2 May 2008

Book Review: The Birds and The Bees by Milly Johnson

"Romance writer and single mum Stevie Honeywell has only weeks to go to her wedding when her fiancé Matthew runs off with her glamorous new friend Jo MacLean. It feels like history repeating itself for Stevie, but this time she is determined to win back her man. She isn't going to act as he might expect. She isn't going to wail and dig her heels in, she is simply going to pretend to let him go whilst she pursues a mad course of dieting, exercising and self-improvement.

And it feels like history is repeating itself for Adam MacLean too, who is also determined to win his lady, Jo, back with the same basic psychological tactics. Then he is going to initiate his master plan: Getting together with Stevie to drive Jo wild with jealousy.

So, like the Scottish country jig 'The Birds and the Bees', the couples all
change partners and learn some revealing truths about each other along the way. But what happens when Adam's master plan actually starts to work? And just who will Stevie be dancing with when the music stops?"

The plot sounded quite interesting, although nothing incredibly new, but I started reading, looking forward to the story that was going to unfold throughout the book. The main character through the story is Stevie, a really likeable person, and she is very well written by Milly Johnson. I did find her obsession with Matthew a tad annoying in places, but you can understand that she loves him and just wants him back again. Although she was overall a nice character, there were parts of the book, especially those involving Adam, where I thought she wasn't so nice and I found myself getting annoyed at her there.

What made me laugh in the book was the character of Adam, he had an incredibly broad Scottish accent (and it was written like that in the book too!) so it was hard to understand him at points. But he did translate his words for Stevie, and the raport between the two at these points made me laugh! I didn't expect to like Adam, but I actually did and thought he was a great character.Other character include the horrid and manipulative Jo, wimpy Matthew, Stevie's bevt friend Catherine and her husband Eddie, and of course Stevie's son Danny aka Dannyman!

The book was written in the third person, so is told like a story. Most of the book follows Stevie and her feelings but it does deviate occasionally to follow Adam, Catherine and the cheating idiots that are Matthew and Jo. The authors narrative is very easy to read and make for very pleasant reading, which I think is what appeals to me about her books. I dislike books that I feel I have to work at, I just want to be able to read and enjoy, and Milly Johnson's two novels have delivered on that for me without a doubt. One thing which did particularly stand out for me was the incredibly well written relationship between Stevie and Danny, the author has picked up on the close mother-son bond so well, and is completely believable and quite touching in parts!

As I said, the main story is nothing really new, a woman being cheated on by a man but it is the plan to get the two couples back together in the end that made this book a bit different for me. The story moved at a good pace, not too quickly, but it didn't drag on either. The author paused to go into more detail for important areas, and was therefore able to skim over things which didn't matter so much, and this balanced out the story quite well. I found myself not wanting to put it down in the evening because I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next, and if it was all going to work out in the end!

The book is most definitely in the chick-lit genre of novels, but for me is definitely at the upper end of the scale! It is a lovely story, with a fantastic narrative that grabs you in and makes you want to keep reading and not want to put it down. The characters were great with Adam and Stevie being likeable, normal people, to the awful Matthew and Jo who although were awful, made for fun reading! I'd say this is definitely anothre triumph for Milly Johnson, and I can't wait for her next one! A superb book I'd recommend to anyone who loves a great read!

Rating: 5/5

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