2015 Book Reviews

The Vintage Guide To Love And Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

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‘Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she’s been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren’t going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras.

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It’s going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .’

When I got this book my reaction went like this…

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By now you should all know that I’m basically madly in love with Kirsty Greenwood, I’m her number 1 fan and her all time favourite stalker. (Hey, I didn’t make those stats up!). After reading Yours Truly, I declared that it was one of my favourite books of ALL TIME. Today however I would like to declare I was wrong… Because The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance is in fact, one of the BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. I was nervous, I’ll admit. After reading Kirsty’s debut, I thought it would be impossible for me to love any other like I loved Yours Truly but The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance is just absolutely GENIUS!

The story is based on our heroine, Jessica Beam, the one and only party girl. Nothing else really seems to matter other than partying snogging, and living life to the full.

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Jessica doesn’t do love, she does one night stands. In fact she doesn’t really do any kind of relationship which involves loving someone because loving someone will always lead to getting hurt, so it’s better to protect your heart and keep it locked away. That’s what her mum always told her, before committing suicide.

Jessica lives and works with her best friend Summer. Summer appears to have it all, she runs a blog that keeps her followers updated on her life, where she eats, where she drinks, what she is wearing and what clothes her cat is wearing! While Summer is the face of Summer in the City, Jessica is the one doing all the hard work and the actual writer of every blog post. Eventually all their years of hard work have finally paid off and a top publisher wants to turn Summer in the City into a glossy lifestyle book. This is their big chance and Summer isn’t about to let anyone or anything ruin her chances of fame… typical Jessica though is running late and having to frebreze a dirty dress, which is so short it barely covers her bum. But it’s too late now and much to Summers horror and protests they are on their way!

What should of been an amazing night turns into a complete and utter disaster, although Valentina Smith (the publisher) LOVED Jessica and her very unique style. The girls don’t get the book deal and then to top it all off Summer kicks Jessica out of their flat and tells her she is no longer needed for Summer in the City. Homeless and jobless Jessica tries turning to her friends, only it’s been so long since she even bothered to get in touch they aren’t too interested in helping her out in her moment of need. So she of course decides to spend her only money in the pub getting drunk and it’s talking to the barmaid that she then gets the idea to find her grandma. She wants to find her grandma who she has never met and borrow money in order to go travelling!

Jessica tracks her long lost grandma down and finds she is living in a right state, she is struggling to repay her mortgage and living in a hoarders dream. When Matilda first lays eyes on Jessica she is horrified at what she sees. Jessica isn’t the ladylike granddaughter she was hoping for. It becomes very clear that Matilda doesn’t have the money that Jessica was hoping to lay her hands on but she does at least have a place to stay for a while and a very dishy doctor working in the small hospital below to keep her occupied at night time!

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With both Matilda and Jessica struggling financially a lifeline comes to them both in the form of Valentina Smith, the publisher. Years ago Matilda used to write books on how to be a good women and the publishers have no interest in republishing them. But they are interested in using the books to transform Jessica from a flaky, unladylike, sex loving party girl into a 1950’s sophisticated lady and not only do they want Jessica to be transformed they want to see if she can make a man fall in love with her by using Matilda’s books. Jessica has to make one of the biggest playboys around fall in love with her, Valentina is especially interested in this playboy as he broke her heart!

I should probably stop going on and on about the book now before I just tell you every single detail. One of my absolute favourite things about this story was watching Jessica try and transform into a classy lady, especially trying to drop her glove in order for her “love interest” to pick it up. I laughed and laughed and laughed throughout the entire book, it is a genuine laugh out loud read. It’s impossible not to love Jessica, she is completely erratic and lives in the clouds but she is incredibly likable with it. I also found I fell completely in love with Peach, Matilda’s live in maid. Peach is desperate to have a friendship like she has seen on the telly, where the girls have sleepovers, watch movies and share secrets. I found myself waiting for her to pop up again in the story. I just LOVED the relationship between Jessica and Matilda, the pair of them are just absolute world’s apart and seeing them both falling in love with each other melted my heart.

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This is without a doubt going to be a book I read again and again. I loved everything about it and once I got started it was impossible to put down.

Kirsty has perfected this genre, The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance is truly hilarious, fun, sweet, exciting and pure brilliance.

Warning: once you start this book it will consume you and you will find it impossible to put it down!

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You can pre-order The Vintage Guide To Love and Romance NOW! What are you waiting for?

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