All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: About A Girl – Lindsey Kelk

on August 4, 2014

About A GirlAbout A Girl (A Girl #1)
Lindsey Kelk
Harper Collins
2013, 402p
Copy courtesy of Harper Collins AUS

Tess Brookes has been dedicated to a plan almost her whole life. She has a steady job and is just about to be promoted. Maybe then she can move out of the place she shares with her horrific flatmate and actually find somewhere on her own. And of course, Charlie, the guy she’s been in love with since university is finally going to wake up and see that they’re made for each other.

Instead of being given the promotion she was promised, Tess finds herself made redundant. Then she makes a big mistake with Charlie and he is clearly on a different page to her. Her insulting flatmate Vanessa is the last straw and when Tess answers Vanessa’s phone, she finds herself accepting a photography job in Hawaii. Despite the fact that Tess is not actually a photographer. She had to give her prized camera to Vanessa one month in place of rent and even though she came up with the money, Vanessa refused to give the camera back. It’s still sitting in Vanessa’s room and for her fake job being Vanessa, she helps herself to the camera to use.

Hawaii is beautiful but their temperamental subject has had second thoughts, meaning that Tess has most days with nothing to do. The gorgeous journalist in Hawaii to write a story on the subject of the shoot is making life a little difficult though by being equal parts appealing and annoying. Things are getting more and more complicated, especially as Tess is supposed to be Vanessa and her reputation has preceded her. The shoot has started and although Tess has ideas, she’s not sure how to get them heard. And there’s still the fact that even if she gets through this shoot with nothing going wrong, she still has to return home and face Vanessa’s wrath…and also Charlie.

So at the beginning of the year I read and loved Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart New York so when I was offered a chance to read her new series, I had to jump on it! Tess Brookes has been raised by quite an overachieving and judgemental mother and she’s the sort that rarely puts a foot out of place but still manages to be a disappointment anyway. At the beginning of this book she’s just about to get a great promotion – it’s already been confirmed. Instead she finds herself jobless and basically, her Plan and her life fall apart. She’s not exactly well equipped to deal with failure and the response of her family to the fact that she has lost her job is a pretty good reason why Tess has always fought to succeed. She scored that job straight after graduation and has worked impossibly hard ever since, forgoing much of a social life. She always assumed that her hard work would one day pay off but instead she gets a kick in the teeth.

I loved that Tess sort of decided to take something back and steal Vanessa’s job. Vanessa is basically a hideous person and I don’t care how cheap the rent is, surely Tess could’ve found something else. But Tess seems very much like she never disturbs the status quo and so she puts up with Vanessa and her horribleness for convenience and the fact that Vanessa, who seems to live off her rich father, is quite often away. Seconds after accepting the job, Tess is nicking a few of her stylish clothes and packing for Hawaii. Because let’s face it, when you’re down and out with no job and someone is offering you a trip to Hawaii, who isn’t going to take that? Even if it’s not really you that they’re offering it to!

In Hawaii she meets Nick, a journalist who is both hot and a bit of an asshole. To be honest, I wavered back and forth quite a bit on whether or not I actually liked Nick but a lot of the time he thinks he’s speaking to Vanessa, who has quite the (deserved) reputation of being an epic bitch so I think he’s sort of trying to bait her. Tess isn’t really a bitch at all but she does tend to hold her own pretty well with Nick and it’s obvious very early on that he’s pretty into her. She’s torn between the promise of fantastic sex and also still mooning over Charlie (who is that annoyingly blind best friend character that comes off as a bit weak and pointless when placed up against Nick who has much more in the way of life and vitality). To my surprise, I enjoyed figuring out the puzzle that was Nick. He was interesting and all too often the ‘new’ introduced love interest is too perfect. Nick had some flaws but he also really challenged Tess too and that was what she needed. Someone that pushed her, because Tess does actually have a talent for taking photos. She just needs to actually believe in herself and her ideas.

But because Tess is pretending to be someone else, you always know that things are going to get ugly at some stage. There are a few things that are quite predictable but some other things were surprising. I think this book does follow a bit of a tried and true chick lit formula: girl is down on her luck in love and work/life etc and seeks a change in order to start afresh, but for me it’s a formula that works so often. Witty writing and funny moments really carry this one through and it helps that I enjoyed Tess and thought that her and Nick had a great dynamic, even when he’s being difficult.

Am really looking forward to reading the second novel in this series, What A Girl Wants this week! So much is left unresolved and Tess has some big choices to make so I can’t wait to find out what she decides to do.


Book #154 of 2014

One response to “Review: About A Girl – Lindsey Kelk

  1. […] So About A Girl, the first novel in this series was lots of fun and I was so keen to dive into this one and find out what Tess decides, because basically she’s hopeless at making decisions and the previous book ended on a cliffhanger. To most people, this would be a no brainer: go to Milan! Take beautiful photos! Enjoy seeing people like Al and Kekipi again! And of course, find out what is going on with that angry ball of angst, Nick. But because Tess is Tess, she gets herself into an even more complicated situation with Charlie first. […]

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