“ Author: Jane Costello / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 15 April 2010 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd / Title: My Single Friend / ISBN 13: 9781847396259 / ISBN 10: 1847396259 „
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I have often seen books by Jane Costello but for some reason they have never really appealed to me. One of my clients had read one of her books and said what an enjoyable read it was so I decided to give one of her books a try. I chose My Single Friend as the blurb sounded different to most chick lit books I have read.
Lucy and Henry have been best friends since school. They are now living together and both have terrible love lives, Lucy because she can't help but lie about her interest to her dates and she always seems to get caught out, and Henry because... well Henry needs all the help he can get which is where Project Henry comes into place.
Lucy and her girlfriends Erin and Dominique take on the challenge to transform Henry into a babe magnet by giving him a new look and giving him tips on flirting and chatting up women!
Will Henry and Lucy be able to find true love?
Lucy is the main character in this book and I have to say her character was a breath of fresh air to read. I have read many warm loving characters recently and this is not the words I would use to describe our main character. Lucy is very down to earth, very much your average girl and she is a very believable character.
Henry is a very charming man if a little geeky. I loved his character from the moment we met him and I did feel sorry for him letting these women loose on him to give him a make over. I found the more I read the book the more I enjoy his character.
The thing which really stands out for me with this book is the humour. I found myself laughing out loud to this book. There was alot of humour throughout the book but it came out of the blue.
The story gets off to a quick start and stays on a fast pace all the way through the book. I could not put this book down it was a real page turner. I must admit the ending to the book I found was predictable but I do not feel that this ruined the book in anyway.
I would defiantly recommend this book it just ticks all the boxes. I will be on the look out for more Jane Costello books I just hope they are as good as this one. One thing I have learnt with this book is not to judge a book by its cover!!
Also on my book review blog http://reabookreview.blogspot.com
I love a good chick-lit book, and always have my nose in a book. My favourite authors are Paige Toon and Sophie Kinsella, although I am always on the lookout for new authors. This time, I came across Jane Costella ; an author who I had not heard of before, and so I was curious to see what she had to offer and so I bought this book.
My Single Friend is a romantic chick-lit book by Jane Costella. The book was released in the United Kingdom in April 2010, and so is fairly recent. You can buy this book for £3.50 from Amazon which I think is quite good value for money!
Twenty eight year old Lucy has a great job where her boss absolutely loves her, two best friends who thinks she's great as well as an old friend called Henry who she has been friends with since forever. Henry thinks that Lucy is wonderful, although attractive Lucy can't see past 'just friends' with geeky and average looking Henry, no matter how many time she is told by everyone she knows that they would make the perfect couple. Henry soon gets a makeover - why will this change both their lives forever ? Read My Single Friend to find out!
I love these kind of books and so I was really looking forward to reading a romantic fiction book. I thought that the plot was very interesting even if at times it was a little predictable. This book is a great light read, and I found that there were lots of laughs to be had , which I loved. This book is such an enjoyable read that I could not put it down ; it's really addictive.
I really liked the main character as she was just so lovely and likeable that it was just impossible to not like her . In fact, I liked all of the character ; Henry as well as her two best friends. The whole time I was reading the book, I so wanted Henry and Lucy to get together. I felt as though I had got to know the characters in the book really well, and so I was sad when the book ended as I felt as though I was saying goodbye to some good friends! I really hope that there will be another book, so we can find out what happened to the characters!
I think that this is the kind of book that everyone can relate to ; we've all got an old friend who used to be 'average looking' at school , and then when you see them a few years later, they are 'HOT!'.
I hadn't read any books by the author before and so therefore I cannot comment on how this book compares with any of her other books. What I will say though, is that after reading this book, I am definately going to purchase more of her books as I think that they are brilliant! Her style of writing is great ; it just flows naturally, and I like how the events happen quickly enough to keep the reader interested, yet not so fast that you can't keep up! It's just a perfect read ; it would make a great holiday beach read, as it doesn't require much thinking, yet is a quick escape from reality.
If you love a good chick-lit book, then I would definately recommend this book to you!
Thanks for reading!
October 22nd 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
After getting stuck into the Harry Potter books, I decided I needed a break, to much of a good thing and l that, so I decided to take a quick peek at the just returned section in my local library, hence this review!
The book I will now review is - "My single friend by Jane Costello".
The premise of the story is -
Lucy and Henry have been best friends since primary school, well since Lucy rescued Henry from being the new nerdy kid in school with no mates, to the nerdy kid with one best friend!
As the years roll on, Lucy and Henry stay just as close, with them eventually moving in together as flatmates, a perfect situation for Lucy as Henry is always there for her, and cleans too!
The problem is that Henry has never really evolved into a confident man, rather opting for his comforts of home with Lucy and hiding behind his geeky scientist outer shell (yes he is an actual scientist, clever and all!).
Lucy decides that she will try and help Henry, with her and her two best friends from work giving Henry a make over.
But when a gorgeous Henry appears from under the geeky layers, Lucy starts to feel something that she thought she never would.......
Ok, so this is completely predictable book, and you probably got the ending from the first paragraph of the synopsis, but the that doesn't matter, with the journey to get there being the best part of this book.
The central female characters have a real feel of an English "sex and the city", there is the nice women who is having a fulfilling long term relationship with "nice Gary" as he is collectively known, but turns out to be not so nice.
Then there is Dominique, who is a complete man eater, who has no chance of settling down, but more frightens every man she comes into contact with.
Then there is Lucy, a beautiful successful women, who works in PR, and gets a fair amount of first dates, but always ends up exaggerating slightly her "talents", and never seems to get a second date, which of course where the hapless Henry comes in, becoming her shoulder to cry on, her confident, well to be blunt her house husband, but without the obvious benefits!
The book is told from the first person perspective, and is cleverly and comically written, I have to say I whizzed through this book finding a real light and funny read, not in the slightest bit taxing.
I think the major draw with this is of course the "will they, won't they" element, though it does keep you on the edge of your seat in that respect, there are not many shockers in the book, juts a nice gentle chick lit read!
Price wise these are available from www.amazon.co.uk for £3.50.
This is a really fun and light read that I thoroughly enjoyed, even if it was a bit predictable, recommended!
Thanks for reading x
My Single Friend is written from the point of view of the main character, Lucy, and this gives the reader a great insight into her chaotic love and work life, as well as her feelings towards all her friends. I really liked the character of Lucy, although a few times I did find her slightly frustrating. She loves her friends and is incredibly loyal to them and she is incredibly loveable. However, the frustration comes from the lies that she tells to the men that she dates. As you can imagine, this gets Lucy into trouble more than once with some hilarious consequences, but at the same time you want to scream at her that this is not the way to impress men. But it soon becomes clear that she does this because she feels like she's not good enough to love and it becomes easy to forgive her for her one little flaw.
I also loved the characters of Henry, Dominique and Erin. Henry is intelligent, kind and a great friend, although he does become a bit of a playboy once he has been made-over by the girls. Dom and Erin, likewise, are great friends for Lucy and some of the best moments of the book come from their girly chats and the way they support each other.
The development of the relationship between Henry and Lucy is well written and believeable. For a while I was concerned that Lucy had only fallen for Henry because of the way he looks after his makeover and I was concerned that she was being a bit shallow. But, through flashbacks of their relationship throughout the years, it becomes clear that Henry has always held a special place in her heart.
I really enjoy Jane Costello's writing style - it is witty, insightful and easy-to-read. Although the ending was slightly predictable, I loved the way that the story progressed and once I started reading, I just couldn't put it down. This book is a must for any chick-lit fans!
Lucy works in a PR firm and has been best friends with Henry since they were kids. To say that her love life is something of a disaster would be putting it mildly, as Lucy has an unfortunate habit of embellishing the truth to make herself sound more interesting - often with very amusing or downright embarrassing consequences. For example, she is thrilled to be asked on a date with sporty optician Paul, but leads him to believe that she is far better hill walker than she really is. Imagine her horror then when she discovers that their date involves climbing up a particularly challenging mountain when in reality, she does little exercise indeed!
These kind of incidents were undoubtedly entertaining, but they're not the real gist of the plot. As you may or may not have guessed, the book's title refers to Henry, who Lucy takes it upon herself to make over with some help from their other friends, Dominique and Erin. Henry quite literally goes from geek to stud, but is Lucy prepared for how much both of their lives will change after the transformation? And will she ever stop lying to impress her dates?
I really liked Lucy's character and she came across as really normal, down-to-earth and ironically, much more interesting than she thinks given her habit of stretching the truth beyond belief. The long-standing friendship with Henry is incredibly touching and endearing, as is her friendship with Dominique and to a lesser extent, Erin.
Henry was another likeable character, who came across as caring and supportive. Dominique's character is a lot more forceful and confident but you could still tell that she is hugely supportive of the people around her, despite the "tart with a heart" persona that she had at times.
As you can probably tell from my character descriptions, Lucy is by far the main character here and the narrative is told from her point of view in the first person. We get a fantastic insight into her thoughts and feelings, especially as the book is written in a chatty and informal style so it's a bit like Lucy is talking to us (or perhaps talking to herself). This narrative style gives us far less of an indication of how other characters (say Henry) are feeling about particular events but that really lends itself as the book progresses as it builds up some subtle tension.
Having now got to the end, the ending is somewhat predictable but there are twists and turns leading up to it that did make me wonder whether my predicted ending would happen so it's not the case that you can guess what will happen three chapters in, as does sometimes happen with books.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It's very much a light and fluffy read, nothing very thought-provoking but for me, Lucy's character was great and really made the book for me. She was supported by some equally good characters in different ways. If you've read "Bridesmaids" by the same author, you'll have a good idea of the narrative style and what to expect on that front.
Lucy has a good job and lives with her best friend Henry who she has known since they were at school together. Lucy loves her life at the moment but she just wishes she could get a boyfriend. She is never short of dates but they always end up in disaster and she spends the next day telling Henry all about them.
Lucy and Henry get on so well but there has never been anything more than friendship between them. Lucy decides that geeky Henry needs a makeover so he too can get out on the market and find himself a girlfriend. Lucy enlists the help of her friends Dominique and Erin to help and soon 'project Henry' is underway. After some work and a lot of coaching Henry is soon ready to hit the clubs and try and pull a woman. Lucy is pleased for Henry and thinks the transformation in him is excellent, she really cannot believe how good and sexy he now looks. Henry starts off badly and struggles to talk to the ladies but after a talk from Dominique he soon masters the art or seduction.
Lucy is pleased for Henry but when he start to bring the women home she starts to get a feeling which she had never had before. Just how does Lucy feel about Henry and what will become of their love lives now Henry seems to have transformed into a playboy?
I have to admit that I only bought this book as the cover looked appealing and the blurb on the back made it seem like this would be an easy and fun read. I can confirm that this was a good choice as I really did enjoy the book and found it incredibly easy to read. The plot was nothing very special but it was good and enjoyable and although the story seems to have been done several times before in the movies the way this book was written was entertaining.
The characters were all very easy to get to know and like, the main ones being Lucy, Henry Dominique and Erin. They were all good people and all had disastrous love lives which gave us some good fun amusing parts to the story. Lucy seemed very down to Earth and I liked how the story was not just about her love and home life but we got to know about her working ay and also an insight into her family who were featured a bit in the story. This gave a little more depth to her character and made me understand why she was like she was. She seemed to have a wonderful friendship with Henry and the way it was written made the closeness seem genuine and at times I could not help feel that Henry was like an older brother in the way he was always there for her and wanting to protect her. Henry was another easy to like character and without giving the plot away I found right from the stat of the book he felt more than friendship for Lucy. He came across as quite geeky at the start of the book but it was nice to read about how he changed and grew as the story moved on.
The other characters including Lucy's friends were all very good and quite different in their own ways, I did particularly like Dominique and thought she was a good strong lady who knew what she wanted.
The story was set in Liverpool and although we did not get to find out much about the city or places we did get to hear of a few good bars and clubs and the descriptions of them were good and detailed. I think we had just the right amount of outside settings which made the story move from work or the flat as this would have become a little tedious if these were the only two settings which we had.
I did find the writing style very easy to read and at times I was not able to put the book down, not so much for the gripping story but because I was enjoying reading it so much. This is a perfect book if you want a good holiday read or something light during the school holidays to take you away from the screaming and moaning children! The book is split into good short chapters which means it is easy to pick up and read one and then pop the book down. There is not a lot of thinking required when reading so this book can be picked up and put down easily without any of the story being forgotten about.
The book which I have is the paper back edition and it was published by Pocket Books. The retail price on the back cover is £6.99 and I did pay this full price but only because I bought this book and another one free. I think it is worth paying for if you can get it for under £5.
Overall I have to give this book a good 4/5 stars. I would have liked to have given it the full starts but I just found the end dragged slightly and it was quite predictable. This book is an ideal holiday read.
I have recently done reviews on both of Jane Costello's other books and from them it would be easy to see that I enjoyed them both very much. So when I was walking through the book section in Asda I was so happy to see her new one on the shelf I had to buy it there and then as in all honesty I wasn't expecting to see it so soon!
Jane Costello has two other books out which are Bridesmaids and The nearly weds. She used to work for various newspapers but, now writes full time. Her books tend to be set in Liverpool or focus on this area as the home town for the characters and I think this is because this is where she lives herself!
Lucy is living with her best friend since school Henry who, is quite the geek and hasn't had any luck with women ever. He is always there for Lucy and when he asks her if a makeover might help him find somebody to love she is more than happy to help her friend. With the help of two of her other friends Erin and Dominica she sets about Henry's big transformation. Before long Henry has lots of women after him and is more than making up for lost time. Lucy couldn't be happier for him except for the fact that her love life is a bit dismal especially when she can't help exaggerating things to make herself sound more interesting! Soon she starts to miss being able to come home and unload her troubles on her friend and just be herself, as he is really the only person she can be her real self around. Will she lose her best and oldest friend because of the makeover?
In this book we meet Lucy as the main character who is quite a unlucky in love girl! She has many dates that all seem to end in disaster because she seems to have a crisis or do something silly like drop a fake nail in her dates soup which results in him nearly choking! Also because Lucy tries to make herself sound more interesting she gets herself into awful situations where her dates think she I into one thing such as mountain climbing when really she has exaggerated a small walk she might have gone on years ago! You can tell it is because she wants people to like her but, as her friend Henry keeps telling her she should just be herself! Jane has managed to bring out Lucy to sound like a good person and not somebody who is being awful by deliberately lying or deceiving people but, as somebody who just wants to be loved.
Henry of course is the other main character we meet and Jane has done a superb job in making him sound wonderful! We really get a feel for what kind of person he is and how much he cares for his friend so even though he is desperate to have somebody love him too he is always there for Lucy when she needs him!
We meet various other people that bring the book to life including Lucy's two other friend Erin and Dominica who provide some extra story lines other than just the main plot which gives the story a bit more depth.
At the moment if buying this from Asda or Tesco then you will be able to take advantage of the two books for £7 offer which of course means it will only cost you £3.50 per book which is a total bargain! Once the book is no longer available in either of these places you will be looking at paying the usual retail price of £6.99 from most book stores. Of course you can always look out for 3 for 2 offers in book shops which will then bring down the average price of the book.
Jane Costello has done it again - in fact out of all three so far this has been my favourite! In all honestly all her books have been really good so it is hard to pinpoint why this was so much better but, I think it was mainly because I love her style of writing and how she can really make you see what a character is thinking whilst actually having conversations with people which brings a certain humour to the story. I like that yet again it is a brilliantly easy book to read and I found I got into this book straight away and I simple could not put it down. I sat in the garden for the majority of the day devouring it and every time I had to get up and leave it I couldn't wait to get back to it to find out what was happening. This for me is the biggest sign a book is good if you are so immersed in it you don't want to stop reading!
For me this book gets a 5 star rating and I am already looking forward to what Jane will bring out next!
Lucy's love life is not quite what she would like it to be and to be honest, it's really her own fault. Every time she has a date, she finds herself embellishing the truth to make herself sound more exciting - but of course this often comes back to bite her in the bum, so to speak. She really has no need to lie, as she actually has a pretty good life, with a successful career in PR, and lots of close friends.
Lucy shares a flat with Henry, who has been her best friend since school. Henry researches tropical diseases for a living and despite having a heart of gold and being a great friend, his outward appearance is (for want of a better word) rather geeky. When he announces that he's fed up of being single and would like to meet a girl, Lucy teams up with her friends Erin and Dominique and they embark on 'Project Henry' to transform their friend from geek to god.
How will Lucy cope, when suddenly her best friend is suddenly getting so much attention from women?
It's rare that I buy a book brand new, I tend to get them second hand, or as a swap on website readitswapit, but this one was going for just £3.50 on Amazon, so I thought I'd give it a try. I hadn't read anything by Jane Costello before, but I'd read a review of this book in a magazine at work, and it was one of the books Amazon kept recommending for me, so I decided to give it a go.
I'm normally quite a slow reader, but recently I have been flying through books, as you may have noticed from all the book reviews I'm writing lately. I knew though when I got about 10 pages in that I wasn't really going to like this much, because I put it down and didn't pick it up again for ages.
I felt the book was quite slow to get going and I never really took to the character of Lucy. It wasn't that I didn't like her as such, it's just there was nothing that made me really care about the character or what happened to her.
Although I never really understood why she felt the need to lie when she went on dates, these parts of the book did provide some mild humour. I think one of the funniest things to happen was when she went on a date with optician Paul, who liked Rock Climbing, so she lied that she did too. On their second date he took her to the lake district to climb a mountain, and she decided to try and act like she knew what she was doing which ended with quite funny results.
Despite these occasional funny moments however, I did feel a lot of the humour was quite forced, and like the author was constantly trying too hard to be funny.
The whole 'Project Henry' storyline was a little bit silly in my opinion, and the fact that Lucy only really took an interest in Henry once he was suddenly good looking, just made her seem all the more shallow. Don't get me wrong, I generally like light books that don't tax the mind too much, which is why I read a lot of chick-lit. For me though, there was never enough of a storyline in this particular book to really make it appeal. The concept of making over a male friend isn't anything new either, a couple of years ago I read a book by an American author which had a very similar storyline - although having searched Amazon to try and remember what it was called I have failed!
There are a few sub-plots going on at work, with an annoying colleague Drew, and also Lucy's mother, although they are fairly minor and I didn't think they added much depth to the story.
Overall, I got to the end of this book feeling quite disappointed if I'm honest. I suppose I had high hopes when I had started it, given all the positive hype I'd read about it. When it came down to it though I never really took to the characters and I felt the story was slow and lacked any depth. In short, I don't think I would recommend this book, if you're looking for some light chick-lit, there are much better books out there.
For 28-year-old Lucy things are going well, mostly. She has a fabulous job, two great friends Dominique and Erin, and shares a flat with her best friend of twenty years, Henry. But prone to embellishing her talents and interests to potential love interests, her dates usually end up in disaster.
With her own love life going nowhere fast, Lucy decides that loveable but geeky Henry needs some help with his and takes it upon herself to give him a make, transforming him into a love god. Success isn't as sweet as she imagined though. Now Henry is officially the most eligible bachelor in Liverpool with women queuing up for a date, Lucy wonders what she's done. To top it all, someone also seems to have it in for her at work and not only is she at risk of loosing her oldest friend, but her career too.
I haven't read any of Jane Costello's previous books, but My Single Friend caught my eye and I thought it looked like a light, cute and fun read. And that's exactly what it is!
Lucy is an adorable character and I liked her straight away. The exaggerating she does on her dates is outrageous but hilarious! I wanted to scream stop now! at her before she went too far, but each new 'embellishment' lead from one lie to another ending up cringe worthily funny. One particular scene had me roaring with laughter, as I could absolutely see it happening in real life too. I think what is so funny about Lucy is that there is something recognisable in her. We've all wanted to make ourselves seem more interesting or talented at times, and we've probably also been caught out once or twice too, though granted there are probably few as extreme as Lucy! We know Lucy needs to just be happy and ok with just being her self and so she becomes immensely appealing.
I also really liked Henry (I wish I had a friend like him!) and enjoyed the relationship between the two. In particular I liked the frequent flashbacks to their childhood. This gave a real sense of depth and history between them and made their friendship all the more believable. It also gives us more of an insight, as to begin with their adult relationship seems all one sided and the feeling is that Lucy may just be taking advantage of his good nature.
As well as these two fabulous main characters, there's also a host of other minor characters that, despite playing a smaller role in the book, have their own little stories. Lucy's mum really interested me. Rather than the slightly ridiculous and shallow middle class stereotype, often reserved for the role of main character's mother in this genre, she's down to earth, hard working and slightly resentful. I thought that even though she played a very small role in the book, she was solid and authentic. I really liked her, and could see beyond the huge chip on her shoulder.
My Single Friend isn't the most original book out there. I knew before I even started how it was going to end, but the journey there is fun and with enough twists to make me wonder if I would be proved wrong after all. Jane Costello's writing is easy, entertaining, funny and engaging. I thought the beginning was a little on the slow side, but after a few chapters the pace really picked up and the pages flew by. I was worried that Lucy's interest in Henry's appearance would make this really shallow, but the message I got from the book was more about not realisng what you have until it's gone. It ticks every box for a great girly read and is ideal for by the poolside, lazy weekends or when you just want to read something fun and light. I'd certainly recommend it and will look out for more from Costello in the future.
~ Other Information ~
My Single Friend by Jane Costello
Published by Simon & Schuster pocket books 2010
28-year-old Lucy Tyler is a bit of a disaster in the dating department, and often falls flat on her face, particularly as she likes to stretch the truth and embellish, in order to make herself sound more interesting to the men in her life.
However, as tends to be the case with these things, the truth has a sneaky habit of catching up with her in the end, leaving her back to square one, haplessly dating in the search for her Mr Right.
Behind her in every crisis since childhood is her solid, dependable but very unfashionable friend Henry, who at first seems a strange companion for our high-flying, glamourous PR girl Lucy.
Henry is equally luckless in the love game, in fact he is so far out of the game its unlikely he was ever a contender, yet himself and Lucy have a special bond and a strong friendship.
So in a last ditch attempt to find a girlfriend, Henry seeks the help of Lucy and her friends Erin and Dominique, who offer to give him a makeover and coach him on his pretty useless flirting skills.
It all starts really well; Henry benefits from a new wardrobe, haircut and lessons in love, and the girls feel proud of themselves for creating this new, confident hunk, who has women falling at his well groomed feet.
But there's trouble in paradise as Lucy begins to feel very left out of her best friends new life, as he dates successfully, while she still struggles to find the man of her dreams.
I was reluctant to start this book, as I had just finished a cracking book and didn't think it would compare. In truth, it didn't, but that's not to say it wasn't an enjoyable read all the same.
Written entirely through the main characters perspective this is an engaging, if fluffy novel. It held my attention and was easy to read, but didn't leave me with any lasting impression apart from that.
Jane Costello potrays Lucy as a flirty, professional girl who likes to socialise and is loyal and kind. As a result she is very likeable and easy to warm to. The other characters are lively and funny, with the exception of one of Lucys vile work colleagues who is threatening to ruin her professional reputation.
It's difficult to say more than that without giving the game away, but in effect this is a tale of friendship, love and success. It is, however, interesting to note how some of the characters adapt as their situations change, particularly the sexy new version of Henry.
It looks on first glance like this story may be a very simple one with a vacuous message that beauty and image rule, but there's more too it than that.
This is a nice, easy to read tale, which suited my holiday needs perfectly, but isn't very taxing and probably won't have any lasting impact.
At 28, Lucy Tyler has a good job in a PR firm, a fantastic and caring best friend in Henry and has two equally great friends in Erin and Dominique. However the only part of her life that doesn't seem to be working for Lucy is her love life. Particularly since she feels she needs to embellish everything she tells the men she dates, leading to a lot of disasters. Best friend Henry is equally as bad when it comes to dating and when he asks Lucy, Erin and Dominique to help him with an image makeover, something the girls begin with gusto. Henry emerges a completely new (and gorgeous) man and soon has girls practically falling at his feet. It's fantastic news for Henry, but Lucy wonders just what she has unleashed by making over her best friend. What's happened to the Henry she knew? And just what are these feelings she's suddenly feeling for him?...
I've read and enjoyed Jane Costello's first two novels, Bridesmaids & The Nearly-Weds, so it was obvious that when I heard about her third book My Single Friend I would be eager to read that too. I think her easy writing style is fantastic and it enables me to just whizz through her books with relative ease. So when My Single Friend appeared on my bed (courtesy of my mailbox) in the middle of March I couldn't wait to begin reading it. After finishing my latest book, I knew My Single Friend was going to be my next read.
The focus of Jane Costello's first two books were, in essence, weddings what with Bridesmaids about a girl who is constantly a bridesmaid and The Nearly-Weds being about a girl dumped at the altar so I was surprised that when I read the synopsis for My Single Friend that there appeared to be no weddings in sight! Now I'm not a huge fan of books where image is the main focus (Jemima J by Jane Green, for example), as is the case with My Single Friend, so I was interested and slightly wary of the fact that it only appeared that Lucy was attracted to Henry after his make-over. Of course that's how it may first appear but that really isn't the case at all. Jane Costello manages to balance the friendship between Lucy and Henry perfectly so, in all honesty, romance seems like the likely next step rather than it being all about Henry's new image being the only reason Lucy suddenly sees him in a new light.
Another main focus of the book appears to be Lucy and her work life (as well as Lucy and her love life). There is a lot of time spent at the PR company where Lucy works and I quite enjoyed all of the witty banter shared by those who work at Peaman-Brown. Lucy's job seems hectic at times and there were a few twists regarding her job as the book progressed. It's fair to say that Lucy's love life, the other main focus of the book, is fairly erratic. Because she embellishes details to all of her dates, she never really manages to hold down a relationship. I can't say I completely understand why Lucy felt the need to lie about things in a bid to look better because, as Henry said, she seemed perfectly fine the way she was. I suppose the only let down of the book was Lucy's "relationship" with optician Paul. I can't say I particularly warmed to him at all and I found his lack of contact and ability to go AWOL very irritating.
Jane Costello has again managed to create some fantastic characters. I actually really loved Lucy (despite her name - chick lit authors, take note, I hate the name Lucy). She was fun and she would definitely be someone I would like to be friends with. Sure, she lied a little during dates but the results were actually pretty hilarious. I actually also loved Henry, even pre-make-over. He was just incredibly sweet and the relationship between himself and Lucy was immensely believeable and it was great to go back to their early days of knowing each other and to see just how long they had been friends. Lucy's friends Erin and Dominique were also fairly nice and I loved how all three girls came together to help Henry when he asked for his make-over. Costello is definitely one of the best authors when it comes to creating a well-rounded set of characters.
The book, like Jane's other two, is written entirely from the point of view of the main character. In this case it was Lucy and I really loved her narration - she was funny and cringe-worthy but ultimately she was immensely lovely. What Costello does best, though, is being able to inject her books with so much warmth and humour. As the book hurtled towards it's conclusion I knew exactly how it would end and yet I still found myself smiling like a loon as I turned the last page. I absolutely loved the ending of My Single Friend and it reminded me of one of the endings of one of my favourite ever TV shows.
My Single Friend was just as enjoyable as Jane Costello's previous novels and it goes without saying that I fully recommend this book. Jane Costello is a huge new talent in chick lit and long may she continue writing such fantastic books. Her books are so enjoyable and definitely have the re-read factor that lots of books lack. I look forward to Jane's next book!