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Jenny Hannigan is the type of girl who likes a good party. But what she really craves, after a difficult childhood, is a man and a family to call her own. So when she meets recently separated politician Richard Allam, she falls head over heels for him and he her. However Jenny's not exactly the model of politician's girlfriend so Richard hires Dev Tennant, publicist extraordinaire to spin Jenny to the public and make their transition from private to public easier on everyone. However, as Jenny finds herself moulded into the perfect politician's arm candy, she begins to wonder if this is the life she wants after all and if Richard is as charming as she first believed. But just what does this reformed party girl really want?
I absolutely adored Clodagh Murphy's debut novel The Disengagement Ring when I read it last year. It was a brilliant novel, fast paced, frantic with a brilliant plot so when I knew Clodagh was bringing out a second book Girl In A Spin I was chuffed. I was even more thrilled when Clodagh herself very kindly sent me a copy. However, once it arrived, it went onto my shelf and I just couldn't find the time to fit it in particularly since I was worried it wouldn't be as good or as engaging as The Disengagement Ring. However, not knowing what I wanted to read, I picked it up on a whim, had a little read of the first page and I was up and away!
In Chick Lit books politics is a very rare topic that's covered. The only novel that immediately springs to mind is This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. Bar that they're generally few and far between, so I think Clodagh has tapped in well to another plot that features things not normally seen in Chick Lit. Politics isn't something I'm well versed in, in fact I'm incredibly ignorant when it comes to politics, so I was hoping the politics wasn't going to be too heavily featured, and thankfully it wasn't. The politics chat is kept mainly to a minimum, but it is always present, but I found it very easy to follow and keep up with.
The main story does however feature on Jenny, and how she's a bit of an unconventional partner for someone wanting to become Prime Minister. Richard, Jenny's boyfriend, even goes as far as to hire a 'Spin Doctor', Dev Tennant, to spin Jenny in a better light and at times I felt bad for her. Yes, she's made mistakes in her life but she deserved to be allowed to be herself. Thankfully Jenny very easily held her own as Dev and Richard wanted to change her to make her more marketable, if you will, as the girlfriend of someone so high up in politics. I must admit, I liked the fact Jenny wasn't your typical politician wife and I loved that she liked to party and that she wasn't perfect. Because surely that's what people would prefer to see, someone a bit more real and it would be refreshing to see a Jenny in real life, she'd be a hoot!
One thing Clodagh Murphy does well is she makes you care about her characters. As I've mentioned, Jenny was very real, and had skeletons in her closet, and that endeared her to me more than if she had a prim and proper background. Her childhood was poor, not that she uses that as any kind of excuse or anything (making me love her more!) and I admired how she'd managed to put all that aside and become the girl she was. There are quite a few men in Jenny's life, her wonderful flatmates Liam and Ollie as well as Richard and Dev. I loved Jenny's flatmates, they'd forged a family between them and I loved how close they all were. I wasn't entirely taken with Richard (despite his tanned forearms) because I just couldn't get over the fact of what he had done to his wife and to some extent, to Jenny. I loved Dev, though, right from the off. I was very taken with him, I must say. We also meet Richard's wife, Julie, who was surprisingly lovely, for the most part.
Girl In A Spin not only focuses on Jenny, but also Julia. Every so often, we would get a passage or a chapter focused on Julia and it was nice to get an insight into how she was feeling being separated from Richard. The book is quite handily told in third-person, which means we get a better scope on the characters and the plot and it works brilliantly. It was a very fluid read for me and I just couldn't put it down for the most part and I was desperate (desperate I tell you!) to find out how it was all going to end. I wasn't disappointed in the book at all, it ended perfectly and I was thoroughly enjoyed every page. I was right there with Jenny for her entire journey, celebrating her highs and commiserating with her during her lows. I was hugely impressed with the book and I enjoyed the fact that Jenny's ex-boyfriends had formed a club to help each other get over her, it was very amusing. It was the kind of thing that should have been too much, but it wasn't, it was just a nice addition, and one that made me smile. I'd hugely recommend the book, Clodagh is a hugely talented new writer, and I for one will be picking up any of her future releases.