Newest Review: ... probably expect from a former journalist and in many respects for me it was poor. I must admit I approached this novel with an open ... more
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Coming Up Next - Penny Smith
Member Name: CPTDANIELS
Coming Up Next - Penny Smith
Advantages: Lead characters roller-coaster life
Disadvantages: Disjointed story that lacked direction.
==Synopsis of the book:==
Katie Fisher is at another crossroads in her life. Having recently been sacked from her job presenting on the Breakfast television show 'Hello Britain'. She is desperate to get another job quickly as she has a large mortgage to pay and an expensive lifestyle to maintain. But as the press search for more information about her rapid exit from the show she decides to return to Yorkshire and back to her parents home to avoid having to speak to them, while looking foe new career opportunities.
However her plan goes badly wrong as the Press look to cover and bring the lady down further. She does not help herself by being seen with lots of bottles of booze in her bag after a shopping trip and having not put her face on that day to show the world what she usually looks like. And following meeting a single family friend she is hopeful that this could be the spark for a new exciting relationship. The only problem is now she cannot sneeze without the press photographing her. Can she keep her head down and get a new television career or is her life headed on a downward spiral?
==My thoughts on this book:==
For me this was a very disappointing piece of fiction. It was the début novel by former Breakfast presenter Penny Smith and was first published in 2008. So from the perspective of writing about something you know the author had it dead right, but I do not feel it was well written as I would probably expect from a former journalist and in many respects for me it was poor.
I must admit I approached this novel with an open mind and was immediately impressed by not only the clever tittle of the book and the interesting two paragraph summary on the books back cover. I liked the concept of this lady Katie being sacked in circumstances we where not told much about and having to deal with the consequences of it. The author was very good at creating good characters all with agenda's of their own within the media field. I thought she used her knowledge really well here and it gave a lovely flavour of this very cut throat business, in which a friend today can be an enemy tomorrow.
It was a story that was easy to get into, I think in part it is because it is easy to like and feel for someone who is going through a bad patch. Although I kept getting confused because while Katie was the main character she also brought in what seemed like many characters and their link with her seemed quite distant especially the ones who no longer where in contact with her. I found myself wondering expecting them all to link with Katie later on in the story but this never happened and so I failed to see the relevance of them and as a result it was a bit disjointed.
I found the story really meandered as a result of following these other characters and what was happening to them. At times it seemed ages until the story returned to Katie and it was almost as if the author wanted to share her experiences within this field regardless of the effect or lack of it on the story. It was almost as if she was filling in pages to create a longer story. It also annoyed me that all those in the story where young and attractive but having said that it is probably representative of television, but not normal everyday life. Additionally I felt the author for me had a quite simplistic view of love and lust, it just felt there was no subtlety about her scenes involving opposite sexes and anyone could have a relationship with anyone just on the spur of the moment.
That said I did enjoy the lead character and found her an easy character to like and respect. I liked the mischief she got into and while her wit was in some respects her downfall from Breakfast television it was always interesting sometimes because it was so clever while other times it was cringe worthy and something I just shock my head at. What was particularly good however and I may be wrong but I felt there was a lot of the author in Katie Fisher and her interaction with friends and family was particularly enlightening and well thought out.
The story ending I felt was a bit of a damp squib as I kept expecting something really exciting and different to happen to Katie that would make me feel the book had been worth while after all. Sadly this did not happen and I was pleased to put this disappointing read back on the shelf. The book was 256 pages long and for me that was much too long as the story should have just focused on Katie and not shared continuous snippets on various other characters we did not know enough about and overall where not interesting enough. As these additional characters seemed to lack personalities that you would remember and as a result I quite often got confused who they where and what there link was with Katie.
I picked my paperback copy from Amazon and paid five pounds 49p. This I think for the quality of the story was too expensive and I know it sound mean to say I think on this performance this presenter should have stuck to what she knows best. I notice she has since this book written two subsequent stories and I can only hope these are better than this story As for a first attempt this was poor.
Despite being interesting subject matter I thought this was a poor piece of fiction and one I would not recommend. The author needed for me to focus far more on the lead character, not go off at a tangent following duller characters that had no real bearing on the story. As a result it was a disjointed read and one that I struggled to enjoy. And although rich in detail about the media business I found the author tried to use too much humour in too many different scenarios that did not add anything to the story.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
© CPTDANIELS December 2011.
Summary: Very diappointing piece of fiction