I haven’t done a book review in a loooooong, long time! What is wrong with me? Well, what’s wrong is that I haven’t read anything. Well, I read Harry Potter 1-7 at the beginning of the holidays but I don’t count that because I know the story back to front. When I get into these types of ruts where I just have no motivation to read, I start off with something light and easy to get me back in the mood to read things a bit more taxing. I was in ASDA and decided that a Jill Mansell book would do the trick, it was rolled back to £3. A whole saving of 50p!!! Whoop! ‘The Unpredictable Consequences of Love’ is nothing too mentally taxing and nothing that will require too much thinking. Jill writes those lovey dovey girly books that start off with a character that has some sort of problem or issue and a man comes along and suddenly solves that problem and everything is hunky dory.
I haven’t read a Mansell book in years and I can say that her style of writing hasn’t changed whatsoever. The only new addition is her annoying need to make her book seem modern by continuously talking about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We get it Jill, you’re not stuck in the past. The lovable best friend Tula loses her job after her boss sees the photos she posted on Facebook after claiming to be ill after a dodgy curry and the soft hearted writer Marguerite has a little break down after watching herself in a Youtube clip. I’m just surprised Myspace, Tinder and Bebo didn’t get any mention!
When Josh Strachan, newly returned to his home in north Cornwall from sunny California, first meets Sophie Wells, he's immediately smitten. Sophie's pretty, she's funny, she has lots of friends and she clearly loves her job as a photographer, despite the sometimes tricky clients. There's just one problem: Sophie has very firmly turned her back on love. It's nothing personal, she tells Josh, but she just doesn't do dates. And no one - not even Sophie's scatty best friend Tula - will tell him why. Josh is sure Sophie likes him - he's just got to find out what's put her off romance. And then put things right...
If I’m honest it was a cute story and I do like the two main characters and the fact that they didn’t do the uh… deed, which is usually what happens in these types of books. Tula and Riley did however get it on in a cheap and grubby hotel room but Jill somehow makes even that quite tolerable to read I’ve always liked that Jill doesn’t get into any gory detail but then again…. I wouldn’t mind a Jackie Collins or an E.L James Every now and then. However the story of Tula and Riley reeked of a rehash of Lauren Bacall’s story line in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) where she refuses to get together with a man who doesn’t earn a living (or wear a neck tie in Bacall’s case). In the end it turns out that he a) does earn a living and b) is probably a millionaire so obviously she can get together with him now…. The concept is far too old fashioned for a modern day twitter obsessed novel.
I didn’t expect anything overly exciting having been aware of Mansell’s usual style and content and I found that ‘The Unpredictable Consequences of Love’ is just one of those stories that comes about by following a check list. Hot, rich guy? Check. Hot, approachable type woman that doesn’t scare/annoy female readers? Check. Barrier to couple being together? Check. Dodgy past? Check. Annoying Social Media plugs? Check. A handful of loveable older characters? Check. Adorable pet? Check, check. It’s chick lit that we all hate to love and is satisfying enough for what it is. If you have four or five spare hours you can read this easily and put it down afterwards smiling but you wont get anything more out of it than that.