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This was another book I noticed when browsing round Tesco one afternoon while the other half darted off to get something. I quickly saved the title onto my phone and reserved it online at my local library when I got home. It sounded like a really fun chick-lit book, the title itself really suggested that to me, and I thought it'd be something I'd enjoy, so I hoped it would live up to my expectations.
Alice is living in London, and working for Carmichael Music. She lives with her boyfriend Stephen, who like Alice suffers from OCD. When Phoebe, the bosses daughter suddenly flies in, Alice knows something bad is probably going to happen. She's told she has to fly to America to try to persuade an artist, Wyatt Brown, to record again after many years. Alice hates to fly but is sure she can do the job. Can she settle into life in Ohio without Stephen? And more importantly. will she make Wyatt sing again?
This is quite a quirky little novel which I really enjoyed reading. I very much liked the fact that the book travelled across the world with the main character of Annie, so you feel like you are going on the journey with her. The author is actually a Brit who has moved over to America herself, and this really comes across in her writing. She writes with real passion about it, and you can see she has gone through this herself. I think that made me warm to the book even more, I believed what I was reading even though it was fictional!
The characters themselves were well written and all very likeable. Annie in particular was definitely my favourite. Although at times she was quite serious and took her job seriously, for the most part I found her narration incredibly funny, and she put an amusing spin on things which probably shouldn't have probably been funny at all! Her descriptions of her and Stephen's OCD were amusing and Wilde really created a brilliant leading lady in Annie. I was pleased she used first-person narration from Annie, as this really took you deep into the story and made it such a good read.
The way Wilde developed the relationships between the characters was very clever as well, and there were several twists involving other characters along the way which shocked and made me laugh! Stephen was a complete prat to be honest, and I couldn't see why Annie was with him at all, and the way she speaks about him throughout the book was really funny. Annie's family is rarely mentioned, as the main other characters are Wyatt the singer and Ohio girl Heidi. Both were written well, seemed like "typical Americans" in that they were very different from the British ones, and I liked the way Wilde made it easy to differentiate between the two nationalities.
For a debut novel, I feel Wilde has made a very strong story here with very good characters, and best of all, a thoroughly enjoyable book. What works for me was the humour laced throughout the story which came when you least expected it. Although I realise OCD is a serious problem, Wilde has approached it with realism yet a tinge of humour to make light of it and this somehow works in the book. Annie realised to overcome her problems, she has to face her demons, and this is a theme that recurs throughout the novel. Wyatt has to also face his own demons, and the way he and Annie have to compromise to get through this is well done.
I think this is definitely one of the better books of this genre I have read in a while. I really enjoyed reading it, and despite a little bit of a slow start, I found it really easy reading which got quite addictive as it moved on. It was really interesting to get a take on American life from a British person's perspective, and I also liked the little inclusions of information about cupcakes as well! If you like a light and funny read, I'd definitely recommend this one. It's well written, and a great debut from Rosie Wilde.
ISBN: 978-1409102083. Published by Orion books in July 2008. The paperback contains 368 pages, and is available on Amazon for £4.35 (RRP £6.99). For more information on the author, please see http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/rosie-wilde/.
Thank you for reading.