I received my ARC of Jill Mansell's An Offer You Can't Refuse from Sourcebooks for review.
An Offer You Can't Refuse is witty, charming, engaging, and Chicklit to the max.
"'I didn't know reading could be like that, I had no idea. I've just never been a booky person. All these years I've been missing out.'
'Ah, but now you've seen the light.' . . . 'You've become one of us. Welcome to our world; you're going to love it here.'" (Page 100)
For a reviewer this was a treat to find in a book, this is definitely how many of us feel about books and reading, and reading these lines instantly cemented my attention to this book.
Lola is a young girl in love with a boy, Dougie, whose family is wealthy and whose mother hates her guts. His mother makes her an offer that she can't refuse, so she takes it and says goodbye to the love of her life in a "Dear John" letter. Fast-forward to the present day and we find Lola has grown up physically, but still wears the same teenage, low-cut clothes and finds herself being mistaken for a prostitute when she walks into London bookstore after living in Majorca for about a decade. Eventually, Lola becomes more grounded and is the bookshop manager, but just as she thinks her life is stabilizing and in a good place, things get all topsy-turvy again.
This novel starts off in Lola's past, but readers may find that more background is necessary, particularly where her relationship with Dougie is concerned. The only drawback of this novel, which really isn't one, is that Lola's story is pushed to the sidelines quite a bit as the Sally's story takes center stage. However, Mansell carefully weaves the narration back to Lola and the resolution of her story. Readers may want to see more of Dougie, since he is one of the main characters but does not share equal narrative footing with the other narrators: Lola, Sally, and Lola's friend Gabe.
"Aloud she said, 'I'm guessing you don't go into many bookshops.'
'Me? No way.' Proudly the boy said, 'Can't stand reading, waste of time. Hey, fancy a drink?'
'No thanks. Can't stand drinking, waste of time.'
He looked shocked. 'Really?'
'Not really. But drinking with you would be a huge waste of time.' Lola excused herself and made her way over to the bar where Gabe, whose leaving party it was, was chatting to a group of friends from work." (Page 37, 38)
Mansell's writing is engaging, and though some of her characters, like Lola and Dougie's sister Sally, are shallow at first, the complications in their lives force them to look beyond their own lives and come to terms with themselves, their families, and their love lives. Mansell's An Offer Your Can't Refuse is recommended for readers who love British humor, chicklit, and are in need of summer reading.
About the Author:
Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.
Sourcebooks has offered 1 copy of Jill Mansell's An Offer You Can't Refuse to one lucky U.S. or Canadian reader.
All you have to do is comment on this post with something other than "pick me" or "enter me."
Deadline is April 11, Midnight EST.
Come back tomorrow for my interview with Jill Mansell and another opportunity to enter the giveaway!
Also Reviewed By:
A Bookworm's World
Diary of an Eccentric