Thursday, October 7, 2010

Review: "Take a Chance on Me" by Jill Mansell

Cleo still lives in the small town that she grew up in, called Channings Hill. She's a limo driver for a local company and enjoys her job most of the time, and she has gotten used to the fact that in a small town like hers, everything is everybody's business.

Cleo enjoys a spectacularly flawed track record with men, but is lucky to have a friend like her neighbor Ash. Everything changes for Cleo when Johnny LaVenture, her childhood nemesis turned successful artist, moves back into town. Still hurt by a childhood episode, she is shocked when she finds herself falling for the charming Johnny. When Cleo's sister Abbie finds out that her husband has a long-lost child, and when Ash falls in love with the new cook in the village pub, there's lots of interesting fodder for the town gossips.

Jill Mansell has mastered the formula for writing fantastic chick lit. Her general recipe? Take an interesting woman, have her fall in love with the wrong/unattainable/difficult man, add in a few hilarious scenes as well as interesting secondary characters and secondary situations, and voila! Highly readable chick lit. Mansell never fails to amuse and interest me with her quirky fiction offerings, unlike some other chick lit authors, which for me can be hit or miss. I have yet to be disappointed by one of her books.

Take a Chance on Me is certainly no exception to this rule. I loved it from the beginning to the end, and I especially loved the characters of Cleo, the limo driver (I actually have my licence to drive a limo, so I found all of her experiences rather entertaining), Johnny, the brooding and handsome artist, Abbie, Cleo's sister with the seemingly perfect marriage, and Ash, a fantastic radio deejay with crippling shyness. Mansell takes a multitude of interesting scenarios and combines them in a way that actually makes sense. The humour present in the pages in interspersed with reflection on life's complications and how we can choose to deal with them, which makes this book a must-read for chick lit fans.

Take a Chance on Me is perfect for those looking for entertaining, funny, and well-written chick lit to read while curled up and enjoying the cooler fall weather.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of chick lit or Brit chick lit
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, 2010 Chick Lit Challenge

Thank-you to Sourcebooks who sent me this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. I have this on my wishlist.
    Have u read Rumour Has it by Jill Mansell? Another fab read from this author


  2. Today it is raining like crazy here and I long to curl up on my couch with a fine specfimen of chick lit! Thanks for the review.

  3. Dizzy: I have read "Rumour Has It" and enjoyed it so much! I'm a huge Jill Mansell fan and have a whole shelf on my bookshelf devoted to her books. My favourite of hers so far is "Nadia Knows Best".

    Willa: It has been raining here for days! I so longed to curl up with some good chick lit and a cup of coffee, but I was slogging my way through a book that I'm not enjoying and I was determined to finish it, LOL. Can you say stubborn?

  4. Im putting this on my wishlist, even though Im not a huge chick-lit fan! Oh, and btw I am always so obsessed with Jill Mansell covers!

  5. Oh, you know I love me some Jill Mansell, too! Glad to hear this one is another winner.

  6. I'm glad that you liked this one! I'll have to read it sometime soon.

  7. That formula is perfect for describing Mansell's books, and she writes them so well. I loved this one!