Friday, October 15, 2010

Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

Take a Chance on Me focuses on the lives and loves of the residents of Channings Hill. Cleo has a new boyfriend, Will, until she learns some disturbing news about him. If that wasn't bad enough, she keeps running into an old classmate, Johnny, who used to tease her relentlessly. He keeps popping up in unexpected places, which really isn't too surprising considering they live in a small town. As the encounters add up, she begins to come around and realizes that he's not all that bad. Meanwhile, her sister, Abbey, finds a letter from a woman in her husband's drawer and assumes he's having an affair. The truth, though, is way more than she bargained for and brings huge changes into their lives. There's a host of other characters in the book all connected to each other through their various relationships with Cleo and Abbey.

I enjoyed reading this book. I don't read a whole lot of chick-lit, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. As it turns out, it was pretty good with lots of great characters. It seemed meatier than other I've read in the genre and a lot less flighty. The story was a little larger than life at times, but remained mostly believable. The thing that I liked the most was that it wasn't predictable. The author did a great job of mixing it up and keeping the story moving. The book made me realize that drama isn't limited to the big cities; even small towns have their fair share.

The book was filled with fun to read about characters. I didn't have a favourite, but I liked Cleo, Abbey, Ash and eventually Johnny. Georgia and Fia weren't my favourites, but I still liked reading about them. The back of the book synopsis (on this ARC) made it seem that the story was going to be all about Cleo. I was surprised when it turned out to have a large cast of fun-to-read-about characters and it wasn't all about her.

New words:
badinage (page 71): banter
satsumas (page 79): kind of tangerine
scuppered (page 149): spoiled
acerbic (page 393): sharp

Recommended. Up until now, I'd only heard of Jill Mansell. I'm really glad I finally had the chance to read one of her books. I'd definitely read another.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the Source Books website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Jill Mansell's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Sourcebooks for this review copy.

Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell, Sourcebooks, ©2010. ISBN 9781402237515(Uncorrected Advance Copy), 412p.


  1. Hi Marie
    Thank you so very much for the wonderful review - I'm absolutely thrilled you enjoyed the book despite not reading much chick-lit. I am now so keen on wire sculptures that I had to buy one for my own garden!
    Jill Mansell x

  2. Marie, I'm glad that you enjoyed this one! I'm a big Jill Mansell fan-she's my go-to author if I'm looking for a funny and heartwarming book.

  3. I absolutely love Jill Mansell, and this is one I haven't been able to check out yet! Will definitely read it, and I agree with Jonita above -- she's my go-to author when I'm looking for a fun, colorful story.

  4. Thanks Jill for stopping by. And thanks for reminding me about the wire sculptures. I'd love one for my garden!

    Jonita and Meg, thanks for the comments. I hope to read more of Jill's work.

  5. I had been skipping reading any reviews of this book as the cover didn't capture my interest. I decided I would read your review as I generally like what you have to say. I have to say I wasn't misled. At times I really should pay less attention to cover pics and actually read the back. This does sound like a good read. Thanks.


Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I've been getting lots of spam comments, so I'm turning on word verification to help keep spammers away. I know it's a pain; I don't like it either. Hopefully, in time I'll be able to turn it off again. Thank you!