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Introducing The Valentines - Happy Girl Lucky, the first book in the hilarious new romantic-comedy series by Holly Smale, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Geek Girl books. Fame - it runs in the family! The Valentine sisters - Hope, Faith and Mercy - have everything: fame, success, money and beauty. But what Hope wants most of all is love, and it doesn't matter how far she has to go to find it. Except real life isn't like the movies. Unless of course you're a Valentine . . .
August 2020 Book of the Month | Hot on the heels of Happy Girl Lucky comes this second book in Holly Smale’s The Valentines series – a wildly entertaining tale in which aspiring actress Faith seems to have it all, before realising she needs to shirk off the shackles of impossible standards and speak from her own script. Stunning and wealthy, with a mega-famous musician boyfriend – what more could a girl want? And coming from a line of talented actresses, Faith’s future as a major movie star is laid out before her like a red carpet. In her grandmother’s words, “You are a Valentine, darling…The entire world has been handed to you on a plate. All you have to do is not screw it up.” But, despite Faith’s privilege, not screwing up is an impossible task when - also in her grandmother’s words, “there is no intermission, Faith. For us, the curtains are always up.” Constantly in the public eye, everything Faith says or does is scrutinised, often wilfully misinterpreted and, when the truth isn’t juicy enough, the press invents their own. Desperate to keep everyone happy, Faith always says what’s she’s supposed to, but that backfires too: “The Daily Mail has once more referred to you as aloof and an Ice Queen. Darling, if you were a man, that would be a way of saying enigmatic. As a woman, it just means nightmare. You must try to come across as warmer. But not so warm that you look desperate, obviously.” Quite simply, Faith can’t win. What’s more, her auditions aren’t going well either, and it’s not long before everything starts to unravel. Faith’s journey really is an additive rollercoaster – she’s someone to root for, and all the characters are fabulously formed. Readers will truly love “I’ll-do-and-say-and-eat-what-I-want, when-I-want” Scarlett who offers Faith a life-changing sisterly hand. With the novel’s exposure of double standards - and impossible standards - seamlessly thread through the pacey plot, this is feminist fiction at its most thoughtful, thrilling and funny. Find out more as Holly Smale talks to us about her fabulous new trilogy!
Delivering big-hearted, big sisterly insights through smartly entertaining escapism - no mean feat, and something Holly Smale is brilliant at - Happy Girl Lucky is a riveting read-in-one-sitting page-turner. Just like Hope herself, Hope’s story fizzes with heart, humour and a sprinkling of Hollywood stardust, and kicks-off The Valentines series in style. Fizzily enthusiastic Hope Valentine is prone to malapropisms, and loves horoscopes and romantic movies. Oh, and she’s part of “one of the most famous families on the planet. A dynasty of movie stars stretching back four generations.” Hope cannot wait to turn sixteen, when she’ll finally be allowed into the glitzy public life her older siblings already enjoy. Maybe they’ll pay attention to her then - both her family, and the rest of the world. But right now, her director dad is away working in Hollywood and “Mum’s in rehab”, which has attracted the attention of the paparazzi - to Hope’s glee, and to the chagrin of her esteemed actress grandmother who’s compelled to remind her grandchildren that, “We are not reality-television celebrities or popular musicians. We are not Beauty Loggers or what they call Tubers. We do not air our dirty laundry in public for the entertainment of the masses.” Everything Hope thinks (and hopes for) is done via the endearingly comic internal romantic movie that plays out in her head - and on the page - including her whirlwind week in London with a cute Californian boy who rescued her from entrapment in train doors. When he returns to LA, where Hope’s dad happens to be directing his latest movie – what a coincidence! What an alignment of their stars! - she has to follow him. Against a Hollywood backdrop, it’s not long before Hope’s ultimate romance looks set to descend into a farce. But then, amidst a maelstrom of romantic and family strife, she has an epiphany: “life is not a romance. It’s not a thriller or a comedy; it’s not a tragedy or a horror or a crime story… Life is every genre, all mixed up together: the scary bits and the funny bits and the sweet bits and the sad bits and the angry bits and the bits that hurt and the bits you want to rush through and the bits you want to hold on to forever.” This book is an absolute blast. Find out more as Holly Smale talks to us about her fabulous new trilogy!