29 June 2009

Book Review: Valentine by Rebecca Farnworth

rebeccafarnworthvalentineValentine Fleming is an aspiring actress, but she doesn't seem to be getting far with her career. So when Valentine auditions for a Shakespeare play and then gets the part, she's over the moon. She's starring alongside handsome new actor Jack Hart, and Valentine is smitten by him, even though she's not over her ex Finn. 

However, a secret is about to come out that is going to rock Valentine's world as she knows it. Valentine turns to her best friend Lauren and neighbours Frank and Lily for advice, but she knows it's down to her to choose what to do. Is her lucky break about to  be over, or is she going to hold it altogether and make it to the top once and for all? And will Valentine ever find true love and get her man?!

You may not think you have heard of Rebecca Farnworth, but you have probably heard of a few famous books she has written! Rebecca is a celebrity ghost-writer and has been the writer behind Katie Price's successful novels Angel, Angel Uncovered, Crystal, and Sapphire. I've only read Angel which I thought was an okay read, but judging by how popular Price's novels have been, I have to credit this to the writing skill of Farnworth and so I was interested to see what this novel was going to be like. It's lovely bright cover and synopsis sounds like perfect chick-lit and it really did deliver on all areas for me.

Valentine Fleming is such a loveable character, and that is really the main reason this novel is such a success for me. From the first few pages of meeting her, I really liked her and wanted everything to work out for her initial audition (which is where we first see her). She's very self-critical, in love with her awful ex who uses her when he needs some "loving" and is desperate to be a success. Valentine is a comic character because she has a funny outlook on life, although we do see a more serious side to her as the book progresses.  I could relate to Valentine, and I imagine many women could!

The other characters are actually very important in this book as well, it's not solely focussed on just Valentine which makes it interesting. Her best friend Lauren is also an actress but very anti-men. Her scenes have a lot of bad language but it somehow fits and doesn't seem at all out of place! My other favourite characters were Lily and Frank, Valentine's neighbours who were just delightful to read. They have a special story in the book too, and it was very emotional and touching. Jack is Valentine's love interest, and what a charmer he is. I defy you not to love him, he is the perfect hero! Other characters pop up and are so brilliantly realistic, you can see them clearly in your mind!

'Valentine' is a book that takes you on the journey of one woman, but it really is so much more than that. The book covers lot of issues within, I can't really discuss them too much here because I will give away plot spoilers, but I enjoyed the serious issues being intertwined with the comedy and perils of Valentine's love life. Scenes in Valentine's local off-licence were hilarious and I did find my giggling out loud! Farnworth has a real talent for writing fantastic characters that a reader will care about, and consequently I just could not put this book down. I was desperate to find out how things were going to end for all the stars of this book, and Farnworth really delivers on all counts for me.

Love is something that affects all of us, and being the theme of this book, I would definitely recommend it if you like your books soppy but that pack a punch as well. The author writes in a brilliant third person style which allows you to watch these characters but also get into their heads as well, I loved it. It's not a short book but I read this in just over a day, I simply couldn't resist picking it up at every spare moment. This is chick-lit at its best, a well written, enjoyable story with a fantastic leading lady that you can't help but care about. I loved every page and was so disappointed when it ended. I only hope Farnworth has more material in the pipeline! I can't recommend it highly enough - a perfect read.

Rating: 5/5

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