Friday, 30 October 2015

Kelly's Guest Review: Sophie Cousens - How to Get Ahead in Television

Reviewed by Kelly Spillane

Poppy Penfold desperately wants a career in television. After months of dead-end applications, she gets her big break with a temporary job as a runner for RealiTV. But to land a permanent role, Poppy will need to go head-to-head with fellow runner Rhidian: arrogant, highly competitive - and ridiculously good looking.

Poppy goes all out to impress, but somehow things don't go to plan. Whether failing to prevent a washed-up soap star from becoming roaring drunk during Scottish game show Last Clan Standing, or managing to scare the horses during the filming of Strictly Come Prancing, Poppy gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. With highly strung presenters and distractingly handsome producers in the mix, it's Poppy's determination that will see her win or lose her dream job, and maybe her dream man too...

Amazon link: Kindle

Poppy Penfold is fresh out of college and is currently working as a chambermaid. Her dream job though is to work in the television industry so when a job as a runner is advertised Poppy jumps at the chance. After what can only be described as a catastrophic interview, somehow Poppy is offered the job. The only problem is that she will have to fight her way to a one year contract with Rhidian, the other runner. With her mother nagging her to take a job in a bank and things not quite as she planned on the job, Poppy knows that if she wants the contract she'll really have to fight for it.  

I wasn't surprised to find out that How To Get Ahead In Television was the winner of a writing competition. The humour in this book is second to none and it is genuinely laugh out loud funny. There isn't one thing about this book that I didn't like. I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading it but I was hooked from the very first page and before I knew it I was turning the very last page. Even simple things like the name of the television show that Poppy is asked to work on made my giggle. I have read books that have made my laugh and books that have made me cry but it's very hard to find a book that will make you cry with laughter, but with How To Get Ahead In Television this is almost a given. 

It's safe to say that I have never come across characters like these before. The dialogue between the characters is some of the best I've ever read and is so simple yet so funny. Poppy and Rhidian are great characters and they complement each other perfectly. While Poppy's mother never failed to put a smile on my face and make me giggle.  

Sophie Cousens should be applauded for creating such an amazing piece of writing. She is clearly very talented and has great skill for doing something which is so important – making people laugh. What makes this book special is that everything that happens throughout the book could and probably has happened to somebody in real life. I was shocked that this a debut because many authors who have published numerous books have tried and failed to create a book this funny and entertaining.  

I really wanted to savour this book because in many ways it is a tonic and is the perfect read to accompany these cold, dark evenings but savouring it was impossible because it was far too good to put down. The great thing is knowing that I have now discovered a great book by a fantastic and talented author, that I may not have found with reviewing it.  

I loved the character of Poppy from the very beginning. At 22 she is roughly the same age as me and I must say that I am also quite clumsy so I can relate to her misadventures. I just loved everything about her, she's funny and charming and extremely lovable to the audience. What struck me about Poppy is how passionate she is about getting a job in television and what she is willing to do to secure her job. She grabs the bull by the horns and does everything that is asked of and doesn't complain about it once – except to her best friend Nat of course. 

Poppy's love life is also featured quite a bit in the course of the book. At the start of the book, her choice in men is just awful and at times I nearly wanted to scream at her although I can't say too much about that here because I really don't want to ruin the book for everyone else by giving spoilers. 

It is so refreshing to pick up a book by a debut author and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed How To Get Ahead in Television. It's funny and so enjoyable and entertaining. I can't recommend this book enough, Sophie Cousens is definitely one to watch and she needs to be applauded for her talents at creating this book. With only a short number of weeks in 2015, I am nearly certain that my book of the year award will go to Sophie. I can't wait to discover more from this fantastic author.  

A huge thank you to Sharon and of course to Alison at Corvus for giving me the opportunity to review this fantastic book.  

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