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Review of What A Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk

Published: 17th July 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 416

Blurb:

Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life.

Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. From London to Milan, with high fashion and low behaviour thrown in, she’s going to have to make up her mind what a girl really wants…

Review:

Thank you to Harper Collins for kindly allowing me to review. Today is my stop on the blog tour and as well as my review, I spoke to Lindsey about writing the second book in the Tess series.

In the prologue, Tess finds herself in trouble with the police and it’s not long before her best friend Amy joins her. I love that Lindsey begins the book bang smack in the middle of a situation and it really hooks the reader in. Instantly, I wanted to know what these two women have done in order to be behind bars.

In the first book, About A Girl, Tess is in love with her best friend Charlie but then she meets writer Nick in Hawaii. The love triangle continues and it’s a real roller coaster of a journey. Tess respects Charlie a lot, he helps her out in sticky situations and on paper, he’s her ideal man. But what about Nick? He’s beautiful and they have unbelievable chemistry. Despite Nick being a t-w-a-t (Amy’s words, not mine), I was always #TeamNick from the beginning but in this book, I found myself warming to Charlie quite a bit.

Lindsey has a brilliant way with words. Her writing style is funny and there is a lot of sarcastic banter between Tess and Amy which I absolutely loved. Their friendship is incredible and readers will find themselves instantly laughing along their journey. I loved that Lindsey kept quite a lot of the same characters from book one and I believe that that was really important for the reader, but we also have a few new ones which was brilliant. It just adds and adds to the ever growing Tess family.

The ending of the narrative was my favourite part and I knew that Lindsey wouldn’t disappoint. The drama kicked off and Tess found herself to be torn between two men (lucky lady!), but who would she run after? The plot is very fast paced at the end and I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough as it was a real shock fest. When I reached the final page, my exact words were: KELK, YOU CAN NOT LEAVE A BOOK LIKE THIS! It was extremely well written, the dialogue was spot on, the humour had me giggling in all the right places and I desperately need more.

Lindsey On Writing Book 2…

When I started writing About A Girl, I’d already finished five I Heart books and The Single Girl’s To-Do List so I was itching to try something new. While I love Angela and Jenny and all the I Heart gang, as a storyteller, I was ready to try something new. It’s a strange urge because you know that people would readily eat up I Heart books until they’re down to I Heart That Dodgy Car Park Round the Back of Meadowhall and there’s a huge temptation to rest on your laurels and keep pumping out Angela and Alex stories like some sort of romcom cow but, eventually, that would have sent me mental and my imagination needed a break.

Writing different stories, or trying different styles of writing, is like flexing a different muscle. If all you ever did was lift weights, you’d end up with massively over-developed arms and skinny little legs. If all I ever did was write I Heart books, I’d lose the ability to write anything else. Not to say that it wasn’t terrifying. I knew there was a story I wanted to tell and I knew none of the characters in Angela’s universe were right to tell it but I was still very anxious about asking the general reading public to take on a new character, to accept a new girl, and care as much about her life as they already did about Angie and the gang.

Because I’d already written one standalone book, I thought I was ready for how hard it was going to be but dear god, I had completely forgotten. Every day in the first few weeks of writing, I would read over my work, freak out, panic that it wasn’t good enough, that it wasn’t as good as an I Heart book, that no one would like Tess and then close the computer, hide it in another room and curl up on the sofa to watch some terrible TV programme and pretend it wasn’t happening. Eventually, a friend offered to help by putting together a writing schedule for me which meant I had to deliver a certain number of words each week, whether I liked them or not. As a horrendously competitive human being, it worked. Ten weeks later, I had a finished book.

Writing What A Girl Wants slightly easier in that I’d already gotten to know the characters a little bit and I really couldn’t wait to hang out with them again but, of course, the universe conspired against me and even though I had given myself four clear months to write the book, in those months someone decided it would be fun if I broke up with my boyfriend, got very ill and lost my grandmother. Because just having a book to write wasn’t stressful enough. There were a lot of times during the writing of this book that I wanted to chuck it in the bin and pretend it wasn’t happening – even when I finished the first draft, I was absolutely certain of it’s shittiness and I couldn’t believe it when my editor and agent came back and said they loved it. Somehow, all of the drama and nonsense and heartbreak that had been going on in my life had woven its way into the pages. At the time, I’d assumed that was a terrible thing but looking back, I think What A Girl Wants is my most honest, genuine and probably funniest book yet. God help me if I have to go through all of that again to get the next one out…

Lindsey blog tour banner

Don’t forget to check out the other blog tour stops as there are plenty of reviews, blog posts and much more to come…

Twitter: @LindseyKelk
Website: www.lindseykelk.com

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