April 29, 2013

book review: transplanting holly oakwood

After serious heartbreak, a woman makes a new life in a new country in Di Jones' Transplanting Holly Oakwood.

Holly Oakwood's life is in shambles. Not only does she find her best friend shagging her boyfriend, but she's having problems at her job as well. When that culminates in her leaving the job, Holly finds herself at a crossroads. After landing a dream job in Los Angeles, Holly is ready to take on a new challenge on a new adventure in a new place.

But there's trouble in paradise. For this Brit, life in L.A. proves to be a lot skinnier -- and more plastic -- than she bargained for. Add in that the dream job isn't quite what she had in mind and the difficulty making friends in a new place, and Holly realizes she may have made a huge mistake.

Holly's struggles are very real and understandable. Whether you've been jilted by a lover or friend, had to work for the boss from Hell or have found yourself totally and completely alone, you can relate to what she is going through. She has flaws. She has good characteristics. She makes mistakes. She tries to overcome them. She sometimes makes a disaster of it. She's a solid chick lit character.

While I enjoyed reading about her trials and attempts to overcome them, I have to admit that sometimes it was painful. At times, things seemed so bad or embarrassing I found myself cringing for poor Holly.

The story also features plenty of other intriguing characters, who each have an opportunity to shed light on their end of the story.

I'm headed to L.A. myself next weekend, so it was fun to read about another woman's adventures in the land of stars -- even if her experiences weren't always as sunny as one might hope.

Thanks to Di for giving me an opportunity to read this story. I look forward to having you on the blog, tomorrow, for an interview.

Rating: 4 of 5

About the Author
I was born in Liverpool, England to parents who had a strong sense of adventure and moved many times.  I’ve lived in Canada, the United States, England and New Zealand.  I’ve worked in a variety of jobs ranging from envelope stuffer to bakery assistant, librarian to trade development executive, but none of my jobs were as much fun as the one that allowed me to write and get paid for it.  That was a few years ago, and each year it’s become more and more apparent what I want to do is write full time, a dream that first occurred to me at seventeen.

I write chick lit – light hearted and humorous stories for and about women who value their families, their friendships, their careers, their independence, who have a sense of adventure, and who live and love with passion.

Like my characters, I love my family and friends, beautiful shoes, anything sparkly, the ‘occasional’ drink, parties, and a good belly laugh.  I’m addicted to shopping, chocolate, bubble bath and anything else that smells nice, and the sort of tv programmes you’d never publicly admit to watching.

I live in a lovingly renovated home overlooking Auckland’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour, with my trusted friends Bronson Boxer and Dolce Dane.  They keep me fit and exercised, scare the burglars away, sit loyally by my side throughout my late night writing sessions, and hang on my every word when I read final drafts aloud.  They truly are my biggest fans, and I theirs!

I love my life, but not so much that there’s not room to live a load of other lives, through the hearts and minds of my characters, all of whom I adore, and some of whom I’m fortunate enough to call friend.

Connect with Di

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