Uptown Girl – Olivia Goldmsith

Kate is a child psychologist at a New York school, with a nice sensible boyfriend and two separate sets of friends- those from her big-city grown-up life, and those from her childhood in Brooklyn. When her oldest best friend Bina does not receive an expected marriage proposal, her ensuing crisis causes Kate’s friends to unite into one eclectic bunch of big-haired Brooklyn women and gay Manhattan men. After realising a pattern, Elliot, Kate’s mathematician friend, comes up with a surefire way to get Bina married- have her date the one guy all her friends dated before they met their husbands. Billy-the-dumper (as he’s known) does have a pattern of dating and dumping women right before they date and marry their husbands; the trouble is once he meets Kate, he has eyes for nobody else.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Kate’s childhood friends and their families seem closer to the catholic and jewish world of the Stephanie Plum novels, all about marriage, babies, food and family. Bev, Barbie, Bina and Bunny are collectively known as the Bitches of Bushwick. These women are written as provincial and garish, as if they were from darkest New Jersey, even though I was under the impression that Brooklyn is now pretty much an extension of New York (correct me if I’m wrong!). Kate was scared of them meeting her best city friends, cosmopolitan gay couple Elliot and Brice, but they make a fun dynamic- the guys are fascinated with the soap opera style goings on in their lives, and the girls love being advised by men with such good taste. Bina is the most lovable of the funny, gossipy girls, and as such I’m not sure why everyone is so keen to help her reel in Jack, her unworthy boyfriend, who ditched her on the night he was going to propose and ran off to Hong Kong. Her subsequent adventures are haphazard fun; I wondered if the book would have worked better from her point of view, but possibly not, she’s a little too ditzy.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– I found Kate’s character to be slightly inconsistent and hard to like at first. She took a little too long to dispatch the guys who were obviously wrong for her, although it was satisfying when she did. Kate’s not perfect, she’s a little smug in her feeling of superiority over her non-city friends.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– It’s set in Manhattan and Brooklyn, neither of which I know well, but I’d willingly give it a try if a school psychologist can afford to rent a nice one bedroom apartment in an old brownstone and still have change for Jimmy Choos and wedding gifts from Tiffany. Luckily that’s about as far as the brand-name dropping goes in the book. I was a little puzzled by Billy giving Kate a guided tour of the area in which she grew up, but perhaps it changed.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I’ve read a couple of the author’s earlier books, two good revenge stories, but this one is more ‘sex and the city’ in its storyline and setting. The twist in Bina’s storyline was a little obvious to me, as was the outcome of who ends up with whom, but it was an entertaining ride. It’s not an earth shattering read, but if you can get it cheap (see below), then it’s worth it for a fun, gossipy read.

Frothy Ranking: 3/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: 99p at Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith.

US: Not available on Kindle through Amazon, odd for a popular american author. Kobobooks have it for $7.39

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