I’ve read so many great books recently and have lots of reviews to catch up on. It seems that more and more books with a vintage theme are coming out at the moment and I absolutely love it. I’m a total chick lit addict, so when you mix fantastic girly books with vintage fashion I can’t wait to start turning the pages.
I was recently sent The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood to review. Kirsty is no stranger to the world of blogging, as the founding member of super successful book blog Novelicious she knows everything there is know about what makes a good novel. I’ve been going into London a lot recently for blog events and this book got me through all the boring journeys on the tube.
What it says on the back of the book:
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 . . .
What I thought of the book:
At first I found it really hard to like Jessica, she’s rude, she makes bad choices and can be a little selfish. However I very quickly warmed to her as a character and even started to relate to her a little. As we find out more about her past it’s easier to understand her and you start to really want the best for her. By the end of the book she was one of my favourite characters from a book and I want a sequel to find out what she does next.
Summer begins the book at Jessica’s best friend, although she soon becomes the baddy of the book and she makes a great evil character. The fact that she and Jessica work together on a blog was really interesting and Summer definitely reminded me of a few people!
Matilda is such a sweet lady and I loved that she was a little eccentric and emotional. She is the perfect grandma character and I loved how kind she was to Jessica throughout the book. The fact that she still had all her vintage clothing and accessories from the 50s made me wish she was real so I could talk about the past with her.
The male characters in the book are all really well written, I like that they are complex characters who are not as they first appear. At first you really want Jamie to be the main love interest in the book, but that definitely changed for me as we got to know Leo a little better.
The books main strength is that the plot is really clever and things definitely didn’t always go the way I thought they would. There were points where I felt it was going to be very predictable and then it really surprised me. I really enjoyed reading all of Matilda Beams tips from the past and how they weren’t always relevant but could be applied to today. I also liked the way Jessica’s feminist views at times conflicted with Matilda’s old fashioned attitude, and how she managed to find the balance.
The story was very believable and I had so many laugh out load moments, that I definitely got a few funny looks on the tube! Jessica’s swearing and expletives were absolutely hilarious I may have used the term “knob prince” a couple of times since reading the book! The book has both happy and sad bits and the sections that talk about Jessica’s mother are definitely sadder parts. I did really enjoy how her story unfolded alongside the main plot.
The book was a really easy read and I really didn’t want to stop reading it, as I was desperate to know what happened at the end. The ending was perfect, as someone who is often dissatisfied by rushed and predictable endings in chick lit books, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.
I’d recommend this to anyone who likes a good girly book, or anyone who has ever dreamed of having a full vintage make-over. It will definitely appeal to vintage loving girls as well.
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is published by Pan and written by Kirsty Greenwood.
Buy a copy of The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance on Amazon.