Newest Review: ... called Izzy and we meet her almost immediately. The whole book revolves around Izzy at first, then the other characters that are introduc... more
Member Name: mwah_xx
Kiss - Jill Mansell
Advantages: Great character development, thought provoking
Disadvantages: A bit predictable
Jill Mansell, I feel, is your ultimate in chick lit. Though I do have issues with her writing as it does appear that all her books follow the same storyline and pattern with similar characters. However she is very very easy to read, no thinking involved, and great to help just clear your mind!
**Setting the Scene**
Kiss is described as "Classy Chick-Lit that appeals to women of all ages" (Daily Express), and it certainly lives up to this expectation.
As with many of Mansell's books the story revolves around 3 strong women characters; Izzy, who is going to be famous one day, just as soon as the music industry discovers her and her dazzling talent, but until then leads a marvellously chaotic, fun life; Kat, Izzy's long suffering sensible daughter, who is studying hard for her a-levels and organising her mothers life; and Gina, the loving wife who's life falls apart when her husbands runs off with his pregnant mistress. Their worlds collide when Gina, quite literally, collides with Izzy and accidentally knocks her off her motobike thus breaking her leg, somehow following all of this Izzy and Kat end up moving in with Gina and that is where the story really begins....
The story is based around the three women described above and how their lives intertwine with one another and how they cope living in the house together. In true chick-lit style we see various love interests enter the story, most of them tall, dark, handsome and funny. No one is left out, with you seeing each of the characters develop a romantic interest, some wildly unsuitable, some blaringly obvious that it makes you shout at the book and wonder when they are going to open their eyes and others quietly growing in the background until you suddenly realise whats happening.
I love the way that Mansell grows her characters through the book, and how you go from active disdain to really routing for different characters. There are very human elements within this book, and you find yourself identifying with different parts of each character, as well as secretly desiring to be more like some characters, for example, I would love to have Izzy's confidence and don't care attitude, but I also know what its like to be saving for the gas bill and having much more fun blowing the funds on a really decadent meal!
Light hearted and amusing, bits had me giggling out loud, but Mansell is not afraid to tackle weightier issues and the book is a little darker, and somewhat depressing towards the end, before morphing back into traditional chick lit and that happy ending!
Another complaint I found is that the ending is somewhat abrupt, everything is "boxed off" nicely, but too neatly, and it does make me think - hang on a second, real life isn't like that. Which is a shame, especially as Mansell injects such humanity into her characters, whether they are in a leading role or supporting cast, you feel empathy with them, to have such a lack lustre, flat finish spoils the ending.
Izzy von Asch - the dizzy, lovable, chaotic lead, who will one day be famous. There is so much of Izzy that I found to empathise with, she is a character with a zest for life that at times makes you wish you were more like her, and at times makes you cringe! I feel that most people will be able to see part of themself in Izzy, which only serves to grip you more and wish her well.
Kat von Asch - the hardworking scholar. Very much a case of still waters run deep. I found myself liking Kat initially but then being very wary and untrusting of her as the book developed, going in full circle to liking her once the book closed!
Gina Lawrence - an annoying, downtrodden, "poor me" wife. She will make you scream with rage as she weeps and wails through the beginning of the book, I just wanted to take her and scream at her, the best thing is that you see other characters doing this for you which made me think "yes thats exactly what I would say", as you watch Gina become stronger without the need to lean on her husband
Supporting cast - a strong character base, with supporting characters who compliment the three main characters and all bring out sides to their characters that may not have been seen without the help of the supporting characters, for example you see a variety of sides brought out in Gina from her relationship with her husband from utter despair to being stronger and not letting anyone trample over her!
A very easy to read book, that requires little to no brain power! The character development is wonderful and really makes you feel as though they are your friends. Descriptive narrative really sets the scene and a wonderful style of writing.
My bug bears are that if you've read one Jill Mansell you can tell what will happen in the book which leaves little room for twists and turns, you will know who ends up with who and what happens. But generally, when I read this (and others!) it is because it is so easy to read that I don't really mind predicting what comes next!
Summary: Easy chick lit