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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 10 July 2012
I was hooked within the first few pages, as McClelland's seamless story telling ability had me gripped into the complex lives of two girls whose paths intertwine around the life of one man.

The story begins in Ella's world as she begins a new job in a restaurant, and meets the friendly and charismatic, Aidan (potential boyfriend material!). We quickly learn that she has to keep this radar fine tuned, as her current love interest (Mr. FB!!) is definitely not in the relationship for love, better described as a 'friend with benefits' - but Ella wants more.

Instantly I wanted a romance to blossom between Aidan and Chloe, as there seemed to be chemistry from both parties, and I was gutted when my hopes were dashed as Chloe (Aidan's girlfriend) made an appearance, strutting along with their cutesy puppy. I already felt so involved by that point that I wanted to hate her - purely on Ella's behalf!

My loyalties were soon diverted to Chloe as the chapters switched from Ella's perspective to Chloe's (which I love as it gives real depth and different dimensions to the characters) and you quickly learn that she is not the person Ella thinks she is, and appearances can be deceptive.

As the story progresses, you see life, and one another, through both the girl's eyes. Their body image worries develop and the yearning for each other's bodies and styles becomes apparent, as does their distrust for each other.

Jealousy is the huge elephant in the room in this story with both girls, and an aspect I think McClelland has accomplished exquisitely, and I am sure that many (if not most) women can relate to feeling like this at some time!

I found that although I could relate far more to the character of Chloe, I had moments of sympathy for Ella, although I feel she was as much a 'frenemy' to me as she was to Chloe. I did though, like to see the dynamics of the relationship develop between Ella and Stacey - and I felt real compassion and anger for her when Stacey revealed her true colours and betrayed her along with the slimy Robb, and seemed to leave Ella wondering 'at what price comes fame?'

But as some would say, 'All's well that ends well'. I loved the conclusions of the book and all the loose ends were tied up nicely, and I thought that they each deserved the partners that they settled with!

The book has real 'laugh out loud' moments, and also parts that left tears in my eyes...how could Chloe not have been crying when she had finished reading Aidan's letter - I was! A line I thought pointed to the intelligent humour in the narrative -"Tequila, anyone?" Chloe asked brandishing a lemon and a sharp knife. That predominantly summed up how I was feeling about Ella at that point, too!

How To Look Like You is a charming, and hugely enjoyable 'read-in-one-sitting' book. McClelland is a super talented author - one to watch!
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on 6 July 2012
A brilliant book which truly gets into the nitty gritty. Have you ever wondered what those people going on BB are thinking?? Rose lets you know!! She pin points every ones feelings at certain times and lets the reader get into all their minds. The characters are so brilliantly constructed that you cant but help love all of them, each one gets into your mind and waves a loveable wand.

The whole story doesn't stand still and this book could seriously give some top authors a run for their money. Cant wait for the next book!!
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on 15 July 2012
Having read and really enjoyed Rose McClelland's first book, "The Break Up Test", I was eagerly anticipating the release of, "How to look like you".... and I wasn't disappointed! The story is written from the point of view of Ella and Chloe in alternate chapters and I think this really keeps the pace of the book going. I found myself wanting to read "just one more" chapter to see what happened next.

I went back and forward between Team Ella and Team Chloe throughout the whole course of the book, identifying with both characters. This just shows how well written and developed the characters were as at the end of the book I loved them both! I really enjoyed reading the innermost thoughts of both girls...the "what if" list being one of my favourite parts of the book (something I am guilty of myself!). I'm terrible for trying to work out how a story might end as it goes along and I just couldn't decide how I wanted the stories of Chloe and Ella to end.

The book made me laugh out loud in places and brought a wee tear to me eye in others - perfect reading for a sunny holiday by the pool or curled up on the couch on a rainy afternoon!!
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on 11 July 2012
I enjoyed the book. It is of the chick-lit genre and is a perfect summer read. I actually thought it was quite short at 178 pages, but this makes it ideal for reading in a day on the beach.

The story revolves around two girls, Chloe and Ella. Chloe is a stereotypically perfect size eight blonde bombshell who is in a steady relationship with a great all round guy who is in a band. Ella is a bubbly talented and likeable girl who quickly falls in love with the guy from the band.

The story is told from each girl's perspective alternately by chapter. I thought this was a pretty good way of telling the story and it made it much easier to follow than it might have been otherwise. It was quite good to see both sides of the story as it happens and in the first person, I think it made the characters more believable. This also made me a little frustrated with the characters as well because the main thing for me in the story was that the two girls were both perfectly likeable and if they hadn't been so busy convincing themselves that the other was a bitch, they might have actually been good friends. Listening to both sides of the story made me feel like I was actually one of their friends kind of caught in the middle and so it was quite engaging in that respect.

The other characters in the book were pretty cool as well. I especially liked the respective love interests of the two girls; Alex and Simon. Alex has a laid back easy charm that you instantly warm too, you can tell he is a fun guy and you want to be around him and read about him. Simon on the other hand is a perfect gentleman and is equally lovely to read about. Throughout the book I found myself hoping that they would all get the girl in the end. There are a couple of other characters in the story that add the villainous aspect to it. They are there to suit their own needs and they are the ones that you love to hate.

Like I said, it is a fairly short story and I did like that, but I thought that it made it seem a little rushed in places. The story kind of hurried along a bit and it would have perhaps been even better if it had been slowed down a bit more. I felt that I had just got into the story and to know the characters before it was all over.

Overall I'd definitely recommend the story because it is a fun summer read and a great way to pass a few hours. If you love Marian Keyes and the like, you'll love this!
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on 23 November 2012
This is a highly entertaining book to read, easy to put down and pick up again if unable to read in one sitting. The lives of the characters are well portrayed by Ms McClelland; the story well written. The life behind the door of reality TV is nicely constructed without being too detailed, the glitter that the viewer sees a bit dimmed behind those locked and closed doors. The disintegration of relationships, the development of new ones and the highlighting of shallow characters is all there. I found the main characters all pretty likeable, and it would be lovely to meet them `in real life'. At least one secondary character I found less so, and I'd be tempted to have a word or two in his ear. I won't name names, you'll just have to read the book yourself to find out! Even when I like a novel very much I still sometimes find something annoying about it - and for me that was the biting sarcasm and bitchiness of one of the characters which made her less likeable, but so true to life. The dipping back and forth of character point of view I also found a bit irritating, at certain times during the novel, but it didn't in the least dim my pleasure in reading it. I'd rate this book a strong 4 and three quarter stars...
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on 14 July 2012
I loved this book so much! I read it all in one go because I was too afraid to put it down. Literally! This is the second book I've read by Rose McClelland and I adore the pace maintained throughout. It's this fast-pace that makes it really difficult to stop reading as you know the next page could be a game-changer. I had no idea how this book was going to conclude which is rare for a book of this genre as you can usually smell the sickly sweet ending from the opening pages. Not the case here, once again McClelland's characters are presented with honesty and that all-too-familiar self-awareness that works to both propel them and hinder them at the same time. The main characters Ella and Chloe are pitted against one another right from the start and I found myself leaning towards Chloe more - feeling sorry for her at the beginning and then left inspired by her at the end. The male characters are written well - not perfect, knight in shining armour types but normal guys who make mistakes and say the wrong things sometimes (or a lot of the time in some cases!). The only negative I have is that I doubt McClelland will be able to write books as fast as I can read them because I now truly can't wait for the next one!
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on 26 July 2012
At last, a great chick lit book! In a genre that has become infiltrated with insubstantial stories and stereotypical characters, 'How To Look Like You' serves to remind us of what a joy a book can be. It was a pleasure to read. The characters are highly likeable, despite their individual flaws and insecurities. In fact the key to the book's success lies in it honesty. The jealousy, fragility and impulsiveness of the characters, often irrational, is something that I think every woman can relate to. They are shadow sides of ourselves that we often try to justify and rationalise. But the writer touches these aspects with an understanding and sympathetic tone, so you forgive the girls and support them all the more. The books moves along at a cracking pace and engages the reader throughout. The writing is witty,fun and sharp. I couldn't wait to get home at night to read this and look forward to more books from this very exciting new author.
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on 25 August 2012
What do you get if you put Sophie Kinsella and Jackie Collins writting heads on Rose McClelland. I have had the privalige of reading her new book beore it comes out on the 5th July. This is by far the best book I have read this year.
The two main characters Ella and Chloe I could really relate to with Chloes pangs of jealousy and Ella's flirtatious nature!!The two men Aidan and Robb are definatley two men any women would have come across in their lives at some point with Aidan being the best friend you fancy and Rob's confident smugness.
This is a must read for any one who wants a bit of fun, sexy reading. The way Rose describes the suroundings and characters is really easy to picture it felt at times I was watching a movie rather then reading her book. I cant wait for her next novel.
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on 28 November 2012
How To Look Like You by Rose McClelland is a really enjoyable and entertaining read. Why? Because it's full of wonderful characters that find themselves in utterly compelling situations as they try to realize their hopes and dreams. The relationships between these characters and the various directions that they find themselves going in are at all times nothing less than fascinating. The language throughout is a delight to read and the writers insightful and delicate understanding of the human heart and mind make for a book that is at times as funny as it is heartbreaking. In a word 'Brilliant'.
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on 17 October 2012
This is the second book by Rose McClelland I have read and I have to say, having enjoyed "The Break-Up Test", I found this novel even better.

Don't let the label of "chic-lit" fool you into thinking this is fluffy, light-hearted stuff. Yes, it is an entertaining read, which will make you smile or even giggle as well as move you, with endearing characters and relatable situations, but there is a deeper, even darker side to it.

The two female leads, whom we get to follow in alternating points of view, have to deal with issues common to many twenty-something. There's the insecurity, the self-doubts, the distorted body image, spawning jealousy and envy. There is an exploration of relationships at various stages, long term or just starting, with all the fears and hopes, illusions and disappointments, the joys and the heartaches, all well observed and described. There is a non-judgemental and yet brutally honest look at the vacuous world of reality TV and media spin - a part of the book I particularly enjoyed - which renders the story very relevant to today's cultural references.

Most of all, however, this is the journey of two young women on the path of self-discovery and empowerment in the modern world of dating, relationships, career choices.

The book is well written, with the style becoming progressively more mature as we read, as if mirroring Chloe and Ella's newly found self-awareness.

All the characters are well depicted, with a couple of surprises to throw a spanner in preconceived ideas about stereotypes. The plot's twists and turns keep taking the reader into a new direction that leaves you wondering what is going to happen right to the end.

In all, a clever book which will both entertain and provoke you. Recommended.
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