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3.7 out of 5 stars91
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 June 2006
I have read and own a copy of all of Katie Fforde's novels - they vary in quality but have never failed to hit the spot. Unfortunately 'Practically Perfect' is rather a misnomer. The characters were all right but the plot was seriously thin - pages and pages of detail about what Anna did to her house, then pages more of her varous friends looking at what she'd done to the house... I found it hard to care. Also, and this is something I've noticed with Katie's characters before, Anna was the oldest sounding 27 year old I've ever come across. If she'd been 47 I might have found her more credible - but that's probably quite insulting to 47 year olds.

Not the best Katie Fforde read - try 'Thyme Out' or 'Living Dangerously' first if you're new to this author.
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on 22 July 2006
I am sorry to say that this is the first Katie Fforde book to disappoint me. I've read all her books but this one is seriously lacking and does not have the same flow as her previous novels. I struggled to finish this book and found I was unable to relate to the characters.

Fforde is normally a great author - just don't let this book put you off.
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on 1 February 2014
I have never read anything by Katie Fforde before but have always had a sort of guilty-pleasure-rooted fondness in "city girl moves to country and tries to make it" stories. Probably because of I've always wanted to move into a rural area myself...ideally a little village not unlike the one described in Practically Perfect.

However I found this read a little lack lustre. There were a lot of mannerisms which the characters shared (not great individual characterization) and I found the majority of them wooden or forced. I never say you should have swearing in any book, it's an author choice to do so or not, but there were times when a good expletive would be much more appropriate than what we get - what twenty something talks the way Anna and her friends do? The fact that Anna is inexplicably in love with Max George (in love, we are repeatedly told, not lust - love!) despite knowing next to nothing about him, annoyed me more than anything else. The fact that the romance with Rob Hunter takes such an extreme back seat until the least third of the book also wore away at my nerves. I understand wanting to leave the climax until the end, but there is a limit to how long the author can do so, and in this case it was much sooner than we got.

However saying that I did find the setting and characters often charming and the pace suited to the comfortable, unchallenging read Practically Perfect claimed to be. There's no disappointment on my side as I got pretty much exactly what I expected - frothy, unable to challenge, time passing and a poor man's no brainer read.
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on 30 September 2012
I cannot figure out why anyone has given the negative reviews of this book. It is well written, the story is entertaining, the characters are all well played. Like all of Katie Fforde's novels, this one is a true joy to read. The author doesn't create any OTT characters that make you wince and toss the book aside. The characters are just "real" people, doing 'real' people things and for that, I'm grateful and well entertained. Ignore the crap reviews, read the book! In fact, read all of Katie Fforde's books, they're that good.
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on 2 August 2008
I always finish what I start, and so despite not enjoying this book a great deal I forced myself to read it all. It is the first book I have read by this author, and I won't be reading anymore from her.

First of all, one look at the cover and you would think you were getting a jolly good dose of youthful chick lit, the reality is quite different.
It took me a while to pin point what was irritating me about the book, until I realised that the main character, who must have been in her mid twenties, sounded more like someone in their mid 50's, this made more sense when I realised how old the author was herself. It became increasingly frustrating, plodding story line, boring romance, all written by a more mature woman who simply cannot pull off the thoughts, actions, language and ideas of a young twenty something.
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on 13 June 2006
I have read all of Katie Fford's books, and up until now have always really enjoyed reading her books, and usually can't wait until the next one comes out...Regretfully I did not enjoy this book as much as the others and at times only stuck with it out of loyalty and the knowledge that Katie's books are usually very good....I found the DIY/Building skill details all very boring to be honest and I did feel that the story line was a bit ploddy in places...Sorry!!!
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on 2 December 2009
I have loved all Katie Fforde's books up to this one (I havent liked the two after that either but this was the start of the decline) It felt rushed and unfinished - towards the end she has suddenly bought another cottage to but it jusr happened on one page as a kind of 'oh by the way'. Very disappointing Katie
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on 29 July 2009
It's funny how peoples' tastes vary isn't it? I have read four of KF's books, starting with Wedding Season which I enjoyed. I have also read Highland Fling and Love Letters which I found less good. I really enjoyed "Practically Perfect", despite the fact that lots of reviewers here didn't, and read it more or less in one sitting. However, I did find the reason for the final big argument between the main two protagonists rather contrived - yes you need a reason to kiss and make up in these types of books, but it was a bit unconvincing. That said, I liked the characters and wanted them to get it together- you have to care about the characters and with this book I did.
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on 1 June 2015
Anna is a 20-something interior designer who has just bought an, er, bijou cottage in a Cotswold village, ostensibly because she wants to renovate it and sell it at a premium to pay back her sister Laura, but the choice of location has a lot to do with a former college lecturer on whom she had a crush that she referred to as L-O-V-E. Red flag alert immediately! The relationship between them rang completely untrue and I wondered what would happen to the house when the relationship inevitably came to zero.

The cottage is a mess, and practically uninhabitable. Katie shows us that women can get on and do practical things just as good as guys and I really liked this aspect to Anna. She makes friends in the village, particularly her next door neighbour Chloe who is always there as a fantastic support mechanism, and of course Caroline, who has to be her most unlikely but No 1 best friend!

With all of Katie’s stories I have read, the path to true love is a rocky one with more than one guy to choose from and this is no different. But the two guys, Rob and Max, are very very different. There are a couple of very good scenes when Anna meets up with former college friends and another with her mega-crush Max’s mum that had me cheering. She also develops in character and comes out of the shadow of her sister Laura, who tends to treat her as a bit of a simpleton at times.

The ending is not an easy one and Rob’s reaction is completely OTT and not in keeping with his character throughout the book. I also felt Anna rather anachronistic for a 20-something.

It was a nice read though and Chloe and Mike were great characters, people you would want as your friends in reality.
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on 16 August 2012
The book started well and seemed to have an interesting storyline, but the dialogue was awful. No matter where the characters were from or how old they were, they all spoke the same. Phrases like 'fantastically expensive', 'awfully practical', 'I rather think...', 'terribly'etc. were used so frequently. Even when none of the characters were talking, the author used these phrases far too much. It got very confusing trying to figure out who said what. Then there's the storyline - a 27 year old who's only ever had 1 crush her life and is pining over this one guy from college. We get no feel for this character's life in the past other than she had a hug and kiss of this guy Max and has obsessed about him for years but didn't even tell her close sister. Again the build up to this was good, and had potential but was let down when it was revealed it was just a crush. Then there was another guy, Rob. I was hoping for a twist to the obvious plot but none came. Also, one minute the sister knew nothing about Max, the next she knew everything about him, yet no conversation took place! The next door neighbour, Chloe seemed able to leave her life/kids at a drop of a hat to help this neighbour she hardly knew, then fell ill - again there was potential for story around this.....they all fussed and was worried sick, everyone saying it could be kidney stones, but we never found out what was wrong and by some miracle was fine again!! She was doing up this house which we got so much unnecessary detail about, and her dog which again we got so much info on yet nothing on her life. So many missed opportunities for a good twist to the story. Very glad I only paid 50p for it!!!
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