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I read a positive review of Personally I blame my Fairy Godmother a while back and made a mental note to read the book. Not long afterwards I spotted it in a discount book store, so snapped it up and have just finished reading it.
Jessie Woods didn't have the easiest start in life. Her mother died when she was just three years old and she was brought up by her dad. When she was ten, her dad met Joan, an overbearing woman whose daughters Sharon and Maggie can only be described as vile bullies. When her dad sadly passed away too, Jessie found herself stuck with them.
There was one thing that got Jessie through the tough times and that was her drive and determination to get to where she wanted to be in life. Fiercely ambitious from a young age, it was no surprise to anyone when she achieved her goal of becoming a TV presenter and hosting her own show, 'Jessie Would'.
To the outside world it looks like Jessie has the perfect life. Not only does she have a great job, she is also one half of the most famous celebrity couple in Ireland, with dishy entrepreneur Sam Hughes as a boyfriend. What people don't know is that Jessie is in a lot of debt. The mansion she's living in is rented and payments are overdue on her car. When she is offered a brand new Mercedes live on TV, Jessie accepts without thinking, not realising accepting gifts is a huge faux pas. Jessie is sacked on the spot, followed quickly by being dumped by Sam, who wants to protect his reputation. With no money to pay her rent, Jessie has no choice but to move in with her hard faced stepmother and two couch potato stepsisters...
==What I thought==
It becomes obvious pretty quickly that this book is a modern day take on Cinderella. In fact, it is so Cinderella at some points, that I was half expecting a group of mice to scuttle out from the skirting boards and launch into a chorus of Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo. The fact that the story is based on such a well known fairytale meant that I could often see where things were headed and I would have liked a few more twists and turns to hold my interest.
Jessie is a likeable character right from the beginning. The book, which is written in first person, starts with her explaining the situation with her debt and she comes across as very 'normal' and not arrogant or diva-ish despite her showbiz career. As the book went on however, I got quite frustrated with her character - the relentless whining and desperation that comes through from her when she is dumped got on my nerves somewhat and didn't seem to let up for a huge portion of the book. Thankfully towards the end of the book the character seems to return to being the likeable person we met at the start of the story.
To begin with, I thought the book had quite a quick pace and it was enjoyable. All the action with Jessie's sacking and being dumped by Sam comes fairly near to the beginning and it seemed that there was always something happening in the opening pages.
Towards the middle of the book, I felt that there was a real lull and the story seemed to slow right down and at some points seemed like it was at a standstill. I actually found the story didn't really hold my attention anymore and I nearly gave up on it a few times. There seemed to be several pages of 'poor me' from Jessie and what seemed to me like the same conversations with the same people over and over again. I also felt some of the dialogue - especially between Jessie and stepsister Sharon - was a little bit poor in places and seemed almost childish at times.
Thankfully towards the end of the book, there was a slight twist (which miraculously I didn't see coming) and that sparked my attention again. We are given a little clue about what may be about to happen and from that point onwards, I felt the story really picked up and I was able to fly through the last third of the book really quickly, eager to know what was going to take place.
From the title of the book, I had actually expected that this might have a little bit of humour in it, but I don't think it did and there were certainly no laugh out loud moments for me. I'm sure you can guess that it was a very light read - it's certainly not one to tax the brain and it is rather fluffy in places.
To sum up, I'd say that I did enjoy the book to some extent, but it was certainly not the best chick-lit book I've ever read. The beginning and ending were fine, but I'd say the middle third of the book was very poor and really dragged. In fact, I'm sure that part could have been condensed into around ten pages as it did seem a lot like padding to me. I certainly don't think that this is a book worth reading again and to be completely honest I don't think I'd recommend it either as there are much better offerings out there in the same genre.
This is a review of the book 'Personally, I blame my Fairy Godmother' by Claudia Carroll. OK so I said I wasn't going to buy any new books but I caved in recently with a buy one get one free offer in the supermarket.
A bit about the book
The book is set in Ireland, in and around Dublin and turns the traditional cinderella story on its head with TV personality Jessie Woods who has everything getting down on her luck and doing a reverse cinderella, losing everything then determindly getting back on her feet and facing the world.
In the book, Jessie faces a lot of demons. Her step family for starters who grudgingly accept her back; her fabulous boyfriend Sam ignoring her calls now she's down on her luck; not to mention her best friend the smiling assassin - who needs enemies when you've got friends like her!
I loved the relationship Jessie has with her two step sisters and Mrs Bucket Step Mum. They hate her for being sucessful in life but when she needs them they are all there for her and Jessie returns the friendship in a touching manner. Jessie's determined character is also refreshing. Although she's a fallen star it doesn't stop her from grafting away in the local branch of 'smiley burger'
I kept wondering when she is skint why Jessie doesn't flog all her designer gear on ebay but then when she finally does get round to selling it to raise some cash, it all goes a bit wrong. I don't want to spoil it for those who fancy reading it but it will make you laugh.
The similarities between Jessie's life and cinderella from step sisters to glass slippers are stunning in this book. Claudia Carroll writes with a great sense of Irish humour and there are lots of modern references in the book. My favourite is when she says "if Take That can make up then so can I". So would I recommend this read? Of course! It's a fun and lively take on the cinderella fairy tale and it keeps it real throughout. It didn't take long to get through but I'll be on the lookout for more from this author in the future.
When i'm out shopping for a book I do make the mistake of buying the book based on the front cover, I know I shoudn't but i like it to catch my eye, so when I spotted the front cover of this was really colourful and vibrant, I knew I had to buy it.
This is my review for the book personally I blame my fairy godmother by Claudia Carroll.
The plot: Jessie Woods's childhood is a Cinderella sort of story, her mother passes away when she is three years old and her loving, yet incredibly lonely father re-married in order to have a mother figure for young Jessie.
However her step-mother, Joan also brings with her two daughters in the shape of Maggie and Sharon.
In a typical Cinderella fashion Jessies step sisters are mean and her step-mother isn't exactly the most affectionate mother in the world.
Jessie makes a vow that one day she will leave her house and be a television star, have loads of money and have her happy ever after with a gorgeous prince charming.
The story then cuts to Jessie in her early twenties and she's a succsess, with the most perfect man she could have ever dreamed of.
Jessie's world is about to come crashing down though as one little mistake changes her whole life.
She has to go back to live with her wicked step-mother and her ugly and mean step-sisters.
Thats all I can say really without giving away the story, but I would have to say that it's a rags to riches, to rags tale with a twist.
The first half of the book does have the Cinderella theme to it but then it sort of develops into a different sort of story.
I must admit that the first two chapters didn't grip me as I had an idea in my head how the plot of the story was heading but i'm glad I continued to read because from chapter three onwards I was well and truely hooked.
It's a light-hearted, sweet story and there is alot of humour in it, which are the sort of books I love to read.
I really fell in love with the main character Jessie and at some points of the book she would make a decision to do something that I just knew wouldn't go well for her and I was actually speaking to the book at one point, saying no don't do it!
The only thing that I didn't really like about the book itself is that at the end of every chapter there was a blank page, now i don't know if that was the author's intention or whether it was down to the people who published the book but I did think it was a waste of paper.
Apart from that I thoroughly enjoyed it and i've never heard of Claudia Carroll before but now i've read this i'll definatly be keeping an eye out for anymore of her work.
I bought this book from Asda for 4 pounds, and in the back of the book there is a silly little guide to dating, which I thought was fummy and a nice little touch to add to the book.