All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Wrong Girl – Zoë Foster

on February 26, 2014

The Wrong GirlThe Wrong Girl
Zoë Foster
Penguin Books Aus
2014, 288p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Lily breaks a long drought by sleeping with her long-time friend Pete after maybe a few too many wines. However it has barely finished when he’s confessing about some new great girl he met, who he might be in love with. Now Lily wasn’t wanting Pete for a boyfriend but a little more respect would be nice! She throws him out and decides that if men are going to be such pigs, then maybe it’s time to take a break.

Her flatmate, gorgeous swimwear model Simone agrees. She says it’s time for a SaBOYtical where they need to detox from men for the next few months. No flirting, no texting, no picking up, nothing. It’s all about the girl power and finding themselves and all of that kind of stuff. It’s all going well for Lily – after all they were hardly beating down the door anyway – but then Jack Winters starts at work.

Lily is a producer of the food segment on a morning show and Jack is the new regular chef. Tall and disarmingly gorgeous the two of them got off to a little bit of a bad start but now that Jack is finding his feet on the show, Lily is really enjoying working with him. He’s good at what he does, he’s building a rapport with the camera and Lily loves producing the segment. However Lily soon finds out that Jack has just begun seeing someone – and that someone is Simone, her housemate.

Lily is too much of a good girl and a good friend to ever consider going after Jack regardless but she can’t help thinking that this match is all wrong. Simone is a partier, the kind of girl who goes on three day benders and can’t get through a day without some sort of upper or downer combo. Jack is down to Earth, a country boy – they found him working in a restaurant in Mudgee. She’s going to need to forget about Jack and move on … although that’s pretty hard when they spend so much time together and they’re getting on so well.

The Wrong Girl is Zoë Foster’s fourth novel – I’ve never read any of her previous books although I’ve heard some very good things about The Younger Man as well as Amazing Face which is a beauty book full of her tips and tricks. I was looking forward to reading this because I absolutely love cooking shows. I love the Food channel and I find it quite relaxing to watch people cook, I even do it when I’m writing reviews. Because Lily and Jack work on the food segment, there’s just the right little sprinkling of detail about food – not too much but definitely enough to flavour the book.

Lily is the sort of main character that I think most readers will find extremely appealing. She’s the sort of girl you’d like to be friends with, the one that is good for a meal, a chat and a laugh. She likes her job, she loves producing the food segment but she also has goals and things that she wants to achieve, career wise. There’s only three or four years between her and Simone, but in another way, there’s lightyears. Simone, whilst she sounds fun on occasion, is definitely not my sort of longtime friend. She’s a binge drinker, always dragging Lily out for a “few drinks” that for Simone, turns into three days of drinking, helped along by various recreational drugs. She’s very up or she’s very down and often requires reassurance and unconditional support from Lily even when she has done the most amazingly stupid and hurtful things. Lily is loving and patient with Simone but she does eventually lose a little of her tolerance and I wanted to stand up and applaud Lily for that. She is a good friend, a true friend and she wouldn’t be that way if she continued to aid Simone’s self-destruction.

The relationship between Lily and Jack is super cute – a little friction when they first meet that matures into mutual respect and friendship and always the shimmer of something more. Jack does start dating Simone (he isn’t aware that Lily and Simone know each other, let alone live together when he does) but you always know that they’re not suited. It has some sort of small disaster written all over it from the beginning but you just want the collateral damage to be very minimal so that the business of Jack and Lily can get into motion.

The Wrong Girl is funny and clever without verging into too hipster territory. There’s not a lot of name dropping, nor are there many brands and shoes, for which I was eternally grateful because I’m bored of reading about things I can’t afford. Instead it relies on sharp characters with snappy dialogue – I adored the character of Alice, who also works on the morning show but on a different segment. I love seeing two women who work together and are friends and who aren’t constantly trying to stab each other in the back or one up each other or take each other’s jobs. Alice was refreshing and not unlike friends from my university days. And I think everyone knows a Pete! I liked Jack – firstly, who doesn’t like a man that can cook amazing food and brings it to you? That’s pretty much top of my list of priorities (my husband is the chef in this household, always has been and always will be!). There’s a real genuine air about him but he still has a strong personality and has been developed very nicely.

I enjoyed this book – read it in one sitting in the sun and I’m definitely going to read some more of Foster’s books, starting with The Younger Man.

8/10

Book #46 of 2014

AWWW2014

The Wrong Girl is book #16 of my Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

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