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Frankie has a great job, a gorgeous (But high maintenance) boyfriend Hugh and lives with him in his palatial flat. What's even better is she finds a receipt from Tiffany's in his coat pocket a few days before her birthday and is ecstatic at the fact that he is about to propose..
In the space of a week though Frankie loses her job, finds out Hugh wants some 'space' and wants to break up and not get married after all..not the birthday she was hoping for.
Deciding that she has nothing to lose, Frankie books a ticket to Los Angeles to spend some time with her best friend - actress Rita, who has relocated there to try get her big break in Hollywood. An encounter with a rude american man at the airport puts Frankie in a bad mood and even worse when she is seated next to him on the flight and subsequently keeps bumping into him in LA. The american in question is Reilly, a photographer who is a mutual friend of Rita and her neighbour Dorian and the more Frankie spends time with him the more she realises that he isn't all that bad.
Hugh comes to the conclusion that dumping Frankie was maybe a mistake and sets out to bring her home. What Hugh doesn't bank on is Frankie is enjoying her new life in sunny LA and getting to know Reilly just that little bit more so will she give all that up to be with Hugh again..?
When my best friend mentioned she was reading a book called 'What's New Pussycat?' by Alexandra Potter the name really rang a bell, and having scoured my book case I came across this - 'Going La La'' which she also wrote back in 2001. I remember really enjoying reading this at the time of purchase and kept it to read again at some point which I never got around to but the mention of the author from my friend prompted me to reread it. Having just purchased the infamous 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' and Alan Sugar's autobiography I decided to put them on hold whilst I read 'Going La La' again.
On reading the first few pages of Going La La I at first thought Frankie was going to be one of those characters that really grated on me with her moping for the drippy Hugh. I was pleased to find though that once I got to know the character I found her warm and funny and easy to connect with which made reading the book a pleasure. The character of Reilly seemed slightly boring and bordering on obnoxious when we first meet him at the airport but the way Potter describes him as the book goes on you couldn't help but get a mental picture of someone that sounds like Sawyer from Lost with stubble and shoulder length hair and he seemed to come alive more as the story progressed where as the first few chapters he seemed quite one dimensional.
The characters of Rita and Dorian (who is male by the way) add a flamboyancy to what could be a rather flat predictable story and images conjured up of both are enough to make you laugh out loud when reading with small curvy redhead Rita in sparkly hot pants and Dorian's insistence of wearing a full fur coat despite the blistering heat. Hugh comes across as controlling and every bit the potential playboy given the chance and whilst he was made out to be an unlikeable character I couldn't help but liking him as he tried to live his 'dream life' after dumping Frankie.
At just 311 pages long this is a fairly short book and is a perfect holiday read in my opinion as it doesn't take itself too seriously. Potter's writing style is typical chick lit and very easy to read as the story just floats along and each page makes you want to read on to see what will happen with Frankie. Some people have said this is too watery and far too predictable but I beg to differ as right until the last page I was never quite sure what would happen and found there to be no lull's in the story.
Although the actual story is not exactly what you would call realistic that doesn't matter one bit as it's pure escapism and I found myself thinking that if I were to find myself in Frankie's predicament then running away from it all to sunny LA would certainly seem logical though highly unlikely.
I am so glad I kept this book as I couldn't quite remember how it ended so reading again was really enjoyable and though it is 11 years old it doesn't seem dated at all unlike some books released at this time.
Would I recommend it?
If you are a fan of light hearted chick lit then this is a definite Summer read. It's romantic without being soppy and though Frankie is obviously devastated by the sudden turn in events in her life she is a really likable character that is easy to take to and doesn't indulge in too many self pitying moods, like some main characters can in similar stories. I found it an easy read that had me rooting for Frankie all the way through and I kept hoping she would make the right choice but the book does keep you guessing right until the end page and even then I was practically holding my breath.
This is a book that I can see myself reading again in a few years time so will definitely be keeping it as it has a feel good vibe to it especially once Frankie hits LA and teams up with loud best friend Rita. There are many laugh out loud moments and all in all I would really recommend giving this a read.
I can't honestly remember where I bought my copy from nor how much I paid despite the RRP on the back saying £7.99 I know I didn't pay that much for it. It is available from Amazon priced at £2.99 for the paperback and £4.99 for the Kindle edition and with it's bright blue cover and poolside sketch it's certainly eye catching but it's the blue tinted edges of the pages that are the most unique feature here.
Harper Collins Publishers