It is hard to believe that this time last year I hadn't read any of Milly Johnsons books. I have now just finished reading my third Milly book and she is flying up to my top 10 authors!
Here Come the Girls was a fantastic price on the Kindle sale so I clicked to get my copy quickly and I finished the book in little over a day, I think it could have been quicker if I wasn't trying to prevent it from ending!
Shirley Valentine, eat your heart out Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie have been friends since school. They day-dreamed of glorious futures, full of riches, romance and fabulous jobs. The world would be their oyster.Twenty-five years later, Olive cleans other people's houses to support her lazy, out-of-work husband and his ailing mother. Roz cannot show her kind, caring husband Manus any love because her philandering ex has left her trust in shreds. And she and Frankie have fallen out big time.But Ven is determined to reunite her friends and realise the dream they had of taking a cruise before they hit forty. Before they know it, the four of them are far from home, on the high seas. But can blue skies, hot sun and sixteen days of luxury and indulgence distract from the tension and loneliness that await their return?
This book follows a fabulous group of four ladies who have been friends since school. When Ven tells the girls she has won an all-expense paid cruise for them all it doesn't take much for them to all jump on-board!
Each of the girls are loveable characters in their own way. They all have completely different characteristics which was great as they were easy to tell apart and they also brought something individual to the storyline.
My favourite character had to be Olive, she was a very down to earth gentle and vulnerable character who you prayed would find her happy ending.
It was quite unusual for their not to be a main character. Each of the Ladies stories were told in great detail there wasn't any character who we felt like we didn't get to know well I loved this about the book.
Milly Johnson writes beautifully and manages to engage the reader into the storyline from the word go. You always know there are secrets hidden in her writing but you can never predict when she will choose to reveal them. I love this spontaneous feel.
Milly not only manages to create 4 great female characters but she brings so many other characters into the storyline, again each who have their own little story behind them. I have never read a book with so many full bodied characters.
Milly has quite clearly done her homework on cruises and the locations mentioned in the book. With most of the storyline being set aboard the ship or on a trip the descriptive writing really gives you the perfect backdrop to the story.
This is yet another superb read from Milly Johnson, I really didn't want this one to end.
Meet Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie. Back in their teen years, they pledged to do something big but this has never actually happened. For one thing, Roz and Frankie aren't even on speaking terms. Not that this stops Ven from getting the four of them together again when she wins a luxury cruise holiday. Will Roz and Frankie be able to put the past behind them? And what about the secret that Ven is hiding from her friends?
I loved all four women and each has a sub-plot of their own going on. Aside from the backstory involving Frankie and Roz and the mystery surrounding Ven, Olive has found the courage to break away from her life as a doormat to go on the cruise. All of the main characters are very likeable and I took to them all immediately. Some of the back stories are not easy to guess, which is great as I hate second guessing something way before it's officially revealed. For example, we find out the real reason behind the rift between Frankie and Roz (which isn't at all how Roz had imagined the true scenario to be) and what Ven isn't really telling the truth about. Ven's secret in particular isn't revealed into the end so it's a case of being in the dark throughout. They're all well rounded characters but it's probably Olive whose character grows the most. From being meek, mild and down-trodden when she first agrees to go on the cruise, she really comes alive during the trip and this is lovely to see.
It was fun, escapist read, not least because of the luxury of the cruise ship. Having not been on holiday for several years before I read this earlier in the year, I was completely jealous of the glam luxury on the cruise ship. It feels like the reader is tagging along for the ride and seeing things through their eyes, despite the narrative not being first person. All in all, it's a great read.
Another book review here for you guys!
Here Come The Girls is a chick-lit book by British author Milly Johnson. The book was released in the United Kingdom in April 2011 and so is very recent. The book is available to buy from Amazon for a price of £4.99 which I think is excellent value especially as the book is brand new.
The plot: The story follows four best friends; Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie. They have been friends since they were little girls. At school they used to day dream about their future, imagining rich and glamorous futures. Although fast forward to a few decades, and the women are approaching their forties. Life isn't how they imagined it to be and they all have their problems. Wanting to add some excitement to their lives, the book a cruise holiday, something that the four of them have always dreamed of doing. Will this glamorous holiday solve all of their problems? Read Here Come The Girls to find out!
What made me want to read this book was the fact that one, I love Milly Johnson, she writes some great books, however the main reason why I wanted to read this book was because it was about a cruise holiday. If you remember, I went on a cruise for the first time last year and absolutely loved it (and really really really want to go again!) so this book proved to be very interesting to me. This book certainly brought back some great memories.
I loved the plot, as it is so different. Whilst you 'get' books where the characters go on holiday together, you never hear about a cruise holiday, and so I think that is what made this book stand out the most from all the other 'holiday' reads. If you have been on a cruise, then you will totally get and understand this book. If you havn't been on a cruise then it will introduce you to the fantastic life on-board a ship, and you will be booking a cruise holiday after reading this.
I loved the characters in this book. I could not pick a favourite character as I felt that each one brought something different and interesting to the book. I thought that four main characters was a good amount as it was enough to keep the story interesting, yet was good because had their been any more main characters then the book would have got a bit confusing!
One thing which I liked about the characters was the fact that we got to meet them when they were sixteen years old. I liked this because it made you feel as though you had really got to know the characters and as though you had 'grown up' with them. I thought that introducing the reader to the characters when they were younger was much better than had we been introduced to them in the present, when they were in their forties.
The creative writing in this book was just brilliant! The author obviously knows her stuff and has obviously done her research. I was 'draw into the book' in the first couple of sentence! She really has a great way with words; it's like magic. I also found the book to be so realistic and not too over the top like a lot of other books in the chick-lit genre.
I also liked the humour in this book; especially the way the characters took the 'mick' out of eachother. There were some parts which made me laugh out loud!
I thought that the ending was quite sad even if it was a good ending. I felt that the book ended with a bit of a 'cliffhanger' and so I think that it would be great if there was a sequel to this book. Perhaps next time they could take their husbands/mothers etc.
I loved this book! I was really impressed with it and soI can't wait to read more books by this author!
This book was exactly like my cruise holiday - I didn't want it to end. And when it did I was very sad!
Thanks for reading!
1st June 2011
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted under xdonzx on ciao)
With their 40th birthdays approaching, Ven, Frankie, Roz and Olive all promised to do something spectacular when they were young kids, but now that doesn't seem likely. Frankie and Roz are no longer speaking after an awful row many years ago, and Ven and Olive are fed up of running as go betweens and being friends with both while avoiding getting together in a group. But when Ven wins a luxury cruise for 4 people, she decides to take along her 3 best friends in the world and sod the consequences. On board the beautiful ship, the ladies begin to relax and enjoy their holiday touring the mediterranean with their every whim catered for, and lots of glorious sunshine and fun. But will the rift between Roz and Frankie ever be healed? What is the secret that Ven is so vehemently hiding from her friends? And will Olive be able to cope with her return to the land where her long lost love resides?
Milly Johnson has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and I always really anticipate any of her new releases because I know I am going to enjoy reading it so much! When Here Come The Girls landed on my doorstep, I was desperate to devour it in one sitting but decided to take my time and enjoy the story unfolding, and I'm glad I did. At just over 500 pages, it is quite a long book but every page was worth enjoying and I found myself not wanting to put it down every evening, I just wanted to immerse myself even more in the wonderful cruising world of Ven and co for far longer!
Straight away, I loved this book and its characters. We begin by meeting the 4 women when they are 16 year old girls, all best friends and keen to cement their future as such. I enjoyed this as I felt it was a good start to cement the friendship between the ladies, and also makes the division between Frankie and Roz more shocking, because its hard to believe anything could separate the women! Johnson doesn't immediately tell us what went on between them, but as snippets are revealed, we can all hazard a guess as to why they aren't speaking, and I was right. I really liked the way Johnson handled it, and as the story progressed it was very touching how things went between the women.
Ven was a great character, and somewhat the leader of the pack due to the fact she was controlling the cruise and its prizes. I really liked her, she is clearly hiding a secret throughout the book and things weren't revealed until right at the end which I liked as it kept me guessing. I actually didn't manage to guess the answer, so I was pleased Johnson managed to keep it a surprise for me! I really liked Ven, she copes well despite the trouble she has faced in her life, and she's come through a stronger woman which I think is good. Olive is somewhat different to the other women, she's married but trapped in a loveless marriage that feels more like a prison. You can really feel sorry for her and its nice to see her come to life as she goes on the cruise and escapes her awful husband and mother in law.
Each of the women have had their issues in their past, and also Olive who is struggling with her present too, and all of these are something women reading this might be able to relate to, and this is exactly what I love in Milly Johnson's novels. They are believable, they are realistic and the characters in them, you can imagine being your friends or women you know. I like how Johnson tells us of their pasts without delving too deeply into it, just enough to give the reader the sense of their trouble, and it makes you even more determined that their cruise is going to be enjoyable! There are some great sub-plots going on with Olive's and Roz's male other halves that are dotted throughout the book, and provide a little break from the cruising ladies, enough just to ground you for a while!
You can tell Johnson has done her research regarding cruises because she writes so well and clearly about it, you can imagine you are on board the grand ship with the ladies, and certainly makes you envious when you're sat at home on your sofa reading about gorgeous 3 course dinners, fun belly dancing classes and the odd handsome love interest too! Cruise life sounds like absolute bliss, and I also loved the places Johnson visits along the way. She writes them very vividly, and you can visualise the beautiful islands and lovely sunshine as you read, perfect for these chilly nights! I did love the cruise aspect, and since I've never read a book on a cruise ship it was really interesting!
Overall, this is a fantastic book that I couldn't put down and I can't recommend it highly enough. There is a lot going on throughout the book to keep you entertained, whether its on board the ship or docked on the gorgeous Mediterranean islands, and the stories with the characters keep you hoping for a happy ending for everyone too. All 4 of the women are believable and lovely characters, and the use of third person narrative works perfectly to allow it to chop and change between the characters. I loved every page, and luckily for fans of Milly, she is back this autumn with another release An Autumn Crush! There's something about Milly's book which just get into your head and heart and if you haven't discovered her yet, then you really must. A brilliant read!
ISBN: 978-1849832052. Published by Simon & Schuster on 28th April 2011. Pages: 512. RRP: £6.99
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com
Thank you for reading.