Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Book Review - "Divas Las Vegas" by Belinda Jones

For Christmas my brother got me a bagful of books (literally) and this was one of them.  I could tell it would be an 'easy read' chick-lit type book.

As with all things in life, everyone's different.  We all have different opinions on the same topic, and what one person loves another loathes.  Bear that in mind for this review!

I really, really didn't like this book.  I apologise, Ms. Jones, for that statement.  I wanted to like it, I really did.  However, I could not, no matter how hard I tried.  It was nonsense.  I like a good chick-lit book, they're an easy and quick read for me, and generally provide several laughs.  I did enjoy the writing style used, and there were some parts that amused me, but to be honest the entire premise of the book was utterly foolish.

Basically, two 27 year old friends, who are still unmarried, decide to fulfill their childhood promise to each other, and go to Las Vegas to find a husband (cos if you're not married by 27 you're "on the shelf", obvs, and need a husband before you shrivel up and wither away).  The 'narrator' of the story is Jamie.  She is the "fat, frumpy friend" of the pair (she's a size 14.  What a great confidence boost for me.  Especially the parts where she felt uncomfortable in a swimming suit and only felt ok about wearing it when she was on a private beach by herself.  Should I never wear a bikini ever again then?) She fell in love with a poetry-writing boy when they were 18 at a drama course, and he never ever contacted her again after.  She has spent the last 9 years of her life pining over her first love, trying to fulfill the emptiness he left in her life with a string of young men who are wholly unsuitable.  I suppose age isn't everything, but is a woman in her mid-20s going out with 19 year olds really plausible? Hmm.

Her best friend is Izzy.  A slim blonde with long hair, big breasts and a stunning figure; a total man-eater who cheats on her boring boyfriend and manipulates her frumpy friend to her own advantage.  Not my idea of a best friend, really, but each to their own.

So, after Jamie's home life is turned upside down by her horrible, venomous sister, off to Las Vegas they go; Jamie free and single and Izzy leaving her poor boyfriend behind, to try to find men to marry them...

Do I even need to say any more? Surely this story sounds ridiculous already?  I was so annoyed at the portrayal of Jamie.  Any size 14 ladies would feel like utter crap upon reading this.  Especially the chapter where they try on wedding dresses.  Why would a female author do this?  It's not even like at the end of the book there was a "it doesn't matter what size you are" motto embedded in the story (and had there been, no doubt I would have found it incredibly patronising and disparaging).  I really disliked the juxtaposition of the fat, frumpy woman with short hair, and the leggy, big-boobed blonde who gets all the men.

The story itself is hardly compelling; it took me almost 3 weeks to finish this.  I usually finish books within days.  It was a struggle, I was always thinking "I have to read some more, I have to get this finished", and I don't like feeling that way about a book.  I want a book that drags me in to the story and has me so hooked that I don't want to put it down, not a book that I have a drag myself away from the TV to read.  All in all, I didn't like this book at all, and unless you're only in to chick-lit stories, I wouldn't even recommend this as a holiday read.  There are much better chick-lits out there that don't leave readers with low self-esteem.  Sorry, Ms. Jones :(


Sophie said...

That book sounds rubbish. I absolutely love reading and used to be your 'classic' bookworm but time is against me now so I read on holidays and thats about it. I personally would never pick up a book like this, its not my style. I adore historical mystery thrillers and romances. It also has to be a pretty thick book too, or I finish it too quick. So annoying to get stuck with a daft book, but I always feel the need to get to the end and not give up.
Sounds like a lousy moral message too. How disapponting.... Hope your next book proves to be better :)

Lauren said...

I'm usually more of a thriller/murder mystery/drama/non-fiction lover when it comes to books, and go for chick-lit stuff when I don't feel like starting a longer more complicated story. This really was a let down. I think this review is perhaps a bit harsh :/ but as I said, this was my opinion and I'm sure lots of ladies who enjoy this type of thing would like it! Just not my cuppa tea!

dannithegirl said...

Great review, I hate it when books do that, have a "fat friend" and it turns out they weigh less than you. I do think an author should cover all body types but not promote one over the other. I'll definitely give that one a miss. Who's your favourite chick-lit author? I see you're reading Freya North - I love her! x