Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A review of Fat Chance (The Kingsley Series) By Brandi Kennedy

brandi kennedy imageBrandi Kennedy is a contemporary romance novelist.  She has written several books including To Love a Selkie.

I will admit to being a little unsure as to whether I was going to like this book prior to starting reading it because contemporary romance is one of those genres that sometimes gets terribly cliched.  I was therefore pleasantly surprised upon reading the opening paragraph to find a female character that I could instantly identify with and relate to.  Indeed, I am certain that most women can relate to the "feeling too fat for the swimsuit scenario"  I yo yo with my weight but have now reached a point in my life where I have more or less accepted that I am what I am however can remember a time in the not too distant past when trying on clothes in the department store would have been a nightmare for me.  I love the concept of the "fat shop" or "chubby central" with the "cool, non fat name" and I am sure that most high streets have one!

The whole concept of body image and self loathing is explored to spectacular effect throughout this novel as is the pressure that we constantly put ourselves under to be super skinny.  Written in first person in a really pleasant, conversational style that allows the reader instant access straight into the main character's world and head, the author cleverly sucks you into believing that suddenly you and Cass are BFF.   I would however say that sometimes I found the fact that I was in her head and privy to her inner most thoughts and anxieties a little irritating.  I wanted an escape route out because whilst most of the time I was up there with her and on her side, there were a couple of times when I could have cheerfully strangled Cass.  That said, Cass's issues are serious, the author tackles them head on and I liked the way that the therapy or counselling sessions as we would call them here in the U.K. were seamlessly woven into the story.

All of the other characters within the book serve a purpose.  There are no spares and they act as a very effective  buffer when things are getting too intense.  They also drive the story along nicely and are all rounded in their own right.   I loved the fact that Cass has grown up in the foster system and that she was there as a result of a string of family tragedies rather than abuse or neglect.  I also found the whole dynamic with her foster family incredibly compelling. Cass, I have to say sets me in mind of a seriously screwed up Bridget Jones and in the midst of the serious stuff there are also some beautiful family interactions and a healthy dollop of romance.   All in all, I enjoyed this story.  It is the kind of book that I would buy to read on holiday and I will certainly keep an eye out for the author's other books...

Ingrid Hall is the author of Granny Irene's Guide to the Afterlife Revenge.  In addition to the free review and interview service which she offers to indie authors, Ingrid has just launched a new Ghost Blogging service - Find out more at


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