Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mini-view: Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy - Lucy-Anne Holmes

'My love story may not be the sort you read about in books or see in films . . . Love stories have glorious highs and ghastly lows. But when it comes to my own life, I'd have to say, you can keep your fabulous highs and I'll happily steer clear of the terrible lows.' 
After a rocky start in life, Jenny Taylor, 27, star receptionist at the local doctors surgery, has things all worked out thanks to 'The Smiling Fanny Manifesto' - a list of 10 daily things she must do to keep the blues at bay. But her life is turned upside down when she meets aspiring musician Joe King. And reliable boyfriend Matt proposes. And then her mum leaves her dad and moves into Jenny's flat determined to 'bond'. 

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Lucy-Anne speak about her No More Page 3 campaign at the University of Edinburgh. A highly skilled and charming speaker I was instantly compelled to seek out one of her novels and the library happily obliged with a copy of Just a Girl sitting there right on the shelf, for little old me.

Jenny Taylor, Fanny to her friends, is as charming as her creator and she instantly pulls you in to her story. Eccentric, witty, and a little bit scatty, Fanny has an admirable strength of character that quickly endears you towards her.

Fanny's life is disrupted when she meets Joe King, an aspiring musician who sends her supposedly taken heart into a bit of a spin. To make matters worse, her mother suddenly leaves her father and decides that it is time to bond with her daughter and moves in with Fanny and her wonderful flatmate, Al. The surrounding cast of Just a Girl are as equally loveable as our main character, and whilst we don't get to know them as well they're sure to worm their way into your heart right next to Fanny.

Fanny takes comfort in comedy and the reader will too; her easy, chatty manner will instantly warm you. But don't let her easy manner confuse you, she definitely has some troubles to overcome and her story isn't entirely light-hearted; there are a few darker moments ahead. Full of laughs, romance and ultimately uplifting, Just a Girl is the perfect light read to cuddle up with.

I loved the Lucy-Anne's style of writing, it instantly draws you in and gives you the impression of sitting down with a life-long friend. Having heard Lucy-Anne speak I know that she's just as charming, perhaps as daft too, as dear Fanny and I'd definitely recommend giving her a wee look on twitter, alongside her No More Page 3 campaign of course.

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