Review: This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell

Oh Essie…. if you’re going to write a brutally honest letter, do it on paper so you can burn it. Don’t ever, ever write it online. These things have a way of going viral.

Essie found out pretty quickly that nothing good could come of writing an email that she didn’t mean to send. That one email was the impetus for moving out of her apartment, meeting Zillah and cohorts, getting a new boss (much better than her ex’s mother!) and learning to make her own life before latching on to someone new.

I liked this book – especially Essie’s new friendships with Zillah and Lucas, her new apartment, and the way she finally realized that breaking up with her boyfriend was the best thing ever.

Great book to read when you’ve made a mistake you’re feeling horrible about… just goes to show that everyone can make a comeback!

-calliope

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Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

Solo is a mad adventure by two women who have their hearts set on something: for Holly, it’s Max, handsome hotel owner;  for Tessa, it’s being left alone and not being tied to a man. Unfortunately for them both, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” 

Tessa is involved with Max’s brother Ross in a love triangle of the most unexpected kind. Holly tries too hard. And Ross and Max have their own agendas! Cougar Antonia brings her own melodramatics that turn everyone’s lives into a soap opera. 

I always adore the fun and crazy that Jill Mansell writes, and this is no different. The characters are unique from book to book, Solo’s plot is multilayered, and the dialogue is believable even when it’s over the top. 

Thanks Ms. Mansell for taking me completely out of reality and into the world of fancy hotels, infidelities and karma, and simple girls who live in simple cottages quite happily enough. 

-calliope

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Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell 

What do you get when you cross a secret advice columnist with an extreme adventurer? A lot of heart. You also get three beautiful relationships, complex subplotting, kooky exes, and the kind of meet-cute nobody wishes for but everyone would be lucky to experience. 

Jill Mansell continues to impress me with her masterful weaving together of many complicated threads to make one gorgeous and substantial piece of art. Her characters are perfect for each other, whether in friendships, professional relationships, or budding romances. And the believable creativity in how the characters’ paths cross is nothing short of amazing. Even though there are a dozen or more characters, I kept track of them easily because Mansell writes them as real individuals, not as stereotypes or personas.  I enjoyed the effortless reading of this ostensibly “light” novel that really is substantive in covering controversial social issues and difficult family relationships. The many layers of plots are clearly defined, easy to understand, and richly developed.  

Three Amazing Things About You is right up there with Millie’s Fling and my other favorite Mansells.  So. Good. 

-calliope

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Review: You and Me, Always by Jill Mansell


Another fun yet substantial read by Jill Mansell! 

From a letter she reads on her 25th birthday, Lily finds out about some important people from her past. While she decides how much time and effort to spend finding them, she is supported by longtime friend Dan and his sister, as well as her foster mom who owns a vintage shop. Lily also gets to meet a famous star… fall into Like… and live a jet setting lifestyle for as long as. 

I enjoyed every character in this book, even the one villain – maybe because he wasn’t given too much space on the page. Haha! Lily was such a kindhearted soul that each personal relationship she had was meaningful and poignant. In our recent times of uncertainty and violence, I appreciated this book heavy on the niceness. 

My favorite part was the unrequited love moving along with perfect timing. More than one character found true love and a happily ever after… That’s my kind of book. 

– calliope 

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Review: the one you really want  by Jill Mansell

  
Carmen is getting through the grief of losing her husband, her friend Nancy is getting over her ex-husband’s cheating ways, and the ladies are hanging out in posh Chelsea … where men seem to be popping up wherever they go. Some are eligible, some pretend to be, and some pretend NOT to be — all for the sake of love… and money. 

I loved the twists and turns in this romp through different levels of relationships. I enjoyed meeting the neighbors, the shelter folks, the gym rats, the long lost daughter… Mansell writes a fun cast of characters and dialogue that’s funny, tender, and believable. 

I appreciate Mansell’s talent for spinning a tale that’s pretty crazy, but just real enough that it could be true. And as always, I’m happy when the characters are happy, and sighing with joy when they live happily ever after. 

-calliope

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Review: Good at Games by Jill Mansell

  
I’m always up for a few hundred pages of fun when they’re written by Jill Mansell. If you’ve never read her British chick lit, pick up Millie’s Fling or Staying at Daisy’s – my two Mansell faves. And if you’re already a fan, try Good at Games. It’s not Mansell’s best, but it IS unique and enjoyable. 

Main character Suzy finds herself engaged to a man she doesn’t love – or even really like anymore. Meanwhile, Suzy has chemistry with his brother, she lives next door to her ex-husband, and takes in her long-lost half sister. Between the the love triangle, misunderstandings, and sneaking around, Good at Games is a comedy of errors that had my head spinning! 

Though a little convoluted for my “fluff” tastes, this book gets thumbs up for fresh, fun characters and a happily ever after. 

-calliope

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Review: Making Your Mind Up by Jill Mansell

 Jill Mansell writes satisfying stories. Here it is a week after I finished Making Your Mind Up, and I’m sighing with satisfaction at this complete, thoroughly developed, fun piece of fiction.  

So Lottie lives in a little cottage with her two children (when they aren’t with their nice-enough but childish father). She feels chemistry with her new boss Tyler, but her children aren’t having it. They behave badly around him, and speak badly of him. So after a failed attempt at dating, Lottie moves on to ever charming Seb… who isn’t all that he seems to be. I KNEW there was something odd about that guy! 

In the end, love prevails, as do family and loyalty and reason. 

So besides phenomenal characters and a happily ever after, Making Your Mind Up illustrates the strength of family love. Most of Mansell’s novels are fun and flirty, but this one adds the dimension of children – truth-telling, tiring, joyful parts of us that keep us forever in love. 

-calliope

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