I downloaded this book because it was free and I was looking for a light read and this really didn’t disappoint – don’t be deceived by the unassuming cover, this contains a decent storyline and is very easy to complete or return to.
Linzi Hughes is a pretty, uber-curvacious woman who appears to have everything – a hot boyfriend, a fulfilling job and a (sometimes) loving family. During her best friend and business partner’s nuptials she receives a wedding favour (a winning lottery ticket) that will turn her life upside down. Following her staggering lottery win, Linzi begins to get thoroughly above herself (whilst keeping the secret of the extent of her lottery win from her friends and family), wildly splashing the cash, embarking on a health and fitness regime to befit her new status, casting aside her old friends for sleazy tabloid celebrities and driving away her loyal boyfriend. However, being rich isn’t all Linzi hopes and soon her life hits a downward trajectory that she could never have anticipated.
Linzi’s transition from plus-sized peach to size 8 monster is really interesting – her attitude towards all familiar things once she has her money is a real volte-face and happens almost instantaneously. The scornful way she flings aside her friends and boyfriend like so much rubbish is brazen and she is replete in her choices. But despite her uncharacteristically bad behaviour, I never really disliked the character and was rooting for her the whole way through. There are several despicable characters to loathe in here, including an ugly playboy footballer or two and a tiresome, martyred mother, but there are also those who are there to support Linzi with getting back to herself (including a lovely widowed man, a polish housekeeper and a pragmatic gardener) and there is a brilliant, redemptive ending for Linzi, giving her back her personality, allowing us to truly celebrate a huge achievement with her a milestone moment which left me feeling warm and a little glowy inside.
There are some lovely humourous touches in this book (check out the walkie-talkie ‘handles’ Linzi and the gardener have for each other) and despite some low moments where Linzi is clearly in despair, the writing style never becomes overtly glum, the prose light and bubbly. This is a ‘pick-me-up put-me-down’ novel in which nothing too unexpected happens but there is enough plot development to keep you entertained.
In summary, this tale of the ultimate dream turned sour is immensely readable, great for those days when you want a read that is fun, frothy and only flirts with disaster instead of getting engaged and married to it. I’d recommend it to lovers of chick lit who enjoy something formulaic and joyful.