Marianne's Reviews > Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding
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's review
Aug 07, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: suspense, chicklit, mystery
Read in June, 2004

This is not a great book, but it's not a bad book either. I guess I just don't understand some other reviewers' vitriol. Sure, Helen Fielding could have developed characters with more depth; and she could have chosen to flesh out a more plausible plot. But I don't believe that is what she set out to do. Rather, this book seems a clear attempt to overlap the "chick lit" genre into a realm where it doesn't go as often as it could: mystery/suspense thrillers. I've heard comparisons drawn between Olivia and Stephanie Plum - which I can see, though the early Stephanie Plum stories were more overtly hilarious than this book - and maybe that's why I didn't hate this novel. Despite the fact that Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie" series has, at times, shown signs of fatigue, I have generally loved Miss Plum and her (mis)adventures.

That said, I really think Helen Fielding needs to listen more closely to the Americans among whom she now lives, as few of her American characters consistently speak as Americans actually do; they read like Brits trying to sound American. I had more problems with this than with the other aspects.

By the way, I loved Bridget Jones too, but not every Helen Fielding book is going to be just like BJ. And that's as it should be.
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