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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2007
Its been a few years since I last read one of Jenny's books (the last one being Talking to Addison - which I highly recommend also). West End Girls from the first word is funny. I thought the conversations between the two main characters flowed well and sounded like any normal twenty-something girls chatting/bickering together.

Love Jennys use of very upto date references (Gordon Ramsey/Turkey Twislers/Page 3 models/Jody Marsh's army belt dress/Prince Harrys present girlfriend even gets a mention and also the latest clubs/bars that are 'hot' right now (Im presuming Jenny herself had to research these - tough work if you can get it!!!)

Fab read - if your into Heat/Now magazine, Pop culture, shopping, fashion, IT girls plus a good old love story thrown in for measure!!
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on 25 October 2011
I don't think Jenny Colgan has disappointed me yet. If you're looking for a light-hearted read that's not too taxing on the brain cells, but leaves you with a smile on your face at the end, then Colgan's your girl.

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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on 6 November 2015
I was looking for an audio book to keep me entertained on the way to work in the mornings and evenings. This I thought was perfect as full running time is around 3 hours. I thought that this would last me about a week, which it did.

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.
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on 27 December 2013
I really love Jenny Colgans books, I love the characters and story lines but this book was awful. I didn't find the foul language very relaxing and i can't say much about the storyline as i didn't finish it. Only glad that i borrowed this one from the library. Others that i have had from the library i have enjoyed so much that i have bought my own copy. All i can say is if this is the 1st Colgan book you have tried don't let it put you off trying her other books. Most Colgan books i would give 5 stars too, for mt taste this one isn't even a 1
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VINE VOICEon 4 February 2009
Judging from other peoples' comments, I was lucky to come across this in Audio CD. Morwenna Banks's voices were wonderful and infused the story with life. It was a shame that the version was abridged but I don't suppose I missed too much :)
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.
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on 16 May 2015
AN O.K. READ, BUT AS ONE OF THE OTHER REVIEWS SAID - JENNY'S EARLIER BOOKS ARE NOT AS GREAT AS HER MORE RECENT ONES, SO PERHAPS I AM EXPECTING TOO MUCH! SHE HAS WRITTEN SO MANY REALLY EXCELLANT STORIES IT IS IMPORTANT FOR READERS TO LOOK INTO THESE OR THEY WILL MISS SO MUCH.
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on 21 October 2009
A brilliant book about two sisters wanting different things from life and getting the unexpected . I loved this book as did my teenage daughter, its got a good story line and will make you laugh at times to me it was like reading a chick flick
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on 1 June 2014
I really enjoyed The Little Beach Street Bakery and thought I would give this one a try next. Unfortuantely it turned out very disappointing and downright depressing - while certainly exaggerated, the mirror it holds up to society (celebrity adoration, girls doing literally anything to bag a rich or famous guy) is just a bit too stark for a light read. I also couldn't warm to Penny's character whatsoever.
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on 29 October 2014
Read as part of Carrie Hope Fletchers Booktober. Very enjoyable, enjoyed reading both sides of the twins story. Would like to see where their story goes in the future. I don't think this is the end yet for the west end girls.
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This book, akin to many other Jenny Colgan books has a bit of a 'feel good' factor, the only trouble is that it's a bit predictable. It charts the story of Essex twins, Penny and Lizzie, the former being thin, outgoing and tarty and the latter being completely the opposite. Some of the 'Chelsea' characters seem a little one-dimensional, but otherwise it's quite a good read, but the ending's rather predictable!
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