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This is my first book review so be gentle with me please. I have to say that some of the literary reviews I have rated on this site have been rather good, which is a bit intimidating, so I thought I'd start with one of my favourites. 'Don't you want me?' by India Knight is a no-brainer, the kind of book you can read by the pool on holiday or in the bath and enjoy its feel-good factor without having to tax your grey matter too much. Don't get me wrong, I love a big fat historical account or a psychological thriller to sink my teeth into. I love a book which makes me think, but I will have to build up to reviewing these, and I have read some crackers recently, to avoid humiliation. This was a last minute airport buy and I think it was £3.99 from WH Smiths. I simply liked the eye-catching pink cover and the blurb on the back sounded promising, although it was ruder than I expected. This is India Knights second book, which follows 'My Life On A Plate', another very enjoyable read. The heroine of the book is a chic, slightly eccentric single mum called Stella. The daughter of a wealthy French businessman (whom Stella suspects is gay) and an acerbic English socialite, Stella grew up in Paris but now lives in trendy Primrose Hill with her adorable daughter Honey and her flame-haired, sex-obsessed housemate Frank. Driven to distraction with her lonely, playgroup filled existence and bitter about the never-ending procession of one night stands Frank is enjoying, Stella decides that she deserves a little light relief herself and enlists Frank to advise her on modern 'pulling techniques'. On her first visit to the ghastly Happy Bunnies mother and toddler group, a grubby church hall inhabited by monstrous kids with names like Ichabod and Mango, and their middle class, liberal Earth mothers, Stella meets a kindred spirit and fellow single mum Lousia. They spend girlie afternoons, while their little bundles of joy nap, quaffing wine and recounting stories of dating disasters, like Stellas latest conquest, a shame-filled romp on the shag pile with the ageing, perma-tanned cosmetic surgeon William Cooper, who she met at a dinner party. Through Louisa, Stella meets hip DJ Yungsta, aka Adrian, a ridiculous real-life Ali G who invites them both to watch him perform at the nightclub where he works. Stella quickly realises that this is not a match made in heaven though, when she wanders off and stumbles upon a clandestine room full of drag queens and helped by some mood-enhancing drugs, ends up on stage with them, to the horror of her homophobic new beau. Throw in Stellas' balding, perverse and unhappily married neighbour Tim, who harbors unhealthy fantasies of illicit couplings with her, and you have a recipe for unbridled belly-laughs. The story has a real human warmth to it. Stella is charming and believable and the dialogue is beautifully written. The conversation between Frank ans Stella about what makes a 'dirty ride' is the kind of exchange you might hear in any pub on any Friday night and had me laughing out loud, it was hilarious. Poor Stella. If only she could find her ideal man. A guy who adores Honey, can cook a mean roast dinner and is hot stuff in bed. But Frank is ginger. All over. Stella could never fall for a man covered in red body hair. Could she? There is a half-twist at the end of the book which was a nice touch and the content has a saucy, seaside postcard atmosphere which feels like a cosy, candid chat with your girlfriends, leaving you feeling completely satisfied! Highly recommended as long as you are not easily offended.
I first read this book about 6 years ago and it's sat on my bookshelf not opened again until recently. I had been picked to do jury service just before Christmas (oh what joy that was..!!!) and was told to bring a book to read. I didn't have any new books on the go at the time so on my first day I grabbed the nearest one,being this. As it was a while since I had first read it I couldn't really remember what it was about, so day one of jury service I started reading for a bit(which by the end of the day I had read most of it!But more on that later) The story~ Stella is a newly divorced mum of one (to the cute sounding toddler Honey) and on the wrong side of thirty. She lives in a big house with her little girl and Frank; the woman magnet lodger. We follow Stella's attempts to get back into the world of dating, with tips from Frank,and some blind dates with some very bad choices of men. Stella is half french and hot bloodied and wonders if she will ever have sex again! The Author~ The book is the second novel by India Knight;who also wrote the best selling 'My Life On A Plate'. I haven't read that one but if it's anything as funny as this I will be investing in a copy! My Thoughts~ I won't lie to you; this is a very predictable book and from the onset it's pretty obvious how the story will pan out, and at 260 pages it's not very long. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and actually laughed out loud a few times. I may not read it again but if you like 'chick lit' books and haven't read this I would recommend you give it a read.
Don't you want me is a typical chick lit book. I borrowed this from my sister, because she decided she didn't have enough space for enough bookshelves for the amount of books she had. So I happened to be at her house while she was clearing out boxes of books she didn't want during the Easter holiday. When I get a pile of books, it makes me happy! However, I was a bit wary of not actually doing any revision if I took them back to uni! So I only took back a few for when my exams were finished (i.e. as of today, woohoo!). But I started reading one of them for a bit of amusement and relief from revision. The one I picked up first was Don't you want me? By India Knight. The reason I picked it up was because it so so pretty =D (I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but oh well. So sue me). The cover is a dark pink ish cover (ok probably why it appealed to me). It has cartoon illustrations of the main woman of the book, and then other relevant people (I can't go into anymore detail without giving away the ending). The title and authors name are written in an unusual font which makes it look interesting, and at the bottom of the page is written "From the bestselling author of My Life on a Plate". The back cover gives the blub of the book, but when I looked I was expecting to see the praise for the book, but then I found it inside the cover. The book follows the main character Stella who has just had a baby called Honey. She feels she's getting on a bit, and her life revolves around her daughter and doesn't *really* go out. She talks about the process of trying to get into social events with Honey, however doesn't find people with the same parenting methods as her. She also tries to find a man, however finds out by her age, they're all either sleazy or married. However, by the end, she finds out that the man for her was right under her nose all along. I liked this book and definately found it worthy of my revision break time. It's not particularly long in comparison to other chick lit books, so I didn't find it a problem keeping in my mind what had been going to throughout the book while reading it in chunks. The only problem I had with this book was that it was very predictable, it followed the formula of your typical chick lit book. I knew after the first chaper what was going to happen, and I was right! I would definately recommend this to any one who wants a humerous book that won't take long to read, as long as you aren't expecting a twist and the end, or anything unexpected because there's none of that! RRP 6.99 ISBN: 0-140-29740-5 Publisher: Penguin books
'Don't You Want Me?' is a perfect example of chick-lit. Now, I apologise if anything I say in my review will lead you to working out how the novel will end, and seriously, if you really are new to chick-lit, and are very easily surprised, then STOP READING NOW. I found the outcome of the story shockingly obvious, but maybe I've just read too many of these types of books. But really, you know exactly what will happen from the first chapter. From the blurb on the back even, which describes the male in the novel as 'her good-looking housemate Frank'. And ESPECIALLY from page 3 of the novel, which contains the line 'So if you think this is one of those 'And there the love of my life was all along, right under my nose' stories, you are very much mistaken.' The novel follows the life of Stella, a single mother who lives with her young daughter Honey and her housemate Frank. And that's pretty much her whole life. At the start of the novel Stella is bemoaning her status as a dateless, friendless, single mother, so she decides to get back into the loop. As the novel progresses we see Stella learn what it is exactly she is looking for out of life, and who exactly it is she wants. Knight's effort doesn't really offer anything new as a chick-lit novel. The typical formula for this genre is as follows; we are introduced to a single girl, or about-to-be-single girl, who has some sort of obstacle in her life, i.e. newly divorced, just moved away from home, or in this case, a single mother. Girl feels something is missing from her life, in this case both a man and an independent lifestyle. Girl begins her journey to become the indepent and fabulous woman she strives to be, and by the end has, of course, reached this status. Like I said, Knight's novel doesn't offer anything new to this formula, however this isn't the kind of book that you pick up and expect to be surprised. You know that it will end happily, and that's why you read it. This book is an easy and pleasant distraction, it's very simple to read and is a nice way to pass the time. I read it in 3 days while I was on the train into work, this book isn't taxing or difficult to follow, and sometimes that's exactly what you want. I have said that this book doesn't offer anything new to the genre and that it doesn't stand apart from the others, and while this is still true, there is a strong element of humour to be found here that often is missing from these novels. I actually laughed out loud a couple of times (OK, so really I snorted, made a very good impression on the train I tell you), and the narrative did indeed make me smile. This is what makes the novel slightly more memorable that others of its type; the setting, situation or storyline aren't anything that different from the norm, but the fact that the novel can raise a smile means that it stand out a bit from the rest.
Sex. There's a lot of it about. And Stella is definitely not getting her fair share. She's got a few handicaps: she's the wrong side of thirty, she's a single mum (to the adorable Honey), and her French hot-bloodedness is liable to turn grown men pale.