What Fresh Hell by Lucy Vine

What Fresh Hell by Lucy Vine

 

38898750Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 8th March 2018

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 304

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Have you ever spent a weekend with strangers you hate for a friend’s hen party?
Had to pay hundreds of pounds for that spa break all in the name of besties?

Lilah Fox has just returned from the hen party from hell, vowing to actually spend time with her boyfriend and focus more on herself. Then she gets the whatsapp from her best friend Lauren to say she’s just got engaged. And as maid of honour, Lilah just signed up for weekend wedding fairs and weekly planning meetings for the next year.

Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she’s about to discover a new fresh hell.

Rating: four-stars

Having read and adored Lucy’s debut novel last year, I was really looking forward to her next book, you know, the dreaded second novel. And when my review copy arrived, I couldn’t hide my excitement and yes, I won’t be lying when I say I started reading it with great, great expectations. I mean, Lucy Vine has set the bar very high with “Hot Mess” but I was also absolutely sure she’s going to pull it off with “What Fresh Hell”.

I love stories about weddings. The more hilarious weddings, the better. Maybe because I am just like the main character Lilah – never dreamt of big wedding, meringue wedding dress and hundreds of guests. But I do love to read about such weddings. So this book follows Lilah, navigating through the many nuptials she keeps being invited to, together with juggling her job and private life – which, as it’s going to turn out, is not that simple! Then there is also THE wedding the plan – no, not her own but the one of her best friend, so it’s probably even more important than your own one. We see what Lilah is putting herself through, starting with hen dos, through panic buying presents and outfits to destroying your private life. There are also only so many ways of doing a spreadsheet for a wedding plans, right? And there are bridezillas and bridezillas, right? Lucy Vine brings this all to a different level, full of sarcasm, humour and hilariously funny moments.
Some of the best parts of the book were the weddings that Lilah has attended, the short summaries of them – hilarious guys, hilarious. And she also very soon finds out that there are only so many wedding gifts you can think about.

And! Under all this hilariousness and humour the author touched upon some important things as well, and I think the most meaningful was the journey of our main characters. I loved seeing how Lilah develops, grows and matures, how she learns to say “no”. Yes, at the very beginning I thought, oh my, girl, get a grip pretty please, stand for yourself, stop being such a doormat. I was really truly afraid that I’m not going to like Lilah. But very quickly I found myself growing very fond of her, and understanding her character so very much, with all her fears of missing something, of being left out. You know, she was really honest about this, and I liked it. It was like watching Lilah turning into this Hulk or whatever his name is, going stronger and more confident and I wanted to stand up, applaud and cry “go, girl!”. It took her some time, I must admit, but it didn’t bother me because, you know what, she was such a lovely person, she wouldn’t say boo to a goose and while it could be annoying, it was so well put into words, the author has created her character brilliantly, as well as the other ones of course! They were all big – mouthed and loud but they were so real in what they were doing and saying and they made me laugh.

It was a quick, fast – paced read, what with all the hen dos and their adventures! You could think, really, how often can you read about hen dos, but Lucy Vine has written them in a brilliant, refreshing way and even if some of them were your very typical dos, there were also some that totally took me by surprise, made me laugh out loud and ended in a very unconventional way. Brownie points to the author for turning predictable into full of surprises.

It was very, very honest, incredibly sharp – observed, very spot – on and hilariously funny. Sexy and filthy. bold. It brought wedding planning to another level, guys. It was full of embarrassing situations and the “oh no, no way, she didn’t do/say this” moments (Joely. I’m thinking about Joely here. Especially). “What Fresh Hell” was a story with a great range of characters, old and young, also touching upon some more serious issues, such as eventually learning to say no, that kept me so entertained! And I really liked the mini epilogue at the end of the book where we were informed what has happened with all of the characters – brilliant idea. Highly recommended!

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Hot Mess by Lucy Vine

Hot Mess by Lucy Vine

34815016Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 13th July 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 304

Genre:   Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hot Mess [n.] – someone attractive, who is often in disarray.

Ellie Knight is just like you. Her life isn’t turning out the way she thought it would. Some people might say she’s a hot mess but then who really has their s**t together anyway?

It’s Valentine’s Day and Ellie finds herself eating Nutella in the bar stockroom after a no-show date.
But single doesn’t have to be the loneliest number, does it?
She goes back home to her flatshare and weird flatmates.
It’s ok there’s black mould everywhere, right?
With a hangover from hell, she goes to the office job she thought she would have quit by now.
Doesn’t everyone hate their job?

Maybe Ellie isn’t following the *official life plan* but perfect is overrated. For fans of Fleabag and Girls, this is a fresh and funny coming-of-age story with a single-girl heroine that everyone will relate to – a modern Carrie Bradshaw meets Bridget Jones.

Rating: five-stars

Oh jeez, guys, Lucy Vine just went to the very top of my favourite authors list! I’ve no idea where she’s been hiding my whole life and I hope she’ll keep writing books – “Hot Mess” was one of the funniest novels I have ever read, full of “oh no, she didn’t do/say this” moments, cringing with embarrassment moments and I know that I say it in my reviews, but this time I really mean it – laughing out loud! It was like reading Kirsty Greenwood and Lisa Dickenson mixed together – abso – bloody – brilliant and fantabulous.

I’ll be honest with you, when I started reading the book I really didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t read the synopsis before, I only heard people talking about it and falling in love with it – and now I know why! It turned out to be different to what I think it’s going to be – I’ve never supposed it’s going to be THAT funny! Really, this book cheered me up ceaselessly and even though I am a little older than Ellie, and maybe this little bit serious about life than she is, I totally enjoyed her adventures and well, yes, there were moments that even I could relate to her and her awkward moments.

Yes, I get it – some may say Ellie was whiney, self – pitying, unhappy with almost everything in her life and not trying to change it, embarrassed about her lovely, lovely father, and what was the point of the story he was writing, and that Jenny was a real bitch – but I won’t! Nobody’s perfect, right, and all of this above mentioned just made Ellie so much more genuine, and the novel written by her dad was hilarious, guys, hilarious! I was really disappointed when he suddenly stopped sending the chapters to his daughters, to be honest. And Jenny… well, Jenny, yes, you have to get used to Jenny, but in my opinion she was really funny in all her smugness and arrogance, and I think it was because she took herself so seriously and I didn’t. Ellie was full of flaws, but she was also relatable, loyal to her friends, adored her family, and I simply loved her from the beginning.

What was absolutely brilliant and fresh is that it was a story about being single and not about looking for a boyfriend at any cost! Hats off to Ellie – sure, she was trying, and we accompanied her on many disastrous blind dates (YES! Finally a book where the blind dates DO really appear on the pages!) but not falling for the guys only to tell that she has a boyfriend now. Why shouldn’t you be choosy and selfish when it is about you and your life and your choices, right? And Ellie likes being single, even if others can’t believe it – hence she’s being literally forced by her best friends to go on those dates.

I loved all the characters – even Jenny! They were larger than life and so perfectly and realistically drawn, and oh my god, I think I fell a little in love with Alan, Ellie’s dad – he was so gentle and oh my word, so talented, ha! Really, even the most secondary characters, just like the bodyguards or the staff in the cocktail bar were personalities that added tons of humour but also a lot of depth, for example Ellie’s best friend Sophie, still adapting to motherhood, her 6 – years – old going on sixty niece Millie with questions about periods or work friend Maddie – all brilliantly drawn and jumping out of the pages.

But this book also has some emotional moments and a depth. For example Ellie is still trying to get over her mum’s death, and the whole situation with Jenny just went and showed that there is also a sensible side to her. And it is also about following your dreams, not forgetting about them.

So altogether, “Hot Mess” was bloody brilliant! The humour was ah – mazing. The characters were ah – mazing. The storyline was – yes, you guessed it! Ah – mazing. You could easily relate to Ellie and her antics – she is like a Bridget Jones for younger women. It was laugh out loud from start to finish, it was quirky, sexy, filthy and just fabulous read and I can’t wait to see what Lucy Vine has in story for us next – I hope more such stories like this one – refreshing, original, like a real breath of fresh air. It was sharp – observed, fast – paced without any flat moments, abso – bloody – lutely very highly recommended as an entertaining, easy read.