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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Fashionably Late’ by Beth Kendrick

By ABIGAIL ARUNGA

I am in a phase of chick lit for the next month or so, and so I am trying to balance the sensible seriousness (though sometimes put on and pretentious) of African literature with the flimsy, whimsical (and sometimes downright bad) writing of a large number of female authors who have, since we were in high school, enjoyed feeding us the stuff weddings and happily-ever-afters are made of.

This recent read was better than the last one, which I reviewed for My Network last week; it was called Reinventing Mona. The title sums it all up. Usually I don’t like first-person storytelling, and this book was no different because it did not even do it very well. So in an attempt to salvage my bleeding ears (eyes?), I moved on to Beth Kendrick.

It was better than the last one, but not by too much. The writing – and the cover – is better, and I didn’t slave through the pages like the last one, but it needs more oomph.

Fashionably Late is about a girl who is late to everything; late to realizing she doesn’t want to marry her fiancé, or live at her parents’ house forever, or take so long to start her dream career. So one day, after her boyfriend has already proposed, she decides to throw it – figuratively speaking – all away, move to another city, and move on. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily go as planned, and she ends up asking herself what she truly wants, after all.

Along the way, she has help that is a little too convenient, in the form of friends and a crazy rags-to-riches sister, who makes the book almost worth it, but at the end of the book, instead of clapping in delight at the weak conclusion, all I felt was… ‘Next?’

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