Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood

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Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An old head on young shoulders, Honey spends her days running a retreat hotel on Ibiza and trying to keep her parents from reverting to their hippy ways. But the arrival of an old friend bearing some unexpected news sends her life into turmoil as she realises nothing will ever be the same again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: July 2007
Publisher: Pan Books
ISBN: 978-0330442084

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Honeybee Ballantyne, the hippy chic daughter of an Ibizan hippy chick and her ex-pat husband, has a pretty nice life running a hotel on the island. It's where she grew up and the only place she's ever really called home, so she is naturally quite protective of the island, especially "her" part, a calm paradise away from the hustle and bustle of clubland. Though constantly running around, trying to keep her parents out of trouble, the hotel afloat and herself sane, things are going pretty well. But when her childhood sweetheart, Edouard, returns to the island from his new life as a corporate suit in London, things start to change and Honey realises how much the world and the people within it have been moving on while her own life has pretty much been standing still.

The book has all the ingredients for a meaty, chick lit read. There's a love story and a lust story, some dark family secrets, a truly loathsome villain and some stunning scenery. Honey's parents are complete characters - her mother runs naked yoga sessions, her father has a penchant for diving head first into the shallow end of the pool - while Nancy and Belle, new arrivals on the island, soon provide Honey with some good girlie fun.

I didn't like the writing in this book when I first started, because the first chapter is quite complicated and convoluted, and jumps straight in without any sort of introduction. It left me confused as to what was going on, and why we needed to know, in excruciating detail, who was doing what, when, where and how. But I'm glad I read on because it soon settled down, the descriptions became less intense and the story really picked up. Towards the end I could hardly bare to put the book down, which seemed quite funny given my feelings at the start.

For the most part it was a realistic story, but sometimes the book stretched things a little too far for me. How believable is it that someone who has not left the island in years could jump on a plane to England hours after deciding to go there, and find a seat on a flight back, again, just hours after deciding when she was to leave? Aside from the financial aspect of all this, have you any idea how hard it is to get a last-minute seat on a flight to Ibiza in the middle of summer? But, these instances are few and far between and most of the pages painted what I remember to be a pretty realistic portrait of life on a Balearic isle.

If you like proper, juicy chick lit, we can also signpost you to A Place called Here while for a taste of life abroad through the eyes of another young 20 something, The Gypsy Tearoom is a good read.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan, the publishers, for supplying this book. We also have a review of Kiss Like You Mean It by Louise Harwood.

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Buy Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood at Amazon.com.


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