Saturday, 16 May 2015

Book Review - The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

Amazon UK

Title:  The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance
Author: Kirsty Greenwood
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 9th April 2015
Rating: Five Stars

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads - by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda's guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .

Jessica Beam is the ultimate chick lit heroine. She is only after a good time, spends a lot of time partying, and doesn't do deep and meaningful. However after a hilarious, but disastrous evening out in London, which should have been make or break for Jess and her best friend Summer, and their blog, on incident changes everything. 

It results in Jess ending up best friendless, jobless and homeless, she suddenly remembers that she has a long-lost grandma that she has never met, and knows nothing about.  She turns up on the doorstep of Matilda Beam and is shocked. Turns out her grandmother, Matilda, was a famous author back in the day and was the responsible for the Good Woman guides. 

Matilda persuades Jess to stay and to help her out, to try and get the guides re-published, and the idea is that she will use Jess as a guinea pig, to prove that the Good Woman guides are still relevant in the 21st Century, by turning her into a vintage woman and attempting to get a declaration of love from Leo Frost. Leo Frost is a man with a bad reputation, and by all accounts could do with being taken down a peg or two. 

There is something about Kirsty Greenwood's writing that had me smiling and laughing throughout the book. This is light hearted fun at its best. Jess's is story is brilliant as she transforms due to the experiment, but also as she tries to learn why her mother and grandmother were estranged, which is a bit of a mystery. 

In between chapters we are given excerpts from Rose Beam's diary, which gives us the reader an idea of what may come during the reveal to Jess of the distance between mother and daughter. 

There are many larger than life characters in this book, and despite outward appearances, not everyone likes Jessica Beam, as she soon learns.  

It is very interesting to learn just how a woman would go about catching a man back in the 1950s, and watching Jess fight with her grandma, to try and keep any of her more modern ways is amusing. 

I did I will admit have just one tiny little niggle with this book. Jess and Leo when mentioning films both reckon Grease 2 is better than Grease (the original). There is no way at all that can possibly be true. Grease is my favourite film, and Grease 2 was nothing but a cheap sequel with worse music!!!! But since that was the only issue I had in the whole book, I think you can all agree it is not a game breaker, and there really weren't any problems with the story at all.

I loved this book so much, and I am desperately hoping that this won't be the last we see of Jessica. This could easily be turned into a series, and I really hope it will be.  There is so much going on in the story that there is never a dull moment, and far more than I can touch on in one review. 

Honestly can't believe I have left it so long to read this fantastic story. Don't delay and read it as soon as you can. 

Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for my copy of this book. This was my honest review. 


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