2011 was a spectacular reading year for me: 108 books read in total. Most of them were YA, so my goal for 2012 is to not only read 112 books, but to aim to read at least 35 adult fiction novels. Therefore, I thought I'd start off with a review of Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes.
Prada-wearing magazine editor Lisa Edwards thinks her life is over when her "fabulous" new job turns out to be a deportation to Dublin, launching Colleen magazine. No more jet-setting to the fall collections. No more fabulous parties and photographs in the society pages. The only saving grace is that her friends aren't there to witness her downward spiral. Might her new boss, the disheveled and moody Jack Devine, save her from a fate worse than hell?
Ashling Kennedy, Colleen's assistant editor, is an award-winning worrier, increasingly aware that something fundamental is missing from her life -- apart from a boyfriend and a waistline. And then there's her closest, oldest friend Clodagh "Princess" Kelly, who is apparently living the domestic dream in a suburban castle. So why, lately, has Clodagh had a recurring urge to kiss a frog -- sleep with a frog, if truth be told?
This novel is set in the fashion magazine industry, and I was primarily interested in this novel because I work in the media industry, and have had a lot of contact with magazine teams. However, in New Zealand it seems to be a lot more laid back than in Sushi for Beginners!
The Good: despite being chick-lit it had a fair bit packed into it, and I didn't once feel like the plot was dragging. It is set in Ireland, and the contrasting POVs between Lisa, from London, and Ashling from Dublin, were wonderful. There were a number of love triangles going on, and I'm happy to report that the results weren't as predictable as I'd assumed they would be. At times, it is a bitter-sweet tale, and although I'm a sucker for a happy ending, Keyes manages to keep away from the fairytale style ending often seen in chick-lit.
The Bad: Two of the characters, Lisa and Clodagh, were completely unlikeable, and my attitude towards them didn't improve much, even towards the end of the book. There were numerous in-scene shifts in POV that I found a little unsettling.
The Verdict: A light-hearted rom-com style novel, recommended for a lazy sunday at the beach.