25 August 2009

Book Review: Divas by Rebecca Chance

Lola Fitzgerald has a pretty charmed life. She has every designer piece of clothing she wants, holidays on tap and homes around the world courtesy of her rather rich father.

But Lola's world is thrown into disarray when her father falls into a coma and Lola's stepmother Carin cuts off all of her funds immediately. Her situation gets worse when Lola discovers the existance of her father's mistress Evie Lopez, and her fiance is thrown into rehab for drug addiction.

Lola wants back what is rightfully hers but she is forced to team up with Evie to catch Carin out and get her out of her life once and for all.

"Divas" is the debut novel for Rebecca Chance, and she follows the line of great "bonkbuster" authors such as the Bagshawe sisters Louise and Tilly, Lulu Taylor, Jo Carnegie and Olivia Darling who have all embraced the gritty side of "chick-lit" and done so brilliantly as well. The striking purple cover of the book immediately took my eye, and it made me want to read it, and the recommendations from Louise Bagshawe and Olivia Darling were great and well placed for a book like this as well!

The story mainly follows the character of Lola Fitzgerald, very much a pampered rich girl who lives off Daddy's trust fund. However, the twist in this book is that she has to learn to live without it (albeit not very successfully!) and contend with the wicked stepmother too. Although I didn't expect to, I absolutely loved the character of Lola because she was very likeable, and because of the twists and turns in the story, you sympathise with her character and grow to like her despite her sometimes selfish attitude!

Evie is the other main character in the book, and I didn't like her as much as Lola. She seemed far more mercenary than Lola, and although that fitted in with the plot, I just didn't warm to her as much and consequently didn't care as much for her story. As her story became more interwoven with Lola's, I began to care more for it but still not the character so much. Even so, she was a good enough character and served a good purpose for the story which was interesting enough. My favourite character was Lola's fiance Jean-Marc - he was hilarious and lit up every scene he was in because he was just so funny! Chance has clearly put him in there for the comic relief and it works, he's fab and I wish he had been in the book a bit more!

The book moves locations throughout and I found this really fun and exciting to read. It moves from London to New York and even to Italy for a little part of the book, and I liked this. Chance has clearly done her research when it comes to the locations mentioned as she describes things very well and it was very enjoyable to read. You can vividly imagine all the posh hotels Lola stays in, the shabby room that Evie has to camp down in and the plush home of Carin quite easily because of Chance's vivid writing, and it really is a joy to read. The writing style is easy to read and enjoyable and the book moves at a great pace with some shocking twists and turns along the way. The sex scenes in the book are sometimes quite graphic in their descriptions so perhaps if that isn't for you, skip over those parts as they aren't too frequent but I didn't find them too OTT and they didn't seem unnecessary in the book either.

This is a fantastic read, and I would thoroughly recommend it. It's a brilliant read full of fun, shocks, sex and a great story and I really couldn't put it down once I had started reading it. It surprised me along the way, and the shocks kept me completely hooked, I didn't expect half of them as they happened! For a debut novel, I think this book is brilliantly written and is definitely a recommended summer read (what's left of it!) but a book you can enjoy all year too. I loved every page and was disappointed when it ended, so I can't wait to read more of Rebecca Chance's work in the future! A superb read, very highly recommended!

Rating: 5/5

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