Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'Take a Chance on Me' by Jill Mansell

Genre: Fun and engaging Contemporary British Chic' Lit

About: (From Sourcebooks)
Living in a small town like Channings Hill, there are some people you just can’t avoid, no matter how much you really, really want to. When Cleo’s job throws her into constant contact with her childhood nemesis, Johnny LaVenture, she can’t leave the past behind. But for someone she’d rather have nothing to do with, Johnny is impossible to ignore… Then shocking discoveries of past scandals, unrequited loves, old grudges, and not-so-ex-wives throw Cleo’s family and friends into chaos. And as always, you can count on Jill Mansell to have a lively cast of secondary characters that try to steal the show! Life in sleepy Channings Hill may be about to get very complicated, but it’s definitely never been more exciting.

Why I wanted to read this book:

  • The whole storyline sounded like it would be a fun time and I have read so many favorable reviews on books from this author that I just wanted to read her work.

What worked for me:
  •  The setting of the book. I've never been to England, but I just know that I would love it to pieces. I love books that take me there!!
  • I felt like I was watching Notting Hill (the movie) and I really liked the whole cast of characters. Remember that scene where Hugh's character is having dinner with all of his friends?? Well, I love that scene because I would love to live in an area where my friends could drop by daily and where we would frequently have dinners together. This book gives off that same comfortable friend feeling.
  • I need to find a pub like the one in this book. Heck, I want to live in the small town of Channings Hill. 
  • I liked getting to know Cleo and her sister Abbie. I admired the way Cleo handled a very sticky situation and wished that I could be a bit more like her at times.

What didn't work for me: (everything pretty much worked, the following is just me being cheeky!)

  • The British Slang. I love it, but bloody hell I need a dictionary when I'm reading these books!! I wish they would put a glossary in the back for the US editions!!
  • I want pictures of Johnny LaVenture. It should be illegal for authors to create such tantalizing and hot characters without pictures to go along with the book!! 
Recommend? I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to friends. What a fun, fresh romp with some delightful characters!! I will be reading more Jill Mansell in the future!!

My Rating: 4/5

SourceDanielle @ Sourcebooks, Inc Publicity
Author: Jill Mansell- click on her name to visit her website
Published: October, 2010
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Landmark
Pages: 412 (Uncorrected ARC)
Genre: Contemporary British Women's Fiction
ISBN: 9781402237515
© 2010, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I like Jill Mansell but have not read this one.

    Have u read Rumour Has it by Jill? I think u may like that one too.

    You made me laugh about coping with the English slang. It comes so easy to us LOL.
    I do feel awkward when replying to posts on blogs that are from USA as I am not sure whether to continue with USA slang or use our English words (eg Fall - Autumn). :)

    Enjoy ur day!


  2. Ohhhhhhh this sounds FUN Staci!!! And I have the ABBA song stuck in my head! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. I have a Mansell but haven't read it yet for reasons I don't know! I love learning British slang! Their words are so fun! (like nappy for diaper)

  4. One of the reasons I love British books is for the slang! Everything sounds so much better when they say it. I'm glad to see this book is good - I love Mansell's characters.

  5. Let's go together, live in a little village, drink tea and eat scones :) Why is England always so lovely

  6. I love books set in other cities/countries. And I love Brit Chick Lit. It's true, tho, you sometimes have to scratch your head over the lingo and just move on...

  7. Jill Mansell is new to me too but I love the sound of this book. Sounds like a good fun-loving, character driven story.

  8. Sounds like I'm in for a fun read. I'm starting this one soon!

  9. Terrific review! I love how you listed what worked and didn’t work for you, as an American who hasn’t been to England. I’m working on a novel about an American girl in England, and I’m thinking of adding a glossary of English slang to the end (as well as trying to reveal the meaning in context.)

  10. I love funny books! There are so few authors who do it well. I'm adding this to my very long TBR list.
    Thanks for a great review!

  11. I love Brit Chick lit! Sounds like a lovely book. Great review, Staci!

  12. Jill Mansell
    to me

    show details 6:19 AM (15 hours ago)

    Thanks so much, Staci - I'm thrilled you enjoyed my book! And my US editor did take out a lot of the British sayings, there are a lot more in the original UK edition!
    Jill Mansell xx
    Couldn't reply on your blog as Google continues to refuse to accept my password...

    Note: I copied and pasted this from my email! Staci

  13. Isn't that fun when the author writes to you? Love that!

    I have a hard time with British slang in books. You're right about needing a dictionary. I've been to England three times and loved it, but man is it hard to understand them sometimes :)

  14. Sounds like a nice fun read. Will have to keep my eye out for it.

  15. This is an author I've been meaning to read too. Looks like I won't be disappointed.
    I felt the same way about that scene in Notting Hill! When I lived in Arlington, VA I came close to having that and it made it so hard to leave.

  16. I better mark this one to read. I seem to like the ones that you like. I've also found watching the reviews helps me to do a better job picking out books to read.

  17. I read and enjoyed a couple of Jill Mansell's books back when I was a London commuter, but I haven't come across any for a while.

    Feel free to ask me about any of our strange English expressions. Maybe we can put that glossary together between us!

  18. This book sounds delightful! thanks for reviewing!

  19. I haven't ever read this author before, but that may have to change. It sounds like a fun book! (Notting Hill is such a great move!)

  20. loved your review, lots of fun like the book apparently. I've borrowed this from Alaine, she really enjoyed it too.

  21. Oh, I think books with hot characters should be illustrated, too! LOL

    You pointed out the very things I love about British (and Irish) literature...the feeling of place. And that place is charming and occupied by friendly people.

    My eldest son lived in England, and then Ireland for awhile. His stories of pub life were rollicking adventures.

    I guess the pubs are almost like a religious meeting place!

    Thanks for sharing.


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