11 October 2011
Book Review: The Camera Never Lies by Tess Daly
I'm still in two minds when it comes to celebrity novels - they seem to either be really good or really bad, and it's always a bit of a gamble when you try a new book because you never know what you're going to get. I don't think you can ever be 100% sure that a celebrity has written the book themselves without the aid of a ghost writer either, and while I haven't found anything about Tess Daly that suggests she has used a ghost writer, it's a very tight and well written book for a debut, so if it was all done by Tess, then all credit to her. I have to say the cover isn't overly inspiring and I never like it when an author name is bigger than the book title, which is usually the case for celeb books, but aside from those things, I think this is one of the better celeb books that's been released this year, and I think Tess Daly might actually do quite well with this one.
Britt Baxter is the leading lady in this one, a blonde northern bombshell so clearly Daly didn't look far for inspiration on this one!! However, I really liked the character of Britt and perhaps that is why I enjoyed the book so much. She was quite normal and reacted to situations in a believable way, and I felt she was just a likeable person overall. She's a model who is about to get put on the shelf (despite the fact she's only in her late 20's!) and feels a bit stuck in her life at the moment. Britt's relationship with boyfriend Alex is getting a bit stale too, and she doesn't know what to do. I didn't like the character of Alex and couldn't work out why Britt didn't try to make a difference in their relationship earlier on, but this is just a small thing.
It's hard to talk about the book without talking about Britt's special job in TV, and I expect Daly took a lot of inspiration for this from her own experience on TV, such as on Strictly Come Dancing which she currently presents. However, I felt it was a realistic look at the behind-the-scenes on a successful TV show, and it was well written that you really felt you were there and watching Britt from the sidelines. I enjoyed seeing Britt's character develop as she became more confident on-screen, although I didn't like her friendship with American hunk Josh at all, I could see the ending of that one coming a million miles off! The other characters at the TV show were realistic, and I felt that whole portion of the book was very realistic and well approached by Daly.
I have to admit the constant name dropping of designers did really get to me at first, to the point where I wanted to put the book down simply because I didn't think it was necessary to name drop designers and labels so frequently, but I decided to perservere and I'm glad that I did. In the end, these things just glossed over me and I wasn't too bothered by it, but I did feel it was a bit too much and over the top which was a shame. However, the rest of it was realistic and enjoyable, to the point where I didn't want to put it down as I wanted to find out what was going to happen to Britt Baxter next. I didn't like the turn her character took in the middle third of the book, but luckily the old Britt I knew and loved did come back towards the end thankfully. For a celebrity read, this is one I definitely would recommend, and think Daly has done really well with this novel. There is a great set of characters, a good story that'll keep you reading and it's well written - well done to Tess Daly for breaking the celebrity novelist mould and producing something readable and good!