Best friends Clementine Twist and Emma Derringer share a love for writing and dislike for their day job – Emma is a PA for an advertising company and Clem is a receptionist in a nightclub. Emma writes her own blog and hopes to have some of her stories published while Clem is a screenwriter looking for a producer for her script and hoping to pay her way out of her stepfather’s house.
I liked how Clem and Emma’s friendship stays strong even through difficult times. Throughout one-night stands, ex-boyfriends, weddings and pregnancies, Emma and Clem are always there for each other. The novel is enjoyable and well-paced, and Emma and Clem are likable and relatable as two young women still trying to figure out what they want for their lives. I didn’t get a real feeling about the other characters in the novel but I quite liked Yasmin, Emma and Clem’s friend, who at the beginning seems annoying and snobbish but turns out to be a quite funny and good character, and Paul, Emma’s friend and flatmate, who is always there for her and whose ironic remarks and childish behaviour made me smile. This is a humorous and sharp novel about friendship, growing up, and finding a place in the world. (NP)
Living the Dream, the debut novel by Lauren Berry, is about two creative twenty-somethings whose lives haven't worked out the way they thought. The summary says: "Emma Derringer is an assistant at a branding agency in London. Each morning she arrives at the office, types in her password (Fresh_He11) and shoves her jacket under her desk (DEAR ALL, Please keep your coats and bags out of sight and NOT on your chairs as they are unsightly. Thx). Most days Emma wears a mask of indifference that disguises either her boredom, her hangover or both. When her overbearing boss isn't looking she pursues her career as a writer, sending articles, posting blogs and trying to get noticed for her talent, instead of mistakes on her PowerPoint presentations.
Clementine Twist arrives home from a stint in New York with a hefty overdraft, a crushed heart and a waning confidence in her budding career as a screenwriter. She moves in with her mum, gets a job in a bar and spends her days composing emails to agents, producers and anyone who might help her onto the slippery ladder of the film industry.
As their 30s loom and the freedom and fun of their 20s gives way to the adult pressures of job satisfaction and perceived success, Emma and Clem realise it's time to ramp up their efforts, and think about quitting the day job.
Amid life's larger questions Emma and Clem have to answer to the daily challenges of big city life on a little budget, as well as inane questions about getting their nails did from their mutual frenemy Yasmin, the phone to increasingly technophobic parents and emails to ever more rejection letters." Living the Dream is out in July 2017.