Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: A Pretty Mess

By Jami Deise

Writers are geniuses at finding ways to get out of writing, and one of our favorite methods of procrastinating is getting our stuff organized. We love to go through our little piles, clip articles out of magazines, make sure all our paperclips are together in that cute little Mexican bowl. And next to book stores and libraries, there is no place we like more than a huge office supply store. Look at all those folders! Worship at all those white boards!

Celeste Pretty and I would get along just fine.

Australian Celeste is the heroine in Carla Caruso’s romantic comedy, A Pretty Mess. A former interior designer for the most well-known (and bitchy) designer in town, Celeste has just gone on her own as a professional organizer. Her first client is the celebrity lifestyle/fitness guru Natalia Samphire, who has just moved to tony Astonvale and is in desperate need of Celeste’s services. Not only is her new estate a mess, but it’s undergoing renovations as well – and builder Lenny Muscat is a good-looking (if annoying) distraction. Another distraction is Celeste’s young cousin Flip, whom she’s been bullied into taking on as an assistant. When Celeste finds a blackmail note addressed to Natalia, she and Lenny team up to find out what she’s hiding – after all, their paychecks could be at stake. But Celeste has a secret of her own – her own father is a hoarder!

A Pretty Mess is a very neat little book – just what readers are looking for from the chick lit genre. With her hoarder father, ex-boss frenemy, milquetoast boyfriend, flaky assistant and mysterious solo client, Celeste is sympathetic without feeling sorry for herself. She and Lenny have an entertaining love/hate relationship, and the question about Natalia’s secret adds a fun dash of mystery to the mix. However, the book is predictable, and the characters pretty stock for the genre.

Caruso provides a fast-paced, witty addition to the chick lit world. It’s a quick read and most people will find it preferable to cleaning out the cabinet underneath the sink. However, once you’re finished the book, you may find yourself motivated to throw out all those old Tupperware containers after all.

Thanks to HarperCollins Australia  for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Carla Caruso:


Janine said...

Sounds really good

Carla said...

Thanks so much for the review! A dream to be on Chick Lit Central :)