What Fresh Hell? by Lucy Vine


Published: 8th March 2018
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 314


What do you get if you cross a dozen drunk hens with a shiny Butler in the Buff? Meet Lilah Fox, she’s on the hen do from hell when she receives a message (44 of them, actually) from her best friend with big news: she’s getting married in 6 months. Oh, and Lilah’s her Maid of Honour which means she just got signed up for: a military schedule of wedding fairs, weekly planning meetings, excel spreadsheets, endless hen emails and all the enforced, expensive fun you can imagine…

Thank you to Orion for kindly sending me a review copy.

Lilah Fox can’t say no to a wedding. She can’t say no to helping out the bride, even if she isn’t part of the wedding party and so when her best friend Lauren gets engaged, Lilah finds herself being asked to go above and beyond in preparation for the big day as the Maid of Honour. As the plot began with an amusing encounter at a hen party in Tenerife, the tone of the story was set quite early on; fun, uplifting, modern and relatable. Easy enough, Lilah’s life is enjoyable to read about; from working alongside a egotistic showbiz idiot to her charming boyfriend Will to her brilliant set of best friends. I was intrigued to see what Lilah’s story would entail…

“You believed it and even now you’re still trying to prove something to them – and maybe to yourself. But you don’t have to. You didn’t then and you don’t need to now.”

As each chapter began, Lilah gave the readers a brief run down of the wedding which she’d recently attended: the theme, the menu (always stuffed red pepper with goat’s cheese for the veggies), the gift, the gossip and her bank balance. I really liked this added element of the plot as it visually gave the readers the chance to imagine the scene in which Lilah was situated in. With the main theme of the plot being weddings, our main character attended a lot throughout the year, much to the annoyance of her boyfriend Will. He was a sweet character, who would always want the best out of their relationship and yet, I just wasn’t convinced of their chemistry. Will wanted marriage, Lilah wasn’t sure what she wanted, her parents continually argued and were rather disrespectful of one another and I didn’t blame her. Lucy gave Lilah a very busy life, in which she barely had time to relax and do yoga, so when push came to shove, I really do think the right option was given for the main character and I’m pleased that it wasn’t the typical ending.

“Within minutes, I know my Facebook timeline will be full of the same video, filmed from a slightly different angle and I will watch every single one of them.”

What Fresh Hell? could have been a lot smoother (please bear in mind that I read an early review copy) as I felt the motion of the narrative had a start-stop-start-stop vibe to it which, at times, put me off from continuing to read the plot but nevertheless, I did continue to read and with the ending in sight, Lucy wrote a brilliant argument. Throughout the plot, Lilah and her two best friends, Lauren and Joely have been working non-stop in preparation for Lauren’s big day and let’s just say, even I found it tough to keep up with the constant ‘Wedding Meetings’ in which Lauren insisted on having. Despite the ups and downs of the friendship, the end of the book seemed to finish on a lovely note – we know what all the characters are currently doing, we know their relationship status and there are no unanswered questions left hanging in the air.

This will be the ideal book to read around the pool this Summer or if you’ve got a long road trip ahead as it’s funny in parts, the characters are well written and if you enjoyed Bridesmaids, you’ll likely enjoy this.