16 April 2007

Book Review: Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon

Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone - not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke. James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly's brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world...Lucy - a girl caught between two distant continents - and two very different men... 

Before I began to read it, I did a little research into the author so I knew what sort of book I would be letting myself in for. Surprisingly, I found out that Paige Toon is actually the Reviews Editor for Heat Magazine, and this is her first book. Now I don't actually read Heat, so I haven't read anything she has written in the magazine but I thought she is young and probably has a good idea of what people want to read these days, so it made me feel a lot more positive about the book in general.

I found the book incredibly fun, and a very easy read! It starts off with quite a long prologue, which takes place on the plane just before and after Lucy receives the dreaded text message. It lets you get to know Lucy's character really well as she is the only character we focus on for those first pages, but leaves you wondering about the elusive James and exactly what kind of character he is going to be. Then the next half of the book is what takes place in Australia while Lucy is on holiday, up until the airport, and then the final half of the book is in London when she returns. This makes for interesting reading, and it is nice to see the difference in Lucy between the two places, and the descriptive text from the author is fantastic. Paige Toon has actually lived in Australia so she writes with a good realism about Sydney and you can believe in all the scenery and places she describes...so much so I actually want to visit there! And London is described well as well, with the expected dreary weather thrown in too.

Now to the characters. As I mentioned, Lucy is the main character, who works for a PR company in London. She lived in Australia when she was younger, and this is how she knows Sam and Molly. Lucy is very much in love with James, but realises perhaps she has trust issues with him when she receives the text, and is unsure whether to give him the benefit of the doubt. James is Lucy's boyfriend, a very suave lawyer for a prestigious firm. He is very smooth and seems like he can get Lucy around his little finger easily and thinks he can get away with murder. He is adamant he hasn't cheated on Lucy, but what will we find out discover about James? Sam and Molly are the couple whose wedding Lucy is attending, and are friendly Australians who clearly want the best for their friend. Nathan is Sam's brother who Lucy hasn't seen for years, and who has changed a lot in Lucy's eyes! And we meet a few more characters including Lucy's old Uni friends Reena and Karen, her colleagues and her boss, but they do not feature heavily in the book.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, a lot more than I thought I would! It was especially good for a debut novel, and I especially liked the scenes in Australia as it was obvious that the author clearly had her own personal knowledge of Australia and it's sights, as well as some of the scenes which took place in various nightclubs across the country. Some of the descriptive scenes are good, and the scene is set well throughout the book. The characters are well developed, and I really liked Lucy right from the off and found it easy to get used to her first person narrative throughout the book. A must read for all chick-lit fans. 

Rating: 5/5