Monday, April 6, 2009

Book Review: An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

An Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

Published by Sourcebooks Inc.

Rating: 4.5 stars

An Offer You Can't Refuse, which is already a bestseller in the UK, has just been released in North America. It starts off telling the story of seventeen-year-old Lola, who was just offered 10,000 pounds to break up with her boyfriend Doug, from his mother because according to her, Lola doesn't fit in with the privileged life she wants for him. Lola refuses the money but upon discovering her step-father's huge gambling debts, decides to take the money to bail him out. Fast-forward a number of years later, Lola decides to move back to her hometown and through certain circumstances runs into Doug. Lola realizes that she still has feelings for him but seeing her only arouses the anger and pain he had felt when she inexplicably broke up with him in a letter and left town. Despite the challenge, Lola fights to win back Doug's affection while trying to keep the secret about the money and her reasons for accepting it to herself.

I seem to be reading less and less of traditional "chick-lit" because I find that even light books need some substance to truly be enjoyable for me. That is exactly why I was so pleased with An Offer You Can't Refuse. Although the ending is predictable and it has its share of overly sentimental parts, Jill Mansell's witty writing and interesting characters put this book in a different league. It may appear that Lola is a helpless and pathetic woman, still pining over Doug after all those years, but she is not portrayed as weak at all in the story. Actually the opposite is true given how loyal Lola is to her step-father by refusing to divulge the real reason why she needed the money. She stays true to herself and to her morals, even though it would have been a lot easier to betray her stepfather's trust and tell Doug what really happened.

Even though this book is longer than most chick-lit books, it was an incredibly fast read. I was very absorbed in the storyline and especially enjoyed the cast of entertaining and at times wacky, secondary characters. It turned out that there was a lot more to the book and its plot than the description mentions, including a secret affair with a celebrity and the return of an estranged father.

Jill Mansell's writing is fresh and fun, not to mention being released in North America just in time for some great light summer reading! Stay tuned for my review of Jill Mansell's next North American release, Miranda's Big Mistake, which comes out June 2, 2009.

BIG THANKS to Danielle and Sourcebooks for my review copy.


Bingo said...

Thanks for a good review. I liked that you said about chik lit books and I agree. I have found that many books some would look at and think "chik lit, no thanks" deserve better as they are being written with more depth and character development and really, really good stories.

bermudaonion said...

I really enjoyed this book, too! I thought it was fresh and fun.

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed your review--this book does sound like it has potential! i'm jotting down the title as i type! thanks. :)

Luanne said...

I really enjoyed this one too - it went really fast. I'm looking forward to Miranda too.

cindysloveofbooks said...

I loved the book. Enjoyed your review. Great job.

Anna said...

This was such a fun book. I loved all the secondary characters, too. I can't wait to read more from Mansell. Thanks for the review.

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