Thursday, May 22

Best of Three - Alissa Andrews

Holly's in love, and this time it's for real - even if it has only been for six weeks. Brett's the perfect guy for her, except for one thing - he's about to enter The Lab, a Big-Brother-like reality TV campus in Queensland. Holly doesn't know how she'll cope without him, and she can't even share her misery with her family - her perfect, podiatrist old sister's about to get married, her parents have never liked her boyfriends and certainly won't be impressed by this. She's going for a promotion at work, along with the swottily perfect Antonia, and she doesn't really like her two best friends, left-overs from high school who refuse to be left behind. This debut try-hard chick lit manages to give fashion (except for a reference to Chapel Street, an icon of Melbourne's trendy fashionistas) and shoes a miss, but otherwise includes all of my least favourite elements, chief of which is the clueless, self-obsessed heroine. At the novel's half-way mark Holly does realise that she's burying herself deeper and that she's been obsessed about Brett, a "normal guy who, if I'm honest, I pinned some high expectations on, and his only crime is failing to live up to them."
Excellent, I thought - now we'll see something different and interesting. Sadly no - Holly continues to lie and manoeuvre and be generally dishonest and unlikable and shallow. I only continued because I was stuck without anything else to read on the way to and from work. There was potential, and possibly Ms Andrews will be able to create characters with more depth, and plots with more substance and originality, when her writing matures. However, as nothing on her crops up on Google, and Best of Three was published in 2004, I doubt we'll have the chance to see. - Alex

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