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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Romance, British chic-lit
Paperback, 432 pages
Book Source:  Sourcebooks
My Rating: 95/100

From Goodreads:

Living in a small town like Channings Hill, there are some people you just can't avoid, no matter how much you really, really want to. When Cleo's job throws her into constant contact with her childhood nemesis, Johnny LaVenture, she can't leave the past behind. But for someone she'd rather have nothing to do with, Johnny is impossible to ignore... Then shocking discoveries of past scandals, unrequited loves, old grudges, and not-so-ex-wives throw Cleo's family and friends into chaos. Life in sleepy Channings Hill may be about to get very complicated, but it's definitely never been more exciting.

3 Reasons Review

I am trying out a new review format today called "3 Reasons Review". Staci from Life in the Thumb and myself have chatted about coming up with a simple review format.  Something with just the basics of what readers would want to know about a book.  Some books do not require an in-depth analysis, yet as reviewers we still strive to get the important bits across to our readers. Therefore, the 3 Reasons, came from what Staci and I think are most important. Didn't come up with a fancy button yet, but working on it.
(If you have suggestions about this new format, please let me know.)

1.) Reasons you chose this book

I accepted this book to review because I had previously reviewed one of Mansell's books, and loved it. British chic-lit is definitely for me so when the opportunity for this one came up, I jumped at it.

2.) Reasons you liked or disliked this book

I loved this book! All of the characters are adorable and quirky, and I like the crazy situations or occurrences they always seem to find themselves in.

  • Cleo is the main character. She works as a limo driver, and can't seem to find the right guy. Cleo is not looking for anything fancy, but someone who is kind, honest, and loving. Not like Johnny who lives across the way from her, and teased her mercilessly growing up.

  • Johnny grew up with Cleo, and has a become a successful artist. Johnny is easy on the eyes, possess a smart ass mouth, and has come to realize he may have feelings for Cleo after all this time. If only she would notice the real him.

  • Ash lives next door to Cleo, and is her best friend. Ash is also hoping to settle down soon, and thinks he is found the one in Fia. Unlike his outgoing zany radio personality side, when Ash sees Fia he is so shy and tongue tied that he can't bring himself to even speak to Fia properly. Ash's view of himself (he has some meat on his bones) doesn't help his situation either. How will he get Fia to go out with him?

  • Fia is a new comer to Channings Hill. Her heart and trust have recently been stomped on, so Fia is hoping for a fresh start. If only Johnny would notice her....

So since this one, likes that one, but that one doesn't know, and likes so and so instead, you can see how the reader is in for some funny moments. Everyone one in this novel needs to take a chance on someone, or else they may lose out on a great love affair.

The only aspect I didn't like was Cleo's sister Abbie. There are aspects of her character that I disliked from the beginning, however her inability to speak up for herself grated my nerves. When her husband accusing Abbie of inappropriate behavior due to a misunderstanding, Abbie allows him to yell at her and walk away, never defending herself, and explaining the situation. Get a word in edgewise girl! If you have been married that long then you should know better. I pretty much didn't like Abbie's plot line in the story, however there are elements of it that are required for the other characters. So I accepted it and moved on.

3.) Reasons you are recommending this book

I would recommend this book highly, especially if you are looking for something to help you escape the grind of daily life. This book is fun, relaxing, and makes me want to visit a small English village. It is escapism at it's best, and I plan on reading the rest of Mansell's work in the future.

For more information about Jill Mansell, please visit her website at

Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for sending me this ARC.

2010 Challenges Met: 100+, Reading Romance