Saturday, 7 September 2013

Review: Bargain Reads - Radio GaGa - Nell Dixon

Over the airwaves everyone can hear you scream! 
Radio researcher and part-time presenter Chloe Lark is certain her big show biz break is just around the corner. Live it Up radio may not be the big time, but surely - one day soon - fame will come her way. And, if she could convince the hunky guy next door to give her a chance, her love life might improve too. 
Ex-soldier Ben isn’t sure if his new ‘Z’ list celebrity neighbour is crazy or on medication. Either way he’s looking for a quiet life out of the spotlight. The last thing he needs is an accident prone media hungry blonde complete with mystery stalker. Problem is - Chloe doesn’t seem to have received that particular memo…
Finally, the bargain read returns! I'm so bad at this consistency lark, forgive me? Good. Let's move on. Another Brit-lit entry the blurb of Radio Gaga appealed to me, it also meant that I went around the house singing Queen for the day, much to the joy of my flatmates. Anyway... all accounts Nell Dixon is a fairly prolific author and yet I have to admit I've never heard of her. Radio Gaga follows all the ingredients of a good, lighthearted romance read, however, nothing seems to gel properly.

Radio Gaga follows all the ingredients of a good, lighthearted romance read. However, having said that, nothing in the novel seems to gel properly. Chloe is a likeable enough character, a bit clumsy and very reminiscent of Bridget Jones but without the redeeming charm. The sticky situations she gets herself in as a result of her job are also a bit familiar. Her sidekick in arms is similarly lacking development, a bit of a party girl who is on a constant diet we learn very little else about the two-dimensional Shelley. Ex-soldier Ben (which incidentally seems completely irrelevant to his character, as does his ‘backstory’) is a bit too sanctimonious for my tastes. I never did like the overly critical hero, Emma’s Mr. Knightley is not for me either.

Technically, if one was feeling generous, Radio Gaga is actually a mystery romance, although I wasn’t so bothered about this subplot and the stalker storyline compares badly with the truly chilling turn by Crusie in Crazy for You. I feel as though Dixon’s novel tries to squeeze too much into such a short space and as such most aspects are underdeveloped, including the romance. I think the characters suffered a similar fate and are probably much more developed and complex within Dixon’s imagination than they are on the page, which is a shame as I think they show real promise.

Nevertheless, surprising as it may seem, I don’t mean to sound overly critical of Dixon’s latest. Radio Gaga did keep me entertained for an afternoon and I was intrigued enough to finish it and tie up all the loose ends. For a quick read with a few chuckles along the way you really can't go wrong and for £2.99 on the Kindle, cheaper than most magazines these days, you really don't have much to lose in giving it a go.

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