Everyone wants to be famous, don't they? Not Jessica Granger. Her father was the movie star who played the world's favourite James Bond and, worse, her mother was voted sexiest-ever Bond Girl for her role as Heavenly Melons. Like it or not, fame is in her blood. But Jessica dearly wants to be someone in her own right. So she flees Hollywood for London, seeking independence in a city where nobody knows her name. But when she finds a job as a celebrity booker on a chat show she realizes the more friends she makes, the harder it is to keep up the lies about who she is. And when Jessica falls for Paul, a writer on the show, her life as a double agent causes double trouble. With the truth of her past about to explode into her new world, can Jessica convince Paul she's the real deal? Or maybe a sprinkling of the old 007 magic will spice up her love life?
This is author Jemma Forte's second novel, and although I haven't read her first, Me and Miss M, Leah has and really enjoyed it so I was really looking forward to reading this one. The cover for this book is just gorgeous, so pink and feminine yet the black works well against that as a contrast and gives it a funky and fresh look. It has to be said that I also love books which make me laugh, I think comedy is very important, and Forte is apparently great at making readers laugh, the reviews on Amazon made me feel very positive overall about reading this book! I couldn't wait to get stuck in and luckily, it didn't disappoint!
The book's premise of a girl famous in America coming to work in the UK under a new name so no-one knows her is new to me within the chick lit genre, and sounded like something that could be quite fun. It relies on the reader assuming that Jessica is an unknown in the UK, but as I don't half the American's shown on E! and in the papers, it wasn't that hard to believe! I really warmed to Jessica straight away, while you sort of envy her having everything she wants, you understand her wanting to work to earn something for herself, even if she does have some funny ideas of "going it alone" at the beginning of the book! Forte created a very likeable character, and it certainly makes you think about celebrity children, and how they may crave normality in their crazy world, and I think this is put across really well in this story.
This humour carries on throughout the book, and I was regularly laughing out loud at Jessica's escapades. She quite cushily lands herself a job at the BBC working as an assistant, something a lot of people would probably die for but of course Jessica thinks its a bit run of the mill. The work scenario creates the opportunity for more characters to be woven into the story, typical young people working in London and they're a great contrast to the naive Jessica. I especially loved her boss Kerry, a woman after my own heart! Tom was also great, you could sense what was going to happen there but I still enjoyed reading the story unfold. What I actually really enjoyed was how Forte played on the differences in vocabulary between Americans and English people, for example Jessica choosing the fake name "Bender" as her last name, totally oblivious of what this means in the UK! Hilarious, and there are quite a few of these instances that made me laugh out loud!
Forte chooses to bring in the institution of James Bond, 007, into the book and I wondered how it would work in terms of such a famous character being woven into a fictional novel, and it actually worked really well! Edward Granger, a Brit actor now living in LA with his much younger wife, is the Bond everyone back home loves, and Forte cleverly writes about him alongside the real Bond actors, Brosnan, Moore and Connery to name a few. He, and Jessica's mother Angelica, were well written characters, and you can feel the emotion between these characters, it was very well written and nice to read. Although the book is obviously mainly set in London, it does have some scenes set in LA too, and you think that Jessica must be mad to come to grey and dreary London and leave behind that glorious sunshine!
This was a fantastic read, and has certainly put Jemma Forte on my radar as an author to look out for more in the future, without a doubt! It's a very funny and easy read, one which kept me turning the pages minute after minute as I wanted to find out whether Jessica would be found out, and whether she could heal the rift between her warring parents too. There's a lot going on, there's a lot of laughs, but it is just such a fun read, the pages whizz by in a flash and before you know it, you're at the end and wishing there was more! I really hope the book is a success - it makes for perfect beach reading, and I wish I had another holiday to go on so I could read it again!
ISBN: 978-0141049632. Published by Penguin on July 21st 2011. Pages: 480. RRP: £6.99.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com.
Thank you for reading.