Review: “Irrepressible You” by Georgina Penney. I’m in love!

“Irrepressible You” is the comical and un-put-down-able work of Georgina Penney.  I snagged myself a copy of this truly wicked read this week after both spotting it at a promo price of $0.99 on Amazon and iTunes (still happening people!) and reading the stellar reviews on Goodreads.

You don’t become a notorious British celebrity without rubbing a few people the wrong way, which is why writer and comedian Ben Martindale has decamped to Australia until the latest media frenzy dies down.

When he meets Amy Blaine, a perky blonde who dresses like a 1950s pin-up girl, he knows he’s hit the satirical jackpot. He begins to fill his weekly London column with snarky observations about her life, clothes, and even their most intimate moments. It doesn’t occur to him that Amy, who is letting her guard down for the first time in her adult life, might be upset – after all, it’s hilarious, and his readers love her!

It isn’t until Amy discovers the extent of his betrayal that Ben begins to realise just how badly he’s cocked up the best thing that ever happened to him. But is it too late?

I will be rating this read as 5-stars on both Amazon and Goodreads. Why?

It made me laugh more than I have in a long time in a book. Frequent bursts of uncontainable mirth bubbling out of me. So much so, my bf stopped asking what I was laughing at. The answer was the same every time: “this book, it’s just so awesome.”

I knew I was going to love the book when I was swept off my feet on the first and second pages by stunning narration, and dialogue that was sharp, setting up the hero and heroine flawlessly.

The sharp and deliciously witty dialogue from our hero, Ben, was like a constant fountain, speech one can only dream to create, the kind of character that is so hilariously quick you wish you could chat with him for five minutes, despite knowing you wouldn’t get a word in, and he would rip you to shreds. I dub him the smoothest talking Englishman to ever grace the west Australian shores.

‘Fungus, eh? Well, I’ve always thought mushrooms were one of the tastiest foods in existence. Think of me as a rare truffle.’ (Ben Martindale, “Irrepressible You”)

This novel made me want to be pretty. It made me want to paint my nails and frock up in my prettiest tea party dress and curl my hair and buy the gorgeous underwear I see in shops and rarely buy, as they are often quite expensive and shouldn’t be wasted under clothes. Yet sometimes perhaps one should think: we only have one life, why not live it in gorgeous underwear? I wanted to have Amy take me shopping, dress me up, and then watch movies with her over hot chocolate and cake. As her character progressed, I wanted to tuck her ridiculously cute and tiny person in my pocket, and I cheered almost aggressively when she found her strength and voice. She’s such a bombshell of a woman, I would be proud to be her friend, and I would love her wardrobe!

Ben is a fantastic character. You would definitely love to hate him in life, but through Georgina’s clever narration, we can see inside Ben and know that deep on some subconscious level he does know he what he is doing is disrespectful, he also is falling for Amy so hopelessly, so genuinely, that when things implode, you cringe, thinking, “Jeez, you’re an arse, you had it coming, but I hope you find a way out of this!”

There are also some very deep issues and themes explored in this work, especially for dear little Amy. I love a book that tackles some of the harsher realities of life, weaving them cleverly through the romance and humour, without trivialising or losing depth.

This novel was exceptionally well written. I’m always learning from everything I read, and the middle-distance multiple third person narrative had me saying to myself: THIS woman is someone to learn from. We shall bow down to her and beg that she take us to her master. Having the ability to stand back and hover over the characters like a puppet-master, yet swoop in close when we really need to be on the ground, in someone’s heart. Oh, goosebumps.

Georgina sets up the characters from the word go, develops them and delivers consistency followed by a brilliant arc, toping it off with a happily-ever resolution. Superb!

Hats off to Georgina Penney, I am awed, inspired and highly entertained.

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