6 April 2012
Book Review: Star Fish by Nicola May
I don't normally review self-published books simply because I don't have the time to alongside the books sent to me by all the big publishers. However, after I read Nicola May's last book Working It Out and really enjoying it, when Nicola offered me the chance to review her next book Star Fish I decided to take her up on it. I have to confess I adore the cover, the bright blue is really eye-catching and stunning, and to me it certainly doesn't look like a self-published novel, it's great. The premise of Star Fish, a dating agency based on star signs was interesting and although I don't follow astrology that much, I thought it was a fun concept and I was looking forward to seeing how May would tackle this!
The book follows the character of Amy Anderson. She's unlucky in love and decides to join an astrological dating agency 'Starr & Son' in order to find her 'sole mate'. Her best friends are a bit uncertain about Amy's latest adventure but of course get behind her. However, Amy soon realises that not all star signs are a good match for her after a few disastrous dates but she's determined to keep going until she's dated each of the signs. Cue some pretty hideous dates, some funny ones and some fairly nice ones as well... but Amy finds herself shocked when someone from her past makes a surprise reappearance. Is Amy going to find love with her astrological soul mate, or is love already written in the stars for her?
I found the whole story at the dating agency was really entertaining, and I enjoyed reading about Amy's matches, both good and bad as the book went on. You could sort of anticipate whether it'd be a good date for Amy or not by the lead up and way the person was discussed, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book. I had a bit of a soft spot for Christopher, the owner of the dating agency, Amy just pretty much ignored him aside from when he was useful to her and I felt sorry for him as I could read between the lines a bit. Amy herself was a fun character, I do have to question her morals a bit because a few of the things she did in the book I found a bit questionable and seemed out of the blue, but in her more normal moments, Amy was great. I can't confess to knowing a great deal more about star signs and compataiblity now I've read the book, but there is enough in there about to keep you going as you read, and it's fun to read about astrology as the book goes on too.
Even though I enjoyed the book as a whole, I did have a few problems with it. First of all is the language. Now I'm not a prude and I don't mind swearing in chick lit, but as with Working It Out, I found it to be a bit excessive in this book also and the c-word was used more than once and unnecessarily so as well. I really dislike this word and it lowered the tone for a bit. Also, I felt Amy was very promiscuous, jumping into bed with several men in the book very quickly, and even choosing to sleep with a married man, despite telling herself not to - she seemed to have no self control and I didn't think her promsicuity was necessary for the book. Also there was one scene I felt was in very poor taste, and all I will say is it involves sex and a church. I was horrified when this scene came up, and although I read it, I almost wish I hadn't because it really angered me at the time, and it made me put the book down for a few days. It's a shame that scene was there as the book was fine without it and it really did spoil it in my opinion.
Star Fish is a very enjoyable read if you can look past the bad language and promiscuity of the main character, both of which did hamper my enjoyment slightly. Nicola May is clearly a talented writer, but I do wish she wouldn't resort to the shock tactics that she has employed across both books that I've read as they do nothing to entice me in, and if anything put me off somewhat! The story of the Amy's dating experience really was well written and fun to read, especially the many dates which had some real laugh out loud moments, and I enjoyed reading Amy's friendships growing and changing too. I feel Star Fish is a really good novel and I enjoyed it for the most part, although it's just a shame that it was spoilt by a few areas that I felt didn't suit it at all!
You can buy Star Fish as a paperback or as an eBook now!