This book was chosen by my book group for January. It was not the sort of book I would choose in a million years, but of course this is the whole point of the book group – to try something new! I’ve discovered lots of good books I never would have read through my book groups – but unfortunately this was definitely not one of them!
Set in the East End of London, we follow a range of unpleasant characters over two decades as they sleep together, fight, swear at each other, and mysteriously disappear. Most of the book is dialogue between the characters and it is full on stereotypical East London cockney banter with a ton of swearing thrown in for good measure. Basically the whole book is like this:
“Allo mate, fancy a fag, your mum is a right old slag ain’t she mate! Let’s go and buy some £$%^ing chips mate and then go dahn the £$%^ing boozer and get smashed!”
The main character is Stephanie, who is 15 at the start of the book and lives with her horrible younger sister Angela and her mum Pam. She fancies one bloke but then ends up going out with another who turns out to be the love of her life. This relationship is the centre of all the action in the book – and the fact that it is really implausible (two 15 year olds falling madly in love with each other after five minutes) does not help this already dreadful book.
All the characters are dire, the most hideous of them being one character’s mum who wears mini skirts and thigh high boots and sleeps her way across London and Spain, swearing at everyone along the way. There are no characters in this book that you can really like or care about, and they are all horrible caricatures. The banter between them is tedious and the plot is ridiculous.
Other than this, the book is brilliant…
There were points when I was reading this book that I wondered if it was one big joke – it was that bad. It was as if a foul-mouthed 12 year old had been asked to write a really bad episode of Eastenders (which is a soap opera set in London).
The only good thing I can find to say about this book is it was quick to read, so it didn’t waste too much of my life. I should also add that I am clearly missing something as this has loads of fantastic reviews on amazon!
My rating: 1 out of 10