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Due to me being off work this week due to a bad back, I have found myself reading an awful lot, with the book I will now review for you being one that literally jumped off the shelf at me! The book in question is - "Wags at the world cup by Alison Kervin". After reading the first two books in this series (Wags diary and a wag abroad), I knew I had to read this one, more for the sheer joy of reading about someone who is as adorably clueless as the main character Tracie Martin. Tracie is the wife of Dean Martin, one time lower league footballer, who has risen in the ranks of coaching and is now a coach at Chelsea. After Fabio Capello became the England football squad manager, he decided to put together an elite coaching team for the squad, and chose Dean to become his "deputy assistant, second in command to the assistant defence coach", which to Dean is a strike of good luck and a chance to prove himself to other coaches, but for Tracie means that her dream of becoming not only a wag, but possibly a "wonder wag", rubbing shoulders with the likes of Abbey and Coleen! After she has been given this news she is then sworn to secrecy, which she really does try, but after telling her nearest and dearest (Suze, Mich, the maid, the delivery boy, the milkman........), she finds herself in a spot of bother with the FA, so is told to tell no-one else until Fabio officially reveals his line up, but again after a random incident with a television crew and a so-called "pilot" episode that is never going to be aired, and a large bottle of Bacardi, Tracie's life is immediately changed. What will become of the shame of the England football game.......... This book is pure gold, or if the colour of Tracie Martin is followed, pure orange! This book shows the lengths that some girls will go to, to find and even keep a famous footballer boyfriend/husband, and yes I know that this is a work of fiction but you could really imagine girls doing this sort of thing! Tracie herself is a funny, yet so completely ill informed character that you can do nothing but fall I love with her, I love the parts where she has to justify to everyone how much better her life would be with a certain pair of books, or some "marshmallow" coloured cowboy boots, it has at times small flashes of the "shopaholic" series by Sophie Kinsella, except with much less taste and class! The book is told from Tracie's perspective, so you not only get to follow her actions, but also her thoughts, which at times are just as random! I di at times feel really frustrated wit her though, as she is told on numerous occasions not to do certain things, then she goes straight out and does them, but they also have a way of working out in the end, but always to an advantage to Tracie, though at times you really wonder how! Now I have no knowledge of football at all, and so the fact that she hasn't got much idea either is really refreshing to read about, with her even attempting to explain the offside rule with pieces of make-up hysterical (though she didn't and I was disappointed, I may have actually understood it myself then!). This really is such a good light hearted read that I would recommend anyone to try, with Tracie's mantra being the best.. "your skin never be too orange, hair never too yellow and glasses never to big, they should look like they could easily break your nose....", god bless the wags, finally I almost feel normal! Price wise this is available from www.amazon.co.uk for around the £6.99 mark. Thanks for reading x ISBN 978-0-09-193212-1
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, The WAG's Diary, and was quite excited to see this book pop up in my recommendations on Amazon. I've not read the book in between (A WAG Abroad) so I was hoping that I'd be able to follow the plotline here without being at a disadvantage. From the blurb on the back, it seemed that this would be the case, as you can tell from the title that it's predominantly going to be set around the World Cup backdrop. THE PLOT The plot is very thin on the ground - don't say I didn't warn you! Tracie's husband, Dean, has been given a rather obscure-sounding position on the defending side of the England team, so he's going to be off to South Africa with the players and staff. Needless to say, uber-WAG Tracie is ridiculously excited with this turn of events, not least because she pictures herself becoming best friends with the likes of real-life WAGs Coleen (Rooney, wife of Wayne), Alex (Curran, wife of Steven Gerrard), Abbey (Clancey, fiancee of Peter Crouch) etc. True to form though, Tracie manages to get herself into a whole heap of scrapes and things don't always going entirely to plan. THE CHARACTERs With there not being much plot to speak of, it's Tracie herself who is the centre of attention. She's one of those characters that I imagine will split opinion - you'll either love her or loathe her. To sum her up in a nutshell: she's ditzy, a bit of an airhead, rather impulsive and utterly obsessed with the WAG world. She's not all bad though. Her heart is definitely in the right place and she's not one of those WAGs who is just tagging along for the fame and status as it's obviously that she really adores Dean and their daughter, Paskia. Her escapades are usually humourous, even she herself can be a bit irritating at times. WRITING STYLE The narrative retains the diary style of the first book in the series (The WAG's Diary and as you'd expect from a diary format, is written in the first person from Tracie's perspective. It doesn't particularly read like a diary though and feels more like Tracie is narrating events to a friend rather than writing it all down in her diary. MY THOUGHTS On the whole, I enjoyed this book but unlike The WAG's Diary, I found Tracie's dizziness irritating at times rather than entertaining. At times, she just seemed a bit too silly, almost farcical to be honest and I found myself wanting to throw the book at the wall in these moments. One thing I did find rather entertaining was Tracie's misguided belief that she is at the cutting edge of WAGdom when in fact, WAGs seem to have moved on since her heyday and no longer down Bacardi by the bucketload, for example. This is a bit of a shock for her and perhaps one of the reasons why she comes across less positively than in the first book for me. To really enjoy Tracie's character, it helps to look on her as a comic creation rather than a real person as to be honest, that's what she seems for much of the time! FINAL VERDICT This is unashamedly chick lit so I wouldn't advise going anyway near this book unless you enjoy this genre as the book would no doubt irritate you beyond belief! It's a good light read that really won't tax your brain in any way, especially given that the plot is wafer thin and it's very much character-driven. If you can look on Tracie as very much tongue-in-cheek, I'd imagine that you'd get on with the book a lot more than if you take her seriously as there's not much "real" about her, to be honest!
I first came across Alison Kervin when I went on holiday to Majorca last year. I went to the library to take out some books and her novel WAG Abroad was one of them. The book was probably the funniest I'd ever read and I really enjoyed it so when I got home I hunted for others in the series. I learned she had also written a predecessor to the one I had read named The WAG's Diary, I enjoyed this just as much as the other I had read so imagine my excitement when I learned a new instalment was to be released! I pre-ordered it straight away from Amazon and eagerly awaited its arrival. *Plot* Tracie Martin is a WAG. Not only is she a WAG, she likes to think of herself as Queen WAG. She is married to footballer Dean Martin whose football career has gradually got worse throughout the books. She loves Dean very much and they have a 16 year old daughter together, Paskia. Things seem to be looking up for the family when Dean gets offered a coaching job for the England football team at the 2010 World Cup. However, after Tracie's initial excitement she realises Dean is quite far down in the coaching team and probably wont feature as highly in the World Cup as she would have liked. However, Tracie realises that she is holding a great deal of responsibility now because Dean is part of the World Cup and sets about making herself look fabulous for the big event. This way she believes she can make friends with the likes of Victoria, Alex and Coleen. She's ever so disappointed Cheryl isn't going to be there as she is her all time favourite WAG and she spies on her out of the window! Her and her assistant, Shiraz set about preparing for the big event with numerous hiccups along the way. *Opinion* I had very high expectations of this book and I am pleased to say it lived up to all of these and I enjoyed it just as much as the first two! I was laughing throughout and at times couldn't put the book down. I was very disappointed when I reached the end of the book, but only because it meant I couldn't read any more. If you have ever come across Tracie Martin, you will know yourself that she is an absolutely hilarious character. I admit she is not to everyone's tastes but there's no denying that she is very funny and is great entertainment throughout the novel. I personally warmed to Tracie when I first read about her and my love for her has remained right through until the end of this book. She is so funny and although at times it is difficult to believe that she is supposed to be a real person (some of the things she does are questionable!) I find her an absolutely brilliant character, but I imagine some people may see her as a bit of a bimbo! The plot of the book is very good, it flows well and there is always something going on. Don't be put off by this book if you are not a fan of football, the football plays a tiny part in the book and instead the book follows Tracie's life and how she goes about being a WAG. The plot of the book is very predictable and often in the book I knew what was going to happen 50 pages before it did. However, I still really enjoyed the plot of the book. The ending was predictable but I still enjoyed it and it wrapped everything up really nicely. I like the writing style of Alison Kervin as it is laid back, informal and very fun. It is easy to understand and I think this book would be a perfect beach read as not too much attention is required! As you can probably tell, I loved this book just as much as I loved the first two and I would recommend it. If you really don't like girly things then this probably isn't for you but I imagine the majority of women will find the humour very amusing and will enjoy this book. I hope Alison Kervin is already working on the next one in the series! *Additional Information* The book was published on 27th May 2010. It was published by Ebury Press. It has 368 pages. It is available for £4.99 from Amazon. *Summary* One of my favourite books this year, highly recommended.
Who needs Victoria, Coleen and Alex when you can have Tracie Martin? That's right - Tracie is back and she's faker, more tanned and as skimpily dressed as ever. Hubbie Dean has managed to get himself a job working with Fabio so Tracie is off to South Africa to have a WAGalicious time. But first, Tracie is given the task of keeping the WAGs under wraps because we know what happened the last time the WAGs came to a World Cup. As always though things don't always go to plan as far as Tracie is concerned and she ends up on a popular video sharing website embarrassing herself to the nation. Tracie is shipped off to South Africa quicker than you can say WAG, only to find herself slap bang in the middle of more shenanigans. It's definitely a case of Tracie Martin to the rescue... I first came upon the world of Tracie Martin a couple of years ago. I read the first chapter of WAGs Diary before putting it down again as it just didn't take my fancy. I finally picked it up again at some point and I actually found myself absolutely loving it. I'm a huge football fan anyway so I know all about the WAGs and I thought The WAGs Diary was a hugely refreshing novel and I immediately went looking for the second book A WAG Abroad. I enjoyed that, too, and I wondered if that was the last we would hear of Tracie. However with England doing so well and qualifying for the World Cup in rather fantastic style, Alison Kervin obviously saw an opportunity to bring back everyone's favourite WAG and so we have WAGs At The World Cup. WAGs At The World Cup is similar to the previous two books in which it's written almost like a diary with dates, times et al. which means it's very easy to get into. The book itself begins just as Dean gets the job helping the England coaching staff and it pretty much is then a lead up to the World Cup. Due to the nature of Dean's job, Tracie is asked to keep it all hush-hush as well as keeping the WAGs in check after the farce of Baden-Baden. Tracie agrees to do no interviews and certainly not the TV show pilot she's been asked to do... except that, you know, Tracie isn't very good at being told what to do and goes and does the TV pilot anyway ("It'll never be shown on TV.") and after making a fool of herself, the video inevitably ends up on YouTube and the FA decide that the best course of action is for Tracie to head off to South Africa immediately in a bid to put out all the fires she's managed to start. Tracie heads off to South Africa, along with friends Suse and Mich, daughter Paskia and assistant Shariz. However the flames don't die down and so Tracie goes onto South African TV and becomes something of a hit. The public fall even more in love with Tracie when she decides to help a local charity. All the while, Tracie is awaiting the arrival of the "Wonder WAGs" (Coleen, Victoria, Alex, Abbey and co.) and hopes to become lifelong friends with them all. Tracie's life never runs smoothly, though, and she's soon in the middle of yet another scandal, which seems to be Tracie's trademark. It's fair to say that Tracie isn't exactly your normal WAG. It's more like Tracie is a super-hyped up version of every single WAG ever to grace a World Cup. She sounds more like Jordan than she does Coleen and she's so fake it's actually unbelievable. But, at her heart, Tracie isn't a bad person. Yes, she's superficial and totally shallow but deep deep deep deep down (and further deeper still under all of that make-up) she does have a softer, nicer side particularly when it comes to her husband Dean and daughter Paskia. I admit she probably is difficult to like but I actually do like her. Because the fact is, she doesn't take herself seriously. Well, she does take herself seriously but I don't take her too seriously. She's definitely a Marmite character, that's for sure. Particularly since for the majority of the first half of the book all she seems to do is get drunk. We don't see too much of husband Dean and daughter Paskia, but they both seem likeable enough. I wasn't a huge fan of Tracie's friends Suse and Mich, they seemed rather fake which is funny considering, you know, Tracie's rather faker (if that's even a word) but at least Tracie has some sort of substance to her whereas Suse and Mich were rather vacuous. One of my favourite characters, though, was Tracie's assistant Shiraz. She knows nothing about the world of WAGs and I loved how frustrated Tracie got with her about that. Despite being total opposites they seemed to get on incredibly well. My main problem with WAGs At The World Cup though is the lack of action. The title is a bit misleading as anyone expecting a least a decent chunk of World Cup action will be sadly disappointed. The book is more about Tracie becoming friends with the Wonder WAGs and making herself look better after making a fool of herself and the World Cup only covers the last quarter of the book, which as a football fan, was wildly disappointing. I understand Tracie knows nothing about football but I did think the entire (or at least the majority of the) book would take place during the World Cup. Nothing actually really happens in the book either until a quick crisis appears just before the end but even that's wrapped up before there's any chance to even delve into it properly. It was like it was there and then, blink, and it was gone. As the book progressed it just got to the point where I was waiting for something to happen other than Tracie wanting to get some silver boots. WAGs At The World Cup is a solid enough book but even for me it was a bit light and airy. Tracie is as fantastic as ever and there are a few funny moments - in particular a conversation Tracie has with the film crew about when she and Dean went on their first date to the zoo and Tracie saw some "fat penguins", I thought that was hilarious. I probably think this is the last we'll see of Tracie - it's been fun but I think she'll just seem a bit daft if she comes back a fourth time. The big worry though is that this book will go completely out of date really really quickly. To feature the World Cup 2010 before it's even began is a risky move and, sure, it's fictional, but it's still a risky thing to do and because it's so current (futuristic even since the book covers the end of the World Cup which is in July - three months away as I write this review) anyone reading it after the World Cup will be undoubtedly comparing the two events. Still though I enjoyed it and if I was a betting woman, I'd so bet on all of the results Kervin has predicted.