BOOK REVIEW: The Fabulously Fashionable Life of Isabel Bookbinder by Holly McQueen
After weeks of waiting (actually, make that months), I finally grabbed a copy of the second Isabel Bookbinder novel as soon as it was released. Yep, Holly McQueen is back with another adventure - and another career scheme - from the overly-ambitious Isabel.
After trying (and failing) at a career as a top novelist in the previous book, Isabel has abandoned her literary dreams - even if she didn't really write anything in the first place! - in exchange for a new life as a Top Fashion Designer. But her fantasies of seeing her designs on Keira Knightley and releasing her own fragrance line are temporarily quashed when she's rejected from a top university design course because, well, she can't actually sew. Well, fashion design can't be THAT hard, right?
Determined to prove friends and family wrong and actually do something right for a change, Isabel sets out on her path to become the next best thing in fashion design. And things are starting to look up when Isabel manages to land a job as assistant to top fashionista Nancy Tavistock, muse of moody famous designer Lucien Black. Despite being simply a PA, Isabel's intent on working her way up in the fashion world as quickly as possible.
With boyfriend Will doing excelling at his job as a lawyer, Isabel's relationship is going seemingly well...until Will heads off to the Cayman Islands and starts to become extremely close to colleague Julia. And it doesn't help when Isabel's brother re-introduces her to old school pal Ben Loxley - the same Ben who Isabel spent her teenage years lusting after. And he's still just as gorgeous, and equally interested...
Isabel is determined to become a designer, even if it means designing for her mum's friends and harboring what she thinks are drugs in her handbag for her new boss. And when Isabel suspects that something is amiss with the Tavistock business, it's up to her to save it...
Admittedly, I loved this book, mainly because of McQueen's highly addictive writing style and Isabel's penchant for getting into hilarious scrapes. Fans of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series will love the Isabel books as they're very similar.
However, I couldn't help but dislike Isabel, just a little. Sure, her painfully embarrassing moments provided endless laughs throughout the book, but Isabel's ditziness and lack of common sense seemed far too over-the-top and unbelievable. The book also relies heavily on coincidences.
That said, The Fabulously Fashionable Life... is still a hilarious read. If you're looking for something fun and addictive this summer, then this book is a must-read.