3 February 2014

Book Review: Beauty by Louise Mensch

"Blend it. Sculpt it. Shape it. Use it...

There isn't a woman on earth who doesn't have her beauty secrets. But for Dina Kane, beauty is more than just business. It's power. And it is the secret. She's dragged herself up from poverty to Park Avenue. She's rolled with the punches. And she's learned how to win.

Now someone is out to destroy her, and all she's built. They've underestimated Dina Kane. She's staying at the top - and she's happy to wait for the perfect moment to exact her revenge..."

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Beauty as a paperback or an eBook now.

It's been a couple of years since we've had a novel from chick-lit favourite Louise Bagshawe, but luckily for her, she was back last with a new book... and a new name too. Louise now writes under her married name of Louise Mensch, and is back with a corker of a book called Beauty. When I received my proof copy, I have to admit I fell in love with the cover - it's fancy and certainly has a blockbuster look about it, and makes Louise's comeback novel stand out on a bookshelf. Louise was one of the first chick lit authors I read, and one who made me fall in love with the genre, so I had very high hopes going in to this one!

Dina Kane has had a pretty horrible life so far, but she hasn't let it hold her back. Despite her mother's clear dislike for her, and having to struggle in a public school as opposed to the private education her brother was treated to, Dina is determined to make a success of herself when she turns 18 and moves to New York City on her own. Dina starts from the bottom, and soon becomes a big name in the corporate world, making clever business decisions that get her noticed. But there's someone lurking in the shadows who is determined to make Dina fail at every hurdle. Dina is determined that this person won't bring her down, and is soon ready to plot her own revenge on the man ready to take her down.

Right from reading the blurb of this book, I knew it screamed a typical Louise Bagshawe novel to me, and I was pleased of that fact. Louise has a tried and tested formula that she knows works for her fans, and she's stuck to it here perfectly. There's the heroine, with the bad past determined to be something successful, and overcomes the odds to get there. Of course, some things happened very easily for Dina, perhaps not quite as simply as they would in real life, but this just adds to the glamour of the story - you have to believe that Dina is going to be a success. I really liked her, I felt incredibly sorry for her and the poor relationship, or rather lack of one, that she has with her mother that shapes her attitude for the rest of her life. Dina is a strong woman and shows tremendous guts and self-belief, an important trait when you think you are going to be a success.

The males in this book weren't really anything to write home about. There's Edward, little rich boy who expects things to happen right for him just because he has money - I had no other feelings for him other than complete and utter loathing - he is everything that is wrong with young men with money and an entitled attitude. However, he exists to show the social hierarchy that comes with money - he believes he's better than Dina because he was born into money, and it's an attitude that sadly exists far too much. Dina's brother makes some infrequent appearances in the book, but is a complex and troubled character, yet more turmoil for Dina to put up with.

The pacing of the story is good. It begins with Dina's birth and shows how little she was wanted as a baby by her mother, and quickly moves throughout her childhood, again highlighting how tough the little girl has it in her home. Soon, we are into Dina's adult years, moving with her to NYC and seeing her build herself up from a coffee waitress to much, much more. Dina is clever, gutsy and has a real thirst for success, and this shows as the book progresses. Anyone who loves a rags to riches story is going to love this one, and there's quite a few rude scenes thrown in for good measure too, although I felt these fitted in well with the story of the book and didn't feel too out of place. The end of the book came rather quickly, I'd have loved a bit more detail in there and to see the fruits of Dina's labours, but perhaps I just didn't want this story to end. If you've loved Louise's previous novels, you'll definitely want to pick up a copy of Beauty, it's great to have Louise back.

No comments:

Post a Comment