself is a bit run-of-the-mill and seems a bit out of it at times. The bombshells that get dropped really have the edge taken off them thanks to the blatant clues in the plot that lead you to know exactly what is going to happen at times, so it's hard to accept that a woman of her purported intelligence wouldn't have seen it coming. It would, however, be unfair to imply that the whole story is so predictable as there are a few twists and turns that are less easy to spot, and make it an enjoyable, page-turner of a book. The very end was a bit of a let down as it seemed an "easy" ending, which probably isn't true to life, but I guess it could happen, and is what people in this situation would like to happen, so I suppose there's nothing to wrong with that.
Lucy Diamond is a quasi-pseudonym (it says this on the first page, and tells you her real name) and though this is her first adult book, she is apparently a successful author of various series of children's books. I think this shows: the book is slick, flows smoothly and is not hard to get in to. An easy, enjoyable read, this book has just the right mix of modern-day-life ingredients (house-proudness, weekends away, child-rearing issues, pleasant but not pornographic sex, posh meals out, extramarital affairs and the like), and in between the nice, normal text, there are some killer lines and double entrendres.
Fans of books such as "In Her Shoes" or Sophie Kinsella books such as "Shopaholic and Baby" might well enjoy this title too, as it's in the same vein - not "serious" literature, but much better than your average, churned-out chick-lit offering.
This originally appeared under my name on www.thebookbag.co.uk