Geli Voyante works at a paper imaginatively called New News, and although she sits next to dreamy political columnist Theo, she is stuck writing the weekly Hot Or Not column. When it suddenly seems like everyone around her is getting engaged, Geli becomes desperate to catch up and win Theo over. Unfortunately, as ever, nothing really goes to plan…
After the release of Elle’s thoroughly enjoyable Kept earlier this year, I was looking forward to another good slice of chick-lit, and Geli Voyante’s Hot Or Not delivers, just in a different way.
Geli has a serious ability to be simultaneously charming and annoying; one minute she’s being funny and endearing, but the next she’s a nightmare who it would probably be impossible to actually stay friends with (especially when she whines over and over again).
Elsewhere, Theo and Calvin are both very, very charming – but never at the same time. You might not end up loving who you think, but much of the book’s spell is down to these two guys.
On the other end of the character spectrum, Tiggy is as one-dimensional as it gets. Of course, she’s the villain of the piece (or is she…?) and, unfortunately, antagonists are often treated in a slightly lazier way than the protagonists to let their “evil” come across and to let the good guys be more emphatic. It’s just a shame that Tiggy Boodles was just over the top ridiculous instead of more recognisably hostile.
Other than Tiggy, my biggest beef with the book was its predictability: I foresaw the ending from probably less than fifty pages in, and that slightly ruined the reading experience for me. However, I know some people like knowing what’s going to happen and can just enjoy the ride, so that would be fine!
Aside from those few niggles, I really did have a blast reading about Geli Voyante and co. Elle’s writing style is so easy to read, even after a long, hard day, and it’s also addictive – it was rare for me to not be reluctant when putting the book down! The creation of Geli’s world was also done expertly, with the London/Durban conflicts balanced expertly; some jealousy of Geli and Glinda’s beautiful-sounding flat also kept creeping up on me! It’s equally fun for wannabe journos like me to see inside a newspaper office…
So, although Elle Field wasn’t quite as accomplished here as she was with Kept (I looked at it here if you want to see why), Geli Voyante’s Hot Or Not is still an enjoyable example of the chick-lit genre and it’s definitely a fun book to dive into. If you’re a woman, then Calvin alone is worth reading on for.
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