Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Sweet reading: Zoe Foster's The Wrong Girl

A book for peanut butter lovers: Zoe Foster's The Wrong Girl
I'm a great believer that variety is good for us. That applies to food, exercise - and reading too. And call me a lightweight, but I don't think reading should feel like hard work. So while I love a thought-provoking book that lingers with me long after I've read the last word, sometimes something short and sweet can be just the ticket.

If you're feeling in the mood for a little reading confectionery, may I recommend Zoe Foster's The Wrong Girl? I picked up this book at the National Book Bloggers Forum a few weeks ago and decided to add it to my reading list as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge.

I knew I was going to like this book as soon as I read the words:
"Dedicated to whoever it was who invented peanut butter. I - we all - thank you."  
On the cover it says the novel is about 'what happens when you discover the man of your dreams is going out with your best friend.' For me that undersells this book. Foster's story is the delightful and often amusing tale of young TV producer, Lily, struggling to find her way in life and love. It's well written and offers plenty of insights into what it's like to work in TV, particularly in food programming (lucky Lily finds daily banter with a gorgeous TV chef is part of her job description).

Of course, romance is on the menu and Lily eventually gets together with Jack Winters, the tasty young cook to whom her flatmate Simone, a swimwear model addicted to prescription drugs, is plainly unsuited. This element of the story is entertaining enough, but there's no real tension here. It's evident from the outset that Lily and Jack will soon be an item.

The book ends in traditional fashion with our hero and heroine about to kiss. I'm not sure what drew my eye to the next page, the acknowledgements, but I was glad it did. Foster has one last laugh in store for her readers:

"First of all, I must thank my dear friends Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone, who spent hours, many hours, with me detailing how exactly chefs operate on a day-to-day basis, as well as the inner workings of live TV production. Second, I must retract those thanks, because I've never met either of those men. But I think they'd both definitely be very lovely and helpful."
The Wrong Girl is a fun read - a perfect refresher between heavier books. I'm reading Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed now and loved it from the very first page. But next time I'm looking for something light, I might try Air Kisses, Foster's novel about 'the magazine world's most unlikely beauty editor'. How about you? Do you like to mix your reading up? What are your fave light reads?


  1. I don't usually read chick lit but read that one as I'd received the copy for free. I think I reviewed it in my blog at the time and read it in one night which surprised me.

  2. I'm not much of a one for chick lit either but I do think this is a cut above. Will check out your review - thanks!

  3. Definitely nice to read something light and fun for a change! Great review!