MY SINGLE FRIEND – Jane Costello

At 28, Lucy is doing well for herself. She’s got a great job in PR, her boss loves her, and her best girlfriends Dominique and Erin think she’s great. More important than anyone’s opinion is that of her flatmate, and oldest friend in the world, Henry. For twenty years they’ve been inseparable: beauty and the geek. Henry thinks the world of Lucy. So why does she feel the need to lie outrageously on dates? From rock-climbing to Chekov: when it comes to prospective boyfriends, Lucy is compelled to embellish her C.V. with unlikely porkies that always backfire – with hilarious results. Henry can’t understand it. Lucy is so loveable: why can’t she just be herself? But when Lucy turns the spotlight on Henry, he wishes he’d never brought it up. With a penchant for jumpers and NHS-style specs, Lucy decides that Henry is in need of a makeover – big time. Enlisting the help of Dom and Erin, it’s not long before the girls have Henry out of the flat, and into the Topman changing rooms. A new haircut, contact lenses, a flirting master-class from Dom …poor Henry doesn’t know what’s hit him. But nothing can prepare them for the surprise results! Before long, Lucy realises that their lives will never be the same again.

Now, I’ve read all of Jane’s books and I must say that her writing style and characterisation never falters. I was slightly worried when I read the premise of this book as I personally don’t believe that looks make the person, so the idea that Lucy sees Henry in a whole new light after he ruffles his hair and whips off his glasses didn’t sit well with me. However, Jane’s story telling skills proved me wrong. By going into the characters’ history and by writing the most wonderfully natural, casual and easy friendship between Lucy and Henry, Jane Costello took the characters away from the cliche and wrote a fantastic, and more importantly believable, read that I devoured!

You could say that the book has two main strands; you have Henry and his makeover, and you have Lucy and her work life. The PR office that Lucy worked in was full of the banter and politics that anyone who has worked in that environment can relate to and I liked how the two strands of the novel interwined (as work and play inevitably do), but there was also a smaller plot line that I particularly enjoyed and I want have liked to have seen more of and that was Lucy’s relationship with her family. The brother and sister dynamic was superbly written and the squabbling was hilarious! Lucy’s parents were different from many of the other ‘parents’ I’ve read in other books. Her mother’s dry, quick wit and sarcasm, made her somewhat unconventional, and in turn, made her one of my favourite characters in the book.

Jane Costello is known for her humour, and My Single Friend doesn’t disappoint. I love how she sets up these fantastically cringeworthy moments! I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it, but it’s a classic and you won’t know it’s happening until you’re screaming at the page in horror!

I think that with Jane’s third book, she’s really carving a niche for herself in romcom fiction. I loved reading My Single Friend and would definitely recommend it to fans of Sophie Kinsella and Wendy Holden.

What did you think of MY SINGLE FRIEND?

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