Saturday, July 27, 2013

Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell

2 Star

In a recent survey 65% of mothers admitted feeling undervalued, over-criticised and constantly tired.

Cathy is no exception. Her dull, uneventful days as a stay at home, mother of two, are radically transformed however with the arrival of a heavily lipsticked postcard addressed to husband, Declan. Who is the mysterious La La? Could Declan really be having an affair? And is Cathy actually being stalked?

Whatever – it will definitely prove riveting gossip for the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, Cathy’s 'Mothers Restaurant Research’ group where scandal flows as recklessly as the wine. But what starts as a light-hearted investigation with best friend Raz, soon turns into something much more sinister.

With a possible murderer on the scene, a sexy admirer igniting long-forgotten sparks, and all her friends hiding secrets, it’s not only Cathy’s marriage that’s in jeopardy. Add in the scheming antics of Declan’s new assistant, the stress of organising the school Save The Toilet’s dance and the stage is set for a dangerous showdown and some very unsettling, possibly deadly, revelations.

Lydia - 2 Star

Having lived with the moniker “La La” for several years now, the title of Looking for La La grabbed me first when the review pitch landed in our inbox. Why exactly am I called La La? Well, my toddling niece couldn’t pronounce Lydia and her attempt resulted in La La. We all thought this was cute and somehow encouraged because I’ve answered to it ever since. I doubt it will ever disappear. Okay, maybe when my niece and nephew are fifteen. Back to the book: So, because of the title, I couldn’t help but want to pick this one up and the first chapter started off well enough with the intriguing letter from La La, but sadly the novel fizzled out for me shortly thereafter.

This story moved along quickly and I had absolutely no clue what would happen in the end and would never have guessed who La La was, so this was great. The only unfortunate part was that I never became completely invested in the characters or the plot, so I never strained myself to figure the mystery out.

I found Looking for La La written in an almost amused, sarcastic voice that was borderline snarky and almost condescending at times. It’s like the main character tried to laugh at herself, but it was a bit too much at times - okay, almost all the time. As a result, I didn't take the main character, Cathy, seriously. Even with her friends, she was a little snide, sometimes sarcastic, and a bit well, unfriendly, I thought. And speaking of her friends, I just couldn’t keep them straight for some reason and I can’t even pinpoint why because they were all different and had something random or quirky going on. Maybe I just wasn’t invested. Or perhaps their interactions just weren’t significant enough for me to solidify names to people and events.

One thing that really irked me was how much Cathy grumbled about her kids. All. The. Time. She never had a redeeming moment with them that was warm and fuzzy which I absolutely needed to see, particularly as she was off running doing silly things much of the time. Actually, seeing the kids more than a handful of times might have given Cathy a more rounded character and kids can always bring a little levity to a situation with the amusing comments they make. As the novel is intended to be humourous, I would have thought interactions with kids would have been a no-brainer.

I didn’t appreciate how Cathy's search for La La took over when it seemed more of a joke and then she keeps going – almost to be spiteful to her husband, but it was really just because she was a bored housewife. Speaking of which, I also didn’t love how she didn’t want to do much else but look for La La, either. I know stay at home mums have one of the toughest jobs, but I didn’t see why she refused to really even consider it. And then she ends up in some absurd situations because she blew the La La thing completely out of proportion. I’m sorry, I just didn’t really get it, and it didn’t seem all that realistic to me. 

Cathy's character is prone to exaggeration and is attention seeking, kind of whiny and pretty self centered. She's not someone I would want to be friends, so this is probably didn't help matters with my enjoyment with this one.

The story did move along quickly but I thought it all got a little silly, to be honest, and the ending zipped by to the point where I had to re-read bits to make sure I understood the secrets revealed and the resolution. The humour in Looking for La La never realized for me – but maybe that’s because I never warmed to the heroine. If I’d really liked her, I might have found the situation much more humourous and enjoyable. 

Thank you to Ellie Campbell for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

Connect with Ellie Campbell:

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...