Thursday, May 8

I Never Fancied Him Anyway - Claudia Carroll

From the time she was a small child Cassandra has had flashes - strong pictures of the future that have always come true. It's not surprising that she found work as a psychic for one of Ireland's most widely read weekly magazines. But when her best friend Charlene (well, one of her three best friends) falls in love, as she does every week, with a man who'd be perfect for Cassie, everything starts to come undone. For a start, he seems to block her gift - when he's around she loses all her ability. And as he just happens to be the producer of a TV show she's guesting on, that doesn't bode well.
I didn't realise when I picked this up that it was written by the author of Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man, which I had only finished a couple of minutes earlier. Although much of I Never Fancied Him Anyway is different, there are enough similarities, especially when reading the two so close together, that each one jerked me out of the story. Once again we have four best friends - a somewhat promiscuous gay guy, our heroine, and two polar opposite women (in this case a feckless trust fund princess and a hippy 'land rights for gay whales' vegetarian), the phrase "useless as a chocolate kettle", a male character who unfavourably compares single women to a flesh eater (here man-hungry cannibals, there piranha), and a character who uses the acronym MEGO (for "my eyes glaze over" with boredom). There were also a few discrepancies with Cassie's ability - sometimes alcohol inhibits her ability but other times she's been drinking and it's fine, she can see her own future, but the gift doesn't work for her, that kind of thing.
However, the main character is interesting and unique, the plot was brisk and involving, the ending a little pat but satisfying, and though I would have enjoyed it more with less proximity to its predecessor, I'm glad I read it. - Alex

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