Thursday, September 26, 2013

Uptown Girl by Holly Kinsella

2 Star

Emma Hastings has it all - a successful career as a fashion model, a flat in Kensington and now she may have even found her leading man, the wealthy and charming Jason Rothschild who ticks all the right boxes. 

Her days are filled with photo shoots and shopping trips. Her evenings are spent at dinners and glamorous launch parties.

She is seemingly living the dream.

But dreams can so often turn into nightmares.

After a number of chance encounters with the car mechanic William Flynn, Emma starts to evaluate what it means to truly live and love.

Kaley - 2 Star

I’m not surprised that the synopsis of Uptown Girl by Holly Kinsella says that it is for fans of Jane Austen. This novella reads a lot like a modern day Pride and Prejudice with a dash of Emma. Perhaps that’s why the main character’s name is Emma? Unfortunately, this P&P retelling (as I’m choosing to see it as) falls short and left me wanting more.

My biggest issue with this novella was the way it was written. There was way too much telling and not enough showing. There really wasn’t a lot of dialogue considering the number of interactions Emma had with other characters. I’m not sure we ever get to read dialogue straight from her so-called model friend. (Who is so unmemorable that I can’t even remember her name and I just finished reading the story.) The wording was also sometimes really odd, like it was trying to be too proper. I wish I had counted the number of times “whilst” was used. Does anyone really use that anymore? Because of these issues it was really hard for me to get into the story.

The other thing I didn’t like about this story was Emma. She was extremely unlikable. She and her friends all seem so shallow and silly. We know right away that she’s interested in Jason but he seems like a pompous ass and I immediately disliked him…before even actually “meeting” him. It’s hard to get into a story when a character is so unlikable (there’s a reason I read chick lit…I like to like the characters) even when you know they’ll go through a personal transformation and become a good person, like Emma did. Her initial personality was just so grating (she was so horrible to William when they first met) that I couldn’t really cheer for her as I wanted to.

Overall, Uptown Girl just didn’t work for me. I think if author Holly Kinsella changed Emma’s initial personality a little bit more I could have liked the novella. I just couldn’t get over how awful she acted in the beginning. Some people may be able to deal with it but I couldn’t.

Thank you to Endeavour Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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