Apr 6, 2009

An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

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.


***Giveaway***

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
Booking Mama
Book Escape
Reading Adventures

47 comments:

Amy said...

I loved this book! I also loved all of the bookishness in it!

Bingo said...

This is the second review I have read of this book. It sounds like such a fun book to read, especially for someone who loves books like we do. I shall have to watch for every chance to win one. Thank you for your review and giveaway. I look forward to reading you interview with Ms. Mansell.

ANovelMenagerie said...

I'm a chick-lit DIEHARD fan. I'd love to win this book!

nbbaker1102 said...

I enjoy these kinds of books. It always fun to have a light read available when you need one.

Plus, the author's bio made me giggle, so I want to check out her book, too.

I'd love to win!

Bridget said...

Just posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter me.

Wendy aka Misswendiki said...

I love chick-lit, especially books that take place in London. I think it started with reading Bridget Jones. The first book, not the second.

olympianlady said...

'booky person'? lol. I love it. That's actually a fun phrase. I've heard 'bookish', but never 'booky'. Please enter me for this one. Thanks!

tiffanyak1986(at)hotmail(dot)com

NotNessie said...

This sounds like a very entertaining read.

gypsyrover21(at)yahoo(dot)ca

Heather Wardell said...

I haven't read anything by Jill Mansell but this review makes me think I should. I'd love to win the book, but I'll add it to my to-be-read list even if I don't
! :)

I can be emailed through my profile.

bkclubcare said...

I'm game. Sounds fun. I'd love to read this since you highly recommend it AND because it has that element of booky-ness.

Mystery Robin said...

The book sound fabulous! I'd love to win a copy. And the author's bio cracks me up. That's exactly how I feel about "full time writing." :)

darbyscloset said...

It's been a while since I have read a good chick lit book and this sounds like it would do the job!!! Plus I have yet to read this author, so what a great way to be introduced to her!!!
Thanks so much,
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Erika Lynn said...

I am on love with the cover of this book and really want to read it. thanks!

sports dot erikalynn at gmail dot com

Ti said...

I love stories that center around bookish people. This book looks like it would be a really fun read. I'm thinking vacation/beach read and me with a drink in my hand. You know, the ones with the little umbrellas!

Anna said...

No need to enter me, of course. Great review, and great quotes. Those were among my favorites as well. I agree that the story would've made more sense with Dougie as one of the narrators. Still loved it, though.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

carolsnotebook said...

I have to admit to enjoying chick lit occasionally. It's nice to have a break once in a while. Thanks for entering me.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Paula said...

I think this souns like a great chick=lit read. I'll be looking for it. :)

Dar said...

This sounds great and some light summer fun reading. I shouldn't enter but I will because I'd love something light and fluffy for summer.

bridget3420 said...

This book sounds great:)

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

Jake said...

this is the first I've heard of this book, but it sounds like a good read, I'll have to library it if I don't win.

thanks,
jakewoodworth(AT)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

Don't pick me! I just wanted to say I thought this book was fun and your review is great.

Bcteagirl said...

I have been reading more 'serious' research papers etc for a while.. some chicklit sounds great!! :P

Janel said...

I not a huge fan of chick lit, but a book with a book store as a setting sounds great!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

dolls123 said...

I would love to read this book

luckydolls123[at]verizon[dot]net

Marie said...

sounds like a fun read :-)

Amber said...

This sounds like something lighthearted and fun - something I could use right now!
Thanks for the giveaway :)
hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

MJ said...

I love her bio!

mj.coward{at}gmail.com

Book Lover Lisa said...

I love books that refer to books and reading. Great quotes that you picked out . I would love to win this book.

lisalouhoo(at)msn(dot)com

naida said...

it sounds like a fun read, great review :O)
I do enjoy British humor and chic lit.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

ethan rose said...

I quite enjoyed the review. It is not often that a review no matter how glowing makes me want to read a book, but this one succeeded. I not only want to read this book, but also any written by the reviewer.
Ethan Rose, Author "Rowan of the Wood"
ethan@bluemoosefilms.com

booklineandsinker said...

i saw this book reviewed on another blog--it looked really interesting! i love to read books about teenagers--i work with them on a daily basis! and thanks for the giveaway offer!

nat

booklineandsinker at verizon dot net

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

I've never read anything by Jill Mansell before, but after your review I will have to pick up something of hers.

Iliana said...

I used to read so much chic lit but never got to read one of Jill Mansell's books. This one sounds really fun so throw my name in the hat please! :)

robynl said...

Jill Mansell, you are a new found writer for me. I love that you mention you have humor in books which I love. Would love to win this.

teabird said...

another chance to win this book (written in fountain pen...)

teabird 17 && at && yahoo dot com

Marie said...

What a fun cover -- it really attracts attention. I would enjoy reading this one!

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

S. Krishna said...

No need to enter me, but I enjoyed this book as well. My review is posting on Friday.

Lisa said...

My your hair looks lovely today, Serena, and I LOVE those shoes!


What?

Ladytink_534 said...

Love the excerpt. My mom said something quite similiar when I finally got her interested in reading :) Gotta read this!

Linda said...

Described as witty, charming, engaging -- sounds like a book I can't refuse to try. Hope I win a copy. Thanks

Cheryl S. said...

Great review! I enjoy reading chick lit - it's light, it's fun & it's usually a quick read.

Please count me in - Thanks!
Cheryl
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

VioletReads said...

This book sounds like so much fun! Chicklit plus a bookshop sounds great!

violetreads at gmail

M. said...

This is a new-to-me author but I've been hearing good buzz, the cover is very pretty, and chicklit was born in Britain so it makes sense that British authors would do it well. Enjoyed the review.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

scottsgal said...

I've never read this author but the review was very entertaining and it sounds like a chick book I'd enjoy.

msboatgal at aol.com

Gwendolyn B. said...

Well, I can't refuse this chance to win a copy of this book! I've heard lots of good things about it, and it sounds like fun. Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

robynl said...

charming it says about this book and witty; who can refuse this!! I'd be pleased if you'd enter me.

robynl said...

yourstrulee at sasktel dot net; sorry about forgetting.