by Rana Asfour
Once upon a time, on a whim, I downloaded 'The State We're In' by Adele Parks as an audiobook to listen to during my drive to a temporary job in the city. The book turned out to be this wonderful heartbreaking romance that had me by its ending having to pull over for the tears pouring - yes pouring - down. It's been a while since then (read it in 2014) and the to this day the story hasn't left me.
'The State We're In' is about Jo, a hopeless romantic. Worried she let her soulmate slip away, she's chasing her past all the way to Chicago to break up her ex-fiancé's wedding.
'The State We're In' is also about Dean, a resolute cynic. After a brief (but not brief enough) trip to London, he's returning to Chicago, where he moved to escape his dysfunctional past.
In the time it takes to fly from London to Chicago, each finds something in the other that they didn't even realise they needed.
But it's only when they get off the plane that their true journey begins...
Sounds straight forward enough doesn't it? Well it's not, and if you're a hopeless sobber when it comes to mushy novels like I am then you're going to have to make sure the tissues are at the ready for this one!
Anyway, last week author Adele Parks announced on her Instagram account that a bunch of her books were on sale for £0.99 on kindle on Amazon.co.uk (that's still the case by the way) and as anyone who knows me knows that I am a complete sucker for a book bargain. So, naturally I downloaded a whole bunch of them to read in between really long and intense books.
Started 'Game Over' over the weekend and it's a much slower paced read than 'The State We're In' and the writing runs on for longer unnecessary paragraphs that could have been edited to a half of their size. That said, Adele Parks can do very little to disappoint because when it comes to capturing the fresh voices of today's contemporary female generation, she is Master. The conversations are believable, relatable and funny.
'Game Over' has a cast of female characters that are strong, unapologetic, fierce yet empathetic, kind, funny and drop dead gorgeous - basically they come in all perfect and flawed shapes and sizes. The men are just as memorable too.
'Game Over' was published in 2001 when reality TV was starting to emerge on British screens and horrifying as well as mesmerising an entire nation that found itself glued to hours and hours of consenting voyeurism. The story is about Steely-hearted TV producer Cas who ruthlessly plays people on a daily basis.
She messes with contestants' love lives on the hot new reality show 'Sex with an Ex', making for explosive viewing. And she shamelessly manipulates hot men into bed - making for an explosive sex life.
In work and in pleasure, Cas always gets what she wants. Until she meets Darren.
His unbelievable good looks would make him a sensation on the show. But his moral integrity and belief in true love mean Cas will have to work a little bit harder to persuade him to give the show - and her - a shot!
Delicious as an entertaining weekend read or for pool or beach reading! You'll thank me!