A Girl's Best Friend Paperback – Bargain Price, Aug 7 2003
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About the Author
Elizabeth Young started writing after holding a variety of jobs that included modeling for TV commercials in Cyprus and working for the Sultan's Armed Forces in Oman. She has two daughters and lives in Surrey with her husband who never once told her to forget writing and get a "proper" job.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The 2nd half of the book is much more like the previous books I'd read by Elizabeth Young and I quickly got into it then. I'm an Anglophile and found British references/terms in the book even I didn't know. That was a nice touch.
Henry is Isabel Palmer's best friend - and he's a dog. He helps her land the man of her dreams in A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND, the latest novel by Elizabeth Young. Another book under the genre "chick lit", it is probably one of the better ones I've read this year so far.
"Izzy", as many call her, is currently dating Leo, who happens to have some baggage attached to him. He's divorced, has children, and seems to spend more time with the Ex and the kids than Isabel. But she perseveres, knowing that dating a once-married man means she will always be second to his children. She doesn't seem to mind too much that he isn't always reliable to show up on a date, but she knows that he's got other important obligations. However, when Leo cancels at the very last minute a very important party in which he was to meet all her good friends, Isabel has a fit. This is the absolute last straw!
So, Isabel attends the weekend sleepover party without Leo, and ends up meeting Nick, a very good friend of Rob, who is one of her closest and dearest friends. Nick is the replacement for Leo in this costume/murder game party they are all invited to take part in, and despite the fact that he is good looking and has a great body, he still rubs Isabel the wrong way. When Leo shows up unexpectedly, Izzy sees for the first time how jealous Leo can get, and this makes Izzy very happy. It surely must be a sign that things are going very well.
However, things don't go well at all. She eventually finds out that Leo has been fooling around behind her back, and at this point the only male she can trust is Henry, her faithful dog.
I was at first very overwhelmed with the cast of characters in the first few chapters. The chapters depicting the party at Felicity's had nearly every close friend of theirs described to a tee, and I couldn't keep up with who was who. But, overall, the book was very entertaining and it did have a few sad moments, which is not usual for a chick lit book. I'm giving this book 4 stars, and would consider reading other novels by Elizabeth Young.
When Leo cancels yet another engagement, this time a sleepover murder mystery party in Devon, she decides to go without him. There she meets handsome Nick, a friend of her pal Rob. There is an instant attraction to Nick that she cannot deny, but he rubs her the wrong way. Perhaps it is all the teasing he does. Of course, when Leo finally shows up and is jealous too boot, it is an added bonus.
After being devastated by Leo's wandering eye (among other body parts), Izzy finally moves on. During subsequent visits to Devon, her friends scheme to get she and Nick together. They form a friendship, and then she starts to fall for him. But the loss of her best friend brings about a horrific heartbreak she could never thought could happen.
The story is witty and engaging, though the first several chapters surrounding the party are pretty chaotic, particularly with the number of characters not only introduced, but the characters that the characters are portraying - it is hard to keep them straight. Get through the party and the rest of the story is a piece of cake!
This book has the author's usual strengths of a very lively storytelling style. She's fun, sparky, and this comes across really well. BUT it's all fun and no substance. This is not a well structured story, there are no real conflicts, the love stories have no impediments - no one is star crossed or suffering, it's just a telling that goes like, first we did this, then we did that, then this happened, then that happened.
The author throws a whole group of characters at us from the get-go, and we're supposed to be interested in all the details that go into planning a murder-mystery dinner, including long descriptions of the characters each character will be playing. The main character is already in a relationship, which seems to be okay, the only real complaint is that Leo spends a lot of time with his kids, and who can fault a man for being a good daddy?
So Izzy just goes along with the tide - she's a very passive character, which does not lead to much drama or comedy either way. She's game for a good time, but since she has no real problems, no real hopes or dreams, nothing at stake or on the line, I couldn't bring myself to care about her or her friends very much.
A good author knows how to create anticipation by giving us a setup that is sure to have a big shoe dropping at some point, then either delivers the shoe we feared or a twist, something unexpected. There's nothing unexpected here, no shoes to drop. So only get this book if you don't care much about plot, and only wish for likeable characters having a good time. I think your money is better spent on the author's other books, and authors like Marian Keyes, Jilly Cooper and Jill Mansell, to name a few, who really know how to give us the whole story package.