Leah's Reviews > Never Mind the Botox: Alex

Never Mind the Botox by Penny Avis
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Jun 11, 11

bookshelves: for-review, books-read-2011
Read on May 20, 2011

Never Mind the Botox is a book series about four professional women all working on the sale of high profile cosmetic surgery business the Beau Street Group. Each book reveals how the women cope with one of the most glamorous but challenging deals of their careers and the dramatic impact it has on their personal lives. With a briefcase in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, can they navigate their way through a surreal world of boob jobs by day and intrigue by night – and still keep their own love lives on track? Alex Fisher is a high-flying lawyer close to making partner and busy planning her perfect wedding to Elliott. But life suddenly becomes complicated when she’s faced with a hot junior lawyer on her team and an actress threatening to jeopardise the deal by exposing her dodgy surgery. Soon Alex is forced into a series of impossible choices that are all inextricably linked and life will never be the same again.

I must admit, the first I’d heard of this new book series, titled Never Mind The Botox, was when I was emailed about it and asked if I would consider reviewing it. Both Chloe and I thought it sounded like a good novel, so we both accepted a copy each to review. The series is going to revolve around four women, Alex, Rachel, Meredith and Stella, all who have something to do with the sale of a cosmetic surgery clinic to a bigger, American brand. The first book in the series is Alex, and once I received it, I knew I was going to read it soon because the entire premise for the series fascinates me. The cover is fairly plain, a white background with a handbag and very plain fonts, but each cover has the exact same, simplistic style and, well, I’m a sucker for matching covers so I’m happy.

I’m not entirely sure how this series is going to work. Are we going to have the same story rehashed four times but having it suit the woman who’s the main focus of the story? I’m very much intrigued to get to book two, Rachel, to see how it’s going to work because they’re not a follow-on series judged by the fact at the front of Alex, it says the books can be read ‘in any order’. The first novel in the series focuses on lawyer, Alex, who is working out the kinks for Beau Street to be sold to US firm Equinox. Alongside that, Alex has to deal with her upcoming wedding along with her increasing crush on handsome American colleague Dan. I found the book incredibly easy to get into. I was quite happy to curl up on my desk chair and continue reading for hours, it’s not the most taxing novel, which is what will appeal to a lot of readers, although there is some law terminology.

I must admit, I’m a sucker for reading about lawyers in Chick Lit novels. I can think of only a handful of novels set in the law world, and I do wonder why. I thoroughly enjoy learning about what it is to be a lawyer, particularly since, for the longest time, I wanted to be a lawyer. For some reason, in Primary and Secondary school, I imagined that when I grew up I’d become a lawyer. It was never going to happen, and now I don’t know why I wanted to be one. So instead I settle myself with watching law shows on TV (Harry’s Law is a favourite, along with The Good Wife) and reading about it in the few Chick Lit novels that features the law world. The book isn’t heavy with law terminology, but there is some, as I’ve said. It’s all fairly straight-forward though and I was impressed just how straight-forward most of it seemed as Alex and her team investigated Beau Street before its sale.

The weakest part of the novel for me was the characterisation. Alex seems to only ever be harassed, be it from her mother for her upcoming wedding to the feckless Elliott, or with the arising problems with the sale of Beau Street. We don’t generally get to see her fun side, which was a shame, as I’d have liked to see her when she was a bit more loose. The characters definitely seemed secondary to the story, which is a bit of a downer, I want to feel like I really know the characters in the novel, but instead they seemed like cardboard cutouts. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading about Alex, Dan, Bex, Emma and everyone but I didn’t ever feel connected to them, which was unfortunate. I also found Alex’s mum to be incredibly annoying. I’ve read many a novel with bridezillas in them, but Alex’s mum took the cake! Especially since she wasn’t even the bride!

Despite the failings for me as far as characters were concerned, the story easily kept me hooked. I wanted to know if it would all be resolved and I thought the writing was to a good standard. There was no difference between both writer’s writing, sometimes you can pick up on similarities but Alex flows so well that I would never have guessed it was written by two authors. I’d certainly be interested to know who wrote what chapters. I can’t wait for the next three books in the series, it’s a series that has huge appeal to Chick Lit readers and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The idea is brilliant and I can’t wait to get to know Rachel, Meredith and Stella, all whom we meet (albeit briefly) during Alex. It’s a great start to the series, and I’m definitely intrigued as to how the rest of the series will pan out.
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05/20/2011 page 100
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