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West End Girls Paperback – 3 Jul 2006
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a chick-lit writer with a difference . . . never scared to try something different, Colgan always pulls it off . . . West End Girls is very funny, very sweet and very entertaining (Image)
A Colgan novel is like listening to your best pal, souped up on vino, spilling the latest gossip - entertaining, dramatic and frequently hilarious (DAILY Record)
an entertaining read (Sunday Express)
West End Girls is the perfect summer sunbather, easy to read, packed with gags and truths (IRISH News)
The new bestseller from Jenny Colgan, about two girls trying to find fame and fortune in London.See all Product description
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Morwenna Banks, the narrator really brings the story to life, she gets into character very well and managed to keep think up throughout the novel.
Penny and Lizzie are twins and have lived in a council house for most of their lives. Suddenly their luck changes and they move to a large flat in Chelsea, which belongs to their grandmother. They have not seen her for years and she now lives in an old peoples home.
Although Penny and Lizzie are twins, they are very different. Lizzie is happy to have the quieter life, getting a job in a sandwich shop and working for George. From the moment I met George I knew he was going to be a great character and I loved reading about his and Lizzie's story.
Penny in contrast seems loud, pretends to be someone she's not and is always wanting to party. Penny soon finds out living in Chelsea and trying to be famous is not all that it is cracked up to be.
I did enjoy listening to this book, however it was not very taxing. I could and did guess the ending but this didn't bother me as I was only looking to be entertained. As others have said, this is not the best Colgan book and her latest ones are certainly much better. However if you are looking for light relief then this is for you. Just don't expect to get a deep and meaningful story line as you won't.
Two council house twins, Penny and Lizzie, suddenly have the good fortune to move into a large flat in Chelsea. Unfortunately they are not allowed to move anything so it's not the huge airy white expanse that they dream of. It belongs to their grandmother, now languishing in an old people's home.
The twins launch themselves into Chelsea life, a steep learning curve involving the inevitable mistakes. The ending is hardly a surprise, it's more the method of getting there that kept my interest.
Well read and good fun, but not mind blowing.
West End Girls is the story of Lizzie and Penny, non-identical twins in more ways than one. Out-going Penny is slim, blond and pretty, always up for a party and dreaming of more than her mundance job as a waitress, living in her mum's council house. Lizzie is quiet, mousy and plump, happy to spend her days at work for a stamp importing company and her evenings on the sofa in front of the TV, watching soaps and eating biscuits. So when their estranged paternal grandmother requests they live in her Chelsea flat whilst she is 'convalescing' in a retirement home, the girls finally think their luck has changed. London is the place to be and with a Chelsea address, how could anything possibly go wrong?
My fave characters in West End Girls were definitely Lizzie and Georges (the Portuguese sandwich shop owner who Lizzie ends up working for). Their budding relationship is made even sweeter by Lizzie's familiar worries that she is not 'good enough' and is constantly overlooked in favour of her supposedly more attractive sister. And Georges is possibly the most unconventional hero/love interest you're ever likely to meet in the pages of a book, but he won my heart in the same way as he wins Lizzie's.
In contrast, Penny is a little more difficult to take to. She spends most of the the first half of the book wrapped up in her own self-importance, determined to become 'famous' and make a name for herself, whatever the cost. But, like many chick-lit characters, she soon realises that perhaps being famous is not all it's cracked up to be. And with the introduction of mysterious artist Will, she soon realises there's more to life than parties and partying.
Secondary characters, Brooke and Minty (Lizzie and Penny's neighbours) are stereotypically drawn as Chelsea girls; designer clothes, numerous party invites (all of which are denounced as 'tedious') and a string of rich boyfriends, they spend most of their time looking down their perfect snub noses at everyone, but strangely still manage to make friends with Lizzie and Penny. I struggled to find the appeal of this pair, but luckily they don't feature too heavily or else they were in danger of becoming tedious themselves.
Overall though this is a really enjoyable read with a lovely, happy, feel-good ending. Would definitely recommend.
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