May 14, 2014

Book Review: Irrepressible You by Georgina Penney

At First Sight: Ben Martindale, a successful comedian and writer, decamped to Perth, Australia, partially to live down the scandal his latest fling with a reality tv 'star' brought down. One night, he was hanging out with a friend at a bar when he happened to meet Amy Blaine.

Amy owns a barber shop called Babyface, likes to dress up like a 50's pin up girl and is a generally nice and sunny person, even if her persona can be a little over the top. She and Ben don't like each other and at first, but after Ben goes to her shop, sits down for an old-fashioned shave and asks her out, Amy agrees and they start seeing each other.

Unbeknown to her, Ben has been using her in his writing, nicknaming her Babyface and using their budding relationship as fodder for his weekly column - which publishes in England. There is just something about her that makes his writing and his creativity flow.

But, as they start to open up to each other, Ben starts to see that under all that sunny disposition and kindness there is also a very hard past, which still haunts her; and that forces him to deal with a few skeletons in his own closet.

And then Amy finds out about his column... and all hell breaks lose. 

Second Glance: Irrepressible You has a weird sort of charm but it is very, very charming. I liked Amy a lot, even when I didn't always agree with her choices, they made sense for who she was and the life she had lived.

She has a loving but very complex relationship with her older sister Jo, who basically raised her, and a close relationship with Jo's best friend Scott, whom she sees as another sibling; and loves the life she has created for herself, even if not everyone understands it. I loved that about her, she's not a downer, even when things get crappy, she has her breakdowns and takes her a bit to process her feelings, but she keeps going and tries to be positive.

Ben was a harder sell. He's not a bad person and you can see that pretty early on, yet he does very jerky things, not out of meanness but out of obliviousness. And I think Georgina Penney did a great job in portraying that jerky, artistic type of guy who is a bit selfish and self-involved but still made him a sympathetic character.

I never hated Ben, even when I hated some of the things he did. And that's hard to pull off. 

Bottom Line: Irrepressible You was engaging and sweet and it really grabbed me from the start. I'm really looking forward to reading more from Georgina Penney, and I'm really interested on Scott! I want to read his story sometime. 

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