1 October 2012
Book Review: Friends and Rivals by Tilly Bagshawe
Kendall is sure she has it all. But underneath her tough exterior she hides a vulnerability – she is helplessly struggling with an unrequited love. But when Kendall’s need for success consumes her, she won’t let anyone stand in her way.
Ava is an innocent, plucked from obscurity and thrown into the deep-end of the glamorous world of fame. When she is pitted against Kendall, the world watches closely, wondering who will survive.
As these three women try to navigate a backstabbing world of infamy, desire and fortune, will they be tempted to betray the people they hold dearest?"
I love Tilly Bagshawe's books. End of. I don't think the woman can do any wrong in my eyes, I just get lost in her books and I really love reading them and never want them to end! Her latest books, Friends and Rivals, landed on my doormat a few weeks ago and I couldn't wait to start it, even though I have to admit I really wasn't keen on the cover at first, it seemed so bland, especially when you compare them to some of her older, bolder covers. As ever though, the book blurb seemed like it was going to be a great read, although I will say right now it is less "bonkbust-ery" than her past novels, although the novel wasn't lacking at all because of that, in fact it allowed the story to be more in depth and I really loved this one, maybe to the extent I'd say it was my favourite Tilly read so far!
I loved the characters in this book - they were all completely needed for the story, there were no surplus characters I didn't care about and the whole thing was just a brilliantly crafted read. I can't quite put my finger on who the main character was because I think it's an ensemble book, with the two female characters perhaps nudging out the males in terms of importance. Catriona, or Kat, thought she was happily married to Ivan, a music producer, and the pair have a gorgeous house, and 2 children too. She's learnt to ignore the whisperings about Ivan's lack of fidelity and buries her head in the sand, happy to look after their family home. So when Ivan leaves her, she's devastated and doesn't know which way to turn, letting her fly by on a downward spiral. I loved Kat, and I could sympathise with her so much, she's not at all naive and is devastated by her husband, and you cannot help but feel sorry for her.
Kendall on the other hand... I started out really disliking her but as the book progressed, I felt sorry for her and thought although that she did things for the wrong reasons, there was something very fragile about her and I really wanted her to be happy in the end. The way Bagshawe handles two very different female characters so easily says a lot, and I really liked reading about both as the book went on. The males in the book, well, Ivan was horrible, a man clearly only doing what was best for him and his career was destestable, exactly as he should have been, and there's his anthithesis, Jack, Ivan's business partner and best friend of many years, the perhaps anti-hero of the book, and the only male in the book I liked! However, the whole cast of characters, including Jack's photographer friend Lex, are fantastic and really make the book worth reading.
I really enjoyed that the book was set in the music business, and it's clear that Bagshawe has done her research about what goes on behind the scenes of the corporate music world. I also really enjoyed how it flitted between both America and the UK, and Bagshawe balanced both of these storylines equally well, and they really came alive in my mind, and made it all the more fun to read. There was nothing about this book I didn't like, the storyline was completely compulsive and each time I picked the book up, I was transported back into the music world of Kat, Kendall and co. and didn't want to leave them behind! Bagshawe has triumphed again with this book and I really loved every page - it's dramatic, it's fun, it's exciting and it's a fantastic read that you shouldn't miss. Things such as name-dropping throughout the book added a realistic edge to it, and I wish I could be a part of their world, even just for a day! A fab book you mustn't miss. Out now.
You can buy Friends and Rivals as a paperback or an eBook now!