City of Heavenly Fire – Cassandra Clare Every Word – Ellie Marney Skinjob – Bruce McCabe
i. Bloodlines – Richelle Mead
ii. The Golden Lily – Richelle Mead
iii. The Indigo Spell – Richelle Mead
iv. The Fiery Heart – Richelle Mead Silver Shadows – Richelle Mead Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
- Goose – Dawn O’Porter
Run – Gregg Olsen
- Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira
Stoner – John Williams The Wrong Girl – Zoë Foster
- A Fatal Tide – Steve Sailah
- Murder in Mississippi – John Safran
- Elianne – Judy Nunn
Being Jade – Kate Belle Martha in the Mirror – Justin Richards
- Shining Darkness – Mark Michalowski
- The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Divergent – Veronica Roth
- Insurgent – Veronica Roth
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth
- The Messenger – Markus Zusak
- Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman
- The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
- NOS4R2 – Joe Hill
The Gospel of Loki – Joanne M. Harris
- Hades – Candice Fox
- Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger
- Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
- Are You Seeing Me? – Darren Groth
- Masquerade – Kylie Fornasier
Some books aren’t life changers. Some books exist without challenging your preconceived notions of reality. Some books don’t make you take a good, long, hard look at yourself. And that’s perfectly OK. Because some books just exist to make you feel good.
Last night was a trying one for me. After two relatively harmless phone conversations that left me with a heap of harmless statements to over-analyse and drive myself crazy with, I woke up at about 4 o’clock this morning feeling like absolute crap. So I didn’t really sleep much. Instead I finished The Wrong Girl and watched an episode of Castle before dozing until about 7.30.
The Wrong Girl is a romance. And, generally, I steer clear of those like they’re infected with leprosy but this one was given to me by Random House a few months ago and I decided to give it a go. Because, well, who turns down a free book?
The author, Zoë Foster, is an Aussie. Another Aussie author! Feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment, to be completely honest. This book is so delightfully Australian. We get mentions of Sydney, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and Nimbin (the latter are both places half an hour from where I grew up; the Gold Coast is a place I have visited many times, sometimes just for a day of shopping), and just the comforting Aussie turn of phrase.
Foster is hilarious. She takes regular scenarios and makes them funny, distracting us from the banality of what may be going on. That sounds a little harsh. Let me try that again. What I meant to say is that Foster has a way of making the everyday sparkle with humour. Something I really want to accomplish one day, in my writing.
The story is nothing overly unique: [SPOILER] girl (Lily) meets boy (Jack), boy annoys girl, girl starts to fall for his rugged good looks and adorable personality, boy falls for girl’s best friend (Simone), best friend cheats on boy, boy breaks up with best friend, boy realises feelings for girl, girl and boy finally get it together.
I called “spoiler” because, well, that is the whole plot of the book. Throw in some career trouble, drug trouble, and the antics of our protagonist’s mother and that’s all there is to the story. But this story is by no means shallow. Sure, the clumsy girl always embarrassing herself in front of her crush has been done to death, but Lily makes it endearing. And natural. The story is basically a coming-of-age story for a woman who is trying to make it in the TV industry as her thirtieth birthday approaches, all the while living with her swimsuit model (literally a swimsuit model) best friend.
The thing about this book is that it simply makes you feel good as you read it. You know exactly what is going to happen: the girl will get the boy and the promotion and live happily ever after. The ending is predictable because all romances end this way, unless they’re “tragic romances”. But it’s the ride we take to get to that predictable ending that makes the difference. Like going on a road trip. You know where you’re going, but you don’t really know what’s going to happen even if all road trips follow the same roads and highways. After reading a bunch of books that made me question myself, my life, and my choices, this book was a nice holiday from the cogs always turning inside my head.
One of the massive problems I have with the romance genre is the lack of depth given to the characters. And while the male lead, Jack, has perfect good looks (come on, the gap in his teeth? What is it with authors making guy’s looks “less perfect” by adding a teeny tiny tooth flaw? Jack has a gap in his teeth, Jace Wayland/Morgernstern/Lightwood had a chipped tooth. THESE THINGS DON’T MAKE A GUY’S LOOKS ANY LESS PERFECT. If anything they make their looks more perfect because this is the ONLY flaw), and Simone is a model with a cocaine problem (cliché much?), these things work because the characters are just so believable. And if an author can get a cliché to work, then they’re a genius in my book (see what I did there?).
Just two things:
1. There were a few missing quotation marks. Someone would start speaking and I wouldn’t realise it until I read the comma and quotation marks at the end of the sentence. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of using single, rather than double, quotation marks. But, seriously, where was the proofreader? There was also a “realsing” instead of “realising”. Nothing interrupts the flow of a story more than a typo.
2. There was no kiss. Nothing. Nada. Zip. We get the idea that Lily and Jack will go on dates and kiss and have hot, steamy sex but we see none of it. Just a couple of confessions right at the end. Did I like this? Hmmm, I’ll get back to you.
So. Would I have bought this book for myself? No, not at all. Am I glad I read it? Yes, of course.
Will I be reading any more of Foster’s work? More than likely.