The Dr Pepper Prophecies – Jennifer Gilby Roberts

What to expect:
25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems:

  • Her job is terrible
  • She’s been dumped yet again
  • Her ex is now her boss
  • Her parents think she’s a loser compared to her perfect younger sister
  • All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure
  • There just isn’t enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above.
  • The one good thing in her life has always been her best friend Will, who has seen her through every crisis from lost toys to pregnancy scares. But his girlfriend (who’s prettier, better-dressed, more successful and secretly evil) is determined to replace Mel as the woman in his life and how is Mel supposed to compete?

    So what do you do when you’ve pretty much given up on your own life? Help others, of course! After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Well, Mel’s about to find out.
    Worse still, her misguided efforts seem to be driving a wedge between her and Will. Can Mel live without her best friend? Or is he the man she loves…?

    You might find the plot familiar as this tale is a reworking of Emma, but being London based it feels more Bridget Jones than Clueless Cher. The singular title is a reference to an old Dr Pepper ad with the tag line “What’s the worst that could happen?”- a question that goes through Mel’s mind with alacrity and alarming regularity prior to each disaster.

    Kooks for your Kindle?– Mel starts out with impeccable timing by ditching her awful boyfriend just after she gets him a job as her boss. Martin then proceeds to turn into a nasty version of Mr Brittas and makes her life hell. Old mate Will is the Mr Knightley character in more ways than one; he’s known Mel since childhood and they are totally in sync, way past familiar. His taste in women leaves something to be desired, leaning towards evil, pushy ones like Natalie who try to turn him into something he’s not. I suspect he hangs out with Mel for a breather.

    Mel has an interesting assortment of girlfriends; bestie Sharon who’s moved to New York, antithetical colleague Cynthia, and mysterious flatmate Beth. The latter two each become unwilling and unfortunate victims of Mel’s meddling and matchmaking. Mel’s parents and sister are a bit of a nightmare, so she avoids them as much as possible.

    The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– I sometimes lose patience with a story when the lead character lets herself get walked over for a large part of the book, but it’s immediately apparent that Mel is a loose cannon, so it can only be a matter of time before she snaps. It’s worth the wait, and while she may lack assertiveness in some areas, she makes up for it with boldness in others. She single-handedly supports the chocolate industry and makes epically bad decisions with good intentions, frequently requiring a bail-out by Will. It’s always Will of course, because it’s no spoiler to let you know that Mel has a thing for him- even if she’s oblivious to the last. Although it’s been a while since I’ve read Emma, Mel certainly has all of her faults, especially blindness and taking meddling to new heights.

    Provoking your Inner-Pedant– Pleasantly low on errors, this can be rare in self-published work.

    Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Mel’s world feels a little bit Bridget Jones inasmuch as all the main characters are in their twenties, not yet established in a career, and living in London as cheaply as possible.

    Evaluation of your eBook?– I felt that the main strength of this book is Mel’s commentary, told from her first person point of view it veers towards stream of consciousness at times and is very funny and sharp. She’s so likable that it’s possible to overlook the choices she makes and go with the flow. The supporting cast of colleagues and friends were nicely done, although I found Mel’s parents and sister to be a little hammy at first, especially her rigid father. It’s a relatively quick read, and highly entertaining.

    Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

    Can be obtained from:

    UK: amazon for £1.99, although it’s sometimes on special for less.

    US: Amazon for only 99c.

    One thought on “The Dr Pepper Prophecies – Jennifer Gilby Roberts

    1. ‘The Dr Pepper Prophecies’ will be free on Amazon 29-31 August 2013, if you want to download it then. The prequel short story ‘Wedding Hells’ is free now on and