13 October 2009
Book Review: Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista by Amy Silver
Together with her flatmate xx, Cassie has to learn to live on a budget for the first time in her life, and stick to it. But Cassie isn't used to not picking out what she wants in a shop, or buying a new outfit just because she wants to.
The recession is coming to bite her on the bum, and Cassie needs to really become thrifty... can this recessionista cut her debt, and get her life back on track?
In the current uncertain economic climate, this book is certainly one that will strike a chord with people all over the country. It looks to introduce us to a girl who has it all - the job, the friends, the guy - and then its going to be taken away from her leaving her with a scary debt and having to control her spendaholic ways. It does sound familiar, we've had a book about a Shopaholic before of course by the brilliant Sophie Kinsella, so I was intrigued to see how Amy Silver would tackle this subject from a slightly different angle and bring something new to the "spendaholic" genre.
This is author Amy Silver's debut novel, and I was immediately drawn in by the catchy title and fresh looking cover too. The lead character of Cassie is very likeable and one that I was immediately drawn to. It didn't matter that I didn't have anything in common with her, she was just normal and funny, and you wanted to carry on reading to find out how it was going to progress for poor old Cassie. I loved how naive she was about money, thinking that her small redundancy wage was going to last forever but then had to come back down to earth with a bump. I felt so sorry for her but also wanted to shake her because she was a bit too daft at times, but it works for the book! It's written in the first person from Cassie's perspective, and this is why the reader can grow to love her so much - we're in her head and what comes out is totally uncensored and often hilarious and cringy, but it makes for a fab reading!
There are quite a few other characters in the book but they aren't as big a part as Cassie plays. Her flatmate Jude was a very down to earth character who was the thorn in Cassie's side because she kept harping on about money in a realistic way. I liked her as she had a good side story as well with a sweet romance, and I enjoyed the development of this plot. Cassie's best friend Ali wasn't around much but had a bit of a "mystery" plot which I did guess quite early on but added a more grown up storyline to the book which I enjoyed. Cassie's boyfriend Dan was the "Mr Nasty" of the book, and Silver has really written such a wally, you have to wonder if he's based on a real person!
The author has clearly done her research about the topics in this book. She puts in a fair bit about banking, a subject which doesn't interest me at all and makes it interesting, and then throws the book in a totally different direction towards the end which I loved and was clearly well researched too! What I really loved about this book was the amount of things going on, and how frequently the direction of the book changed. It often moved around following the different characters but kept Cassie at the heart of it and the reader wanting to know about the lives of these people. As the book goes on, more characters are introduced but it's easy to keep track of them because of the great writing style and development of the book.
It is a book that it very applicable in this day and age but I can see its one that can be enjoyed at any time as well. It's incredibly well written, very enjoyable and one of those books you would struggle to put down once you begin it! If I have one complaint about the book, its that it is only just over 300 pages long... I could have read double that amount about Cassie! I loved the feel of the book, its uplifting and funny at the same time and a great escapist book. For a debut novel, I was incredibly impressed and I hope Amy Silver is going to continue with writing as I think she is going to have a good career ahead of her! Brilliant, and highly recommended - I think this will be a hit!