Annie is settling into life with her baby daughter when she discovers she can’t trust her partner, Luke. And anyways, Annie is not so sure she wants to settle anymore – she used to be a colourful character who worked in fashion photography and partied with the in-crowd, embracing her large nose by calling herself Barb after her idol, Barbra Streisand. Maybe she’ll have a chance at a more glamorous lifestyle again when she lands a job taking photos of prestige property listings.
Annie is a relatable protagonist trying to come to terms with the gap between her past life and her not-so-picture-perfect present. There’s plenty of humour, some romance and a raft of characters. However while the writing style is good, the storyline did get lost and unfocused in parts, leaving me with more than a feeling that this had the potential to be so much better.
Percy James is about to take the plunge and move in with her boyfriend Adam after being together for three years. But out of the blue Percy gets contacted by EROS Tech – a revolutionary matchmaking agency whose systems can find the one person in the entire world who is most compatible with you. And Percy has been matched with one of EROS Tech’s clients – the only problem is it’s not Adam. Now Percy has a decision to make: ignore EROS Tech and settle down with Adam or find out who her potential soul mate is.
Cate Woods’ brilliant plot device is ingenious, not only does it make for perfect chick lit material, it also makes readers question what they would do in Percy’s situation. And Woods’ whole approach is utterly refreshing. Indeed it’s not often that the plot of a chick lit novel completely catches you out, but the author does just that by throwing up a wholly unexpected surprise and steering her story into uncharted territory.
It does make for an unusual plotline and there’s a question over whether it works, but what you can't question is Woods’ originality and unpredictability. Nor can you question her obvious writing talents. Hers is a sparkling, witty, unique voice that supplements the chick lit ranks superbly. And coupled with her evident skill for crafting unpredictable, ballsy stories, she’s a fine addition and one to watch. (JC)