21 April 2011

Book Review: Here Come The Girls by Milly Johnson

With their 40th birthdays approaching, Ven, Frankie, Roz and Olive all promised to do something spectacular when they were young kids, but now that doesn't seem likely. Frankie and Roz are no longer speaking after an awful row many years ago, and Ven and Olive are fed up of running as go betweens and being friends with both while avoiding getting together in a group. But when Ven wins a luxury cruise for 4 people, she decides to take along her 3 best friends in the world and sod the consequences. On board the beautiful ship, the ladies begin to relax and enjoy their holiday touring the mediterranean with their every whim catered for, and lots of glorious sunshine and fun. But will the rift between Roz and Frankie ever be healed? What is the secret that Ven is so vehemently hiding from her friends? And will Olive be able to cope with her return to the land where her long lost love resides?

Milly Johnson has quickly become one of my favourite authors, and I always really anticipate any of her new releases because I know I am going to enjoy reading it so much! When Here Come The Girls landed on my doorstep, I was desperate to devour it in one sitting but decided to take my time and enjoy the story unfolding, and I'm glad I did. At just over 500 pages, it is quite a long book but every page was worth enjoying and I found myself not wanting to put it down every evening, I just wanted to immerse myself even more in the wonderful cruising world of Ven and co for far longer!

Straight away, I loved this book and its characters. We begin by meeting the 4 women when they are 16 year old girls, all best friends and keen to cement their future as such. I enjoyed this as I felt it was a good start to cement the friendship between the ladies, and also makes the division between Frankie and Roz more shocking, because its hard to believe anything could separate the women! Johnson doesn't immediately tell us what went on between them, but as snippets are revealed, we can all hazard a guess as to why they aren't speaking, and I was right. I really liked the way Johnson handled it, and as the story progressed it was very touching how things went between the women.

Ven was a great character, and somewhat the leader of the pack due to the fact she was controlling the cruise and its prizes. I really liked her, she is clearly hiding a secret throughout the book and things weren't revealed until right at the end which I liked as it kept me guessing. I actually didn't manage to guess the answer, so I was pleased Johnson managed to keep it a surprise for me! I really liked Ven, she copes well despite the trouble she has faced in her life, and she's come through a stronger woman which I think is good. Olive is somewhat different to the other women, she's married but trapped in a loveless marriage that feels more like a prison. You can really feel sorry for her and its nice to see her come to life as she goes on the cruise and escapes her awful husband and mother in law.

Each of the women have had their issues in their past, and also Olive who is struggling with her present too, and all of these are something women reading this might be able to relate to, and this is exactly what I love in Milly Johnson's novels. They are believable, they are realistic and the characters in them, you can imagine being your friends or women you know. I like how Johnson tells us of their pasts without delving too deeply into it, just enough to give the reader the sense of their trouble, and it makes you even more determined that their cruise is going to be enjoyable! There are some great sub-plots going on with Olive's and Roz's male other halves that are dotted throughout the book, and provide a little break from the cruising ladies, enough just to ground you for a while!

You can tell Johnson has done her research regarding cruises because she writes so well and clearly about it, you can imagine you are on board the grand ship with the ladies, and certainly makes you envious when you're sat at home on your sofa reading about gorgeous 3 course dinners, fun belly dancing classes and the odd handsome love interest too! Cruise life sounds like absolute bliss, and I also loved the places Johnson visits along the way. She writes them very vividly, and you can visualise the beautiful islands and lovely sunshine as you read, perfect for these chilly nights! I did love the cruise aspect, and since I've never read a book on a cruise ship it was really interesting!

Overall, this is a fantastic book that I couldn't put down and I can't recommend it highly enough. There is a lot going on throughout the book to keep you entertained, whether its on board the ship or docked on the gorgeous Mediterranean islands, and the stories with the characters keep you hoping for a happy ending for everyone too. All 4 of the women are believable and lovely characters, and the use of third person narrative works perfectly to allow it to chop and change between the characters. I loved every page, and luckily for fans of Milly, she is back this autumn with another release An Autumn Crush! There's something about Milly's book which just get into your head and heart and if you haven't discovered her yet, then you really must. A brilliant read!

Rating: 5/5


  1. This one is definitely on my wish list! :)

    Great review, I want to read it even more now.


  2. Great review, once again.
    This book sounds like one of those you just want to sit down with a fine cup of tea and read until your hearts content! <3

  3. I must admit I haven't read any milly's books but this one is definitely going on my wish list :)

  4. Will be purchasing this one later on tonight, sounds very good!