Friday 14 June 2013

Review! The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart

A quaint suburb. A quiet little book club. A very naughty reading list.

When Estelle sets up a book group in order to increase custom to her struggling cafe, what follows is more mind-blowing than she could have ever imagined...

As the first book club meeting flounders, Estelle suggests a spot of erotica to spice things up.

Inspired by their naughty novels, this group of shy suburban readers shake off their inhibitions and soon discover that their own lives can be just as scandalous...

Review: Now I LOVE books about book groups, and I do like a bit of erotica, so I pretty much knew I was going to love this book, but I was still surprised because it didn't take the plot direction that I thought it was going to, and in doing so, exceeded all my expectations! I thought it was a brilliant concept, with the development of 50 Shades of Grey and all the others that have been release since, erotica has definitely become more mainstream, and so a book group focusing solely on 'naughty books' is a great idea! 

Each and every character in this book adds to the development of the plot as well as to the readers enjoyment. Cafe owner Estelle, initially seems pretty reserved, a divorced mum with a teenage son, she is not as conservative and you might expect,however. Then we have retired Sue, again somewhat more conservative than the other members of the group, but the amount that she learns bout herself and changes over the course of the novel is truly phenomenal. Initially I didn't like the male character in the group, Reggie, I thought he felt as if the book grip was beneath him, but he is really brought out of his shell by other members of the group. Rebecca is your typical newly wed finding that marriage isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be. The novels she reads seem to bring out her character with each page turn. My favourite member of the group though is Gracie. I find it fab that she works in a library and I love the sound of her sense of style. She's definitely a whole lot of fun.

There are, or course, other male characters in the novel aside from book-club member Reggie and these guys all bring something the to the book as well. At some points I feel sorry for Rebecca's husband Andy, he really doesn't know what he's in for when Rebecca starts reading the books that the group discuss. The addition of the make characters mean that there is of course romance throughout the storyline! I think the balance of sex, and romance and plot was just fabulous, the author has got it spot on in this case, and that's part of what makes it such an entertaining read! 

Whilst there definitely are some slightly risqué scenes in this book, all the sex is dealt with incredibly tastefully and so don't be fooled into thinking this novel is going to be a complete bonkfest full of descriptions from the pages of the books they are reading. The sex is interspersed with the perfect amount of romance, but also a decent helping of real life. I think everyone will be able to relate to one of these characters, or at least something that one of them is going through, another place where this author has got it exactly right.

The Naughty Girls Book Club is a great read, something which I think any reader could pick up and enjoy as a fun, fast-paced novel. The characters are likeable, the storyline and realistic BUT it will make you want to go out and buy more books, so be warned! There is a fab section at the end of the book that has, not only suggested book-club questions, but also suggested reading material! I am proud to say that I have read a decent chunk of the books suggested, but there are at least three books mentioned by this author that are going straight on my wish list!

I'll leave you with a quote from the book that I found particularly thought provoking..."But life can't be like fiction, mum. People read books like that for escapism."

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