Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver

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Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A fabulous debut novel, this is both heart-warming and uplifting, but most importantly a pleasure to read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Arrow
ISBN: 978-0099543558

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Cassie may be 'just' a PA and living and working in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, but thanks to a flair for fashion, and a generous banker boyfriend you'd never know it from looking at her. But, in the fickle world of fashion, friendships and fat-cat bonuses, things can change in an instant. Let go from her job, and from her relationship by her rhymes-with-banker now ex, she is forced to fend for herself and make some cut backs (*shudder*). Forget the Louboutins and the fancy, on-fashion belts, the only buckling she'll be doing any time soon is the buckling down to get a new job, reduce her outgoings, and maintain the smidge of self-respect she has left.

That could be the description of a bit of so-so chick lit, or even a bit of dreadful chick lit, but this is neither. This is fantastic, make-your-heart-beat-faster, cause you to laugh uncontrollably in public, tugging on your heart strings chick lit, and the fact that this is a debut novel makes it all the more special.

Cassie is a loveable heroine, Dan a hateable cad. We also have Ali, the glamorous friend who's so far beyond Cassie on the career ladder that she's well and truly on the other side of the glass ceiling, and Jude, the room mate who, to everyone's bemusement, is much more into saving the world, or at least making it a better place, than wearing the right shoes or investing an entire month's salary in the latest must-have bag. They're a colourful cast of characters, but not so extreme you wonder how they ended up stuck in each other's lives. They're just your ordinary, boys and girls next door, young 20 somethings living it up in the city.

And that's the real selling point of this book: it's so real, with characters so life-like, and situations so true that reading it is like talking to a friend you've not seen for a while who's bringing you up to speed on the gossip. I found is super easy to slip into the 'conversation' right from the start, and at no point did I want to feign a phone call or someone at the door to get away from it.

Despite Cassie's situation, this is an uplifting book. She's one of those lovely glass-half-full people, and that rubs off on you. Even when it looks like everything's spiralling out of control – something that happens more than once in the book – she rallies round and through ingenuity and perseverance turns it all around, again and again.

The book is reminiscent, both in tone and content, of the Shopaholic series, but there's no real sense of déjà vu, more a look out world, here comes another Becky Bloomwood... Ditto the comparisons with Karen Bosnak - while Cassie didn't invent the Swipe, sign, it was mine motto, it's a way of thinking that clearly applies to her.

The writing in the book is friendly and chatty without being overly familiar. In other words, it still feels like you were reading a book, but is easy to read and lose yourself in. Though it sometimes felt like the book had little direction, as Cassie fell from one misdemeanour to another, there was a certain level of continuity in her friendships and relationships, both family and trouser-shaped, which helped prevent it seeming too 'bitty'.

It's been ages since I've enjoyed a debut novel so much, and will be keeping an eye out for any future offerings. While I'd love a follow up to find out what happens next with Cassie, Ali and the gang, I'd happily accept a whole new group because I'm sure their adventures would be just as engaging.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending us this book.

If well written, easy going chick lit is your thing, we'd also recommend Thanks For Nothing, Nick Maxwell, or anything from the Sophie Kinsella back catalogue.

Booklists.jpg Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2009.
Buy Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver at Amazon.com.


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