Thanks For Nothing, Nick Maxwell by Debbie Carbin
|Thanks For Nothing, Nick Maxwell by Debbie Carbin
|Category: Women's Fiction
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris
|Summary: Young, free and single might be morphing into young, free and single-parent for 20-something Rachel in this funny and heart-warming read.
|Date: March 2008
|Publisher: Black Swan
I loved the style of this book without necessarily agreeing with the message. Rachel is a single woman, young and attractive (or at least that's how she'd describe herself to you) I (am) easily the best looking person in telesales, if not the building. I'm not being big-headed, it's just the way it is.
When she winds up pregnant from a one night stand (naturally with a super stud, that only a woman of her immense beauty could reel in) she has a big, if slightly predictable, decision to make. You might think that because she winds up pregnant within the first chapter, and the book goes on for a further 450 pages, it's pretty clear which option she goes for, but this isn't a book where time runs at a standard, even rate. Some chapters can cover an hour in her life, while others can whiz through weeks or months at a time, so she keeps you guessing about which way she's going to go for some time, and the first 3 months of conception take a lot longer to go over than the remaining 6 months. It even takes her a while to realise that she is pregnant (though for readers the clues are not so much subtle as right there in front of you). There was a happy sing-song voice in my head that was happily sing-songing you're gonna get pregnant for several chapters before she finally woke up to the situation. This wasn't because Rachel is an especially horrible character, because really she's quite nice and funny, but because she just seemed so dense about what was going on, and the self-appreciation was beginning to grate.
Starting from the appearance of that dreaded blue line on the pee stick onwards, the story becomes a real fish-out-of-water tale. Rachel herself is, to quote her once more, the sort of person who will do hair and make-up before going for a swim. She's single, slim and sexy and quite happy being those things, thank you very much. The way she sees it, there's those that do and those that don't – have children that is – and she's always been firmly ensconced in the latter camp. Having seen what motherhood has done to one of her friends she has no desire to experience it for herself, and being a potentially single mum at 25 was certainly never something she (or most people) dreamed of.
With the father out of the picture (and that's a first – he didn't call again after their date… but with Rachel they always call), she's facing pregnancy alone until a chance meeting with a stranger in a supermarket leads to an odd, yet strangely satisfying, friendship developing. However this isn't just any stranger – he's already involved with some of her friends and their family, she just doesn't know it – leading to an unfortunate light-bulb moment seconds after revealing what was supposed to be some relatively anonymous gossip.
This book is a must for fans of Sophie Kinsella because the writing style is just so similar – easy to read and very funny, with some lively, lovable characters. One thing Rachel also does though is break the fourth wall repeatedly, and uses this opportunity to bring you up to speed on the story, or to flit backwards or forwards in time. This was unusual and slightly unnerving (I've not seen it done so much since the days of Saved By The Bell), but did work in the context of this story.
Thanks go to the publishers for sending this book in to the Bookbag. Half a star docked for naivety and slight self-involvement on Rachel's part, coupled with not so much the lack of contraception, but more the fact that no one mentioned it, even after the event. Other than that a fun, easy read that makes you envy her life while at the same time thrills you that you're not in the same predicament she is.
You can read more book reviews or buy Thanks For Nothing, Nick Maxwell by Debbie Carbin at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Thanks For Nothing, Nick Maxwell by Debbie Carbin at Amazon.com.
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