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3.7 out of 5 stars64
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2010
I LOVED this book - as a 1970's teenage David Cassidy fan (his "number one fan" of course) from page one I was totally caught up in the story. Totally authentic and sympathetic. How easily I identified with Petra. How fantastic my memory recall of the posters! the magazines! the white lies to parents! the rivalry with unknown fans who might snare DC before I could! The utter conviction that I was the girl for him. The thrill that my mother's name was Cassidy - what an edge that gave me over the other fans! The misery when I didn't win any of the "Meet David" competitions....! The fact that I still remember his birthday!

Here is a book written by someone who was a fan but is able to understand and put in context the emotions of a girl growing up who was too frightened of real boys and in love with a fantasy. Allison Pearson has the gift of being able to take our story (my story) and give it a meaning that I knew was there all along. (I felt the same when I read "I Don't Know How She Does It", being a working mother myself.)

This is a book that former DC fans will love - I defy you to read it and not be taken back 35 years (good grief ..that long ago?!) But this isn't just a fans' book. It's a book for anyone who can understand growing up and falling in love. It's a story of friendship. It's a book you will put down with a long satisfied sigh .............

I found this book really, really uplifting. I wish I had the words of much more articulate reviewers to do it justice but I don't. Just read it. Please. I'm off to dig out my DC concert programmes....
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on 3 March 2011
In the first part of the book, Allison Pearson writes perceptively about Petra's teenage years in the seventies, the insecurities, projections, crushes and self-consciousness. Also about peer pressure and the pain of sometimes ambivalent loyalties amongst friends. Didn't we all know a Gillian, the gorgeous (and she knew it) girl we loved to hate?
In the second half (24 years later), there are some curious structural choices which make for much drearier reading. We are told from the beginning that Petra's husband leaves her, yet over the next chapters we have to have an on and off account of their whole relationship. It doesn't move the story on and I felt like saying,'It's ok, we get it!'
Although there are some poignant comments on the mother-child relationship, I never found the other central character of Bill convincing enough. I did welcome the sarky humour of his workmate Chas in contrast. Petra's heartwarming Welsh friend Sharon becomes a bit of a caricature as the story goes on. The route towards the ending feels contrived and therefore not very satisfying. So my copy of the book is going to the charity shop, though judging by the much more enthusiastic reviews, it shouldn't be long on the shelf.
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on 4 August 2010
I think this was a reasonably easy read.

Despite all the rave reviews I'm afraid I only give it 3 stars, due to its lack of excitement in the book, an never actually peaking in the story. However maybe for an older age group (myself only being 20)it would be a great read as i dont quite grasp the phase of David Cassidy.
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on 12 October 2010
I read this because I thoroughly enjoyed her previous book I Don't Know How She Does It: Kate Reddy. But this is nothing like the previous book, it has no pace, and I didn't find it funny or compelling, it was disjointed and predictable. Even the Welsh references did nothing for me and I spent part of my child hood in South Wales.
I can see that if you were a teenager in the '70s and especially if you were a Cassidy fan you might like this (as other reviewers say) but I wasn't and it left me cold.
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on 14 August 2010
After the joys of "I Don't Know How She Does It" with its pithy, dark humour and cracking pace, I couldn't wait for my pre-ordered copy to arrive. What a disappointment. I tried - and tried - but gave up half way through and it's now on the charity shop pile. Life's too short and I'll never get those hours back. It was stodgy, slow and decidedly unfunny and unfortunately, it seems (to me anyway) that Ms. Pearson has lost her touch.
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on 3 November 2013
I bought the book on the strength of Allison Pearson's "I don't know how she does it", in which I very much enjoyed the writing even if there wasn't much of a plot.

The book is split in two- past and present.

Although David Cassidy was famous before my time, I very much identified with the descriptions of teenage angst, including the hero worship of a male figure and the challenging dynamics of teenage girls' relationships. I thought it was very well captured and accurately describes what it is like to be a teenage girl in any era. The description in the past part of the book hints that there is something big to come between Petra, Sharon and Gillian but it never quite happens, which is bit of an anticlimax.

The second part of the book however, I found unconvincing. I felt that the author was trying too hard to endow Petra with all these philosophical musings, which made it harder for the reader to identify and sympathise with the protagonist. I would have liked to have found out more about what happened to Gillian, who plays such a major role in the first half of the book, but it only gave a brief summary of what happened to her. The second half would have been improved by Gillian's presence!

Sharon is quite charming in the first half of the book, but in the later part she is slightly irritating and not quite believable.

I wasn't at all convinced by Bill and Petra's romance in the second half. It all felt contrived and as if story was forced to have a happy ending.
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on 22 September 2010
Since I am a tremendous admirer of I Don't Know How She Does It, I was eager to buy this book. Alas, it's hard to believe that the same author wrote it. Very disappointing.
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on 13 August 2010
I loved the first half or more of this book as it brought back so many memories - all those little things like the beer shampoo. I would have given it 5 stars if it had been that good all the way through but I lost interest a bit when it changed eras, and it didn't help being written in the present tense, (which I've never liked much). I'm not sure if a reader would 'get it' if they hadn't been a David Cassidy fan but being madly in love with him as a young girl, I did!
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on 24 February 2011
I read Alison Pearson's first book 'i don't know how she does it' some years ago now and at the time i thought it was hilarious and very true to life. With this book, i'm afraid, i didn't feel the same way. I'm not sure if this is because it was so long ago that i read her first book - maybe if i was to read it now i would find it lacking.

I'm 45 and can sort of relate to the story ( i think i'm just younger than those who would have swooned at David Cassidy all these years ago - my hero was Donny Osmond). I just think the story wasn't interesting enough to make me want to turn the pages. I feel that there is a lot of 'padding' in this book and when i came across this i just skimmed through these sections. As there was such a big gap between the author's first novel and this one, i wonder if she had problems getting this one off the ground. Certainly, the writing seems a bit laboured.

I gave this three stars in the end although it could have been two. If you are expecting this book to be as good as 'i don't know how she does it', then i think you'll be disappointed. Even if you are a die hard David Cassidy fan, i still think you'll find this a boring book.
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on 10 June 2011
I enjoyed "I Don't Know How She Does It" and expected to also enjoy this long awaited second novel but I didn't. It almost became one of the very few books I have given up on half way through, but I kept reading because I was a teenage Cassidy fan and grew up in South Wales and therefore the storyline brought back memories etc - both happy and unhappy. I have given it only 2 stars, because I really didn't like the book - I wanted to like it as much as I had the previous novel and kept hoping it would pick up pace but for me it was a very unexciting read from start to finish. It certainly wasn't a "can't put it down" novel, it took me quite a few days longer to read than a book of its length normally would.
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