Review: Made in Essex by Laura Ziepe

I received an advance copy of this book via Goodreads first reads. To be honest, this book is not my usual
taste, but I decided to give it a go as something light to read in between more demanding books.

The story follows three friends, Jade Kelly and Lisa, and their arch rival Adele through the trials and tribulations of love, life and business. It is VERY stereotypical, designed to appeal, unsurprisingly, to fans of the hit ITV2 show The Only Way is Essex, a category which I don't fit into. That said, Made in Essex is well written with well developed characters; it follows on from another of Ziepe's book called Essex Girls but it made perfect sense to me without having read the other novel. Ziepe was offered a part in the first series of TOWIE so she knows the world that she's writing about inside out, and it shows.

However, the constant use of the famous Essex colloquialisms ('totes amaze' 'jel' and of course 'reem') really grated on me, as did Kelly's frequent 'blonde' moments which seemed forced into the narrative, and a little out of character considering how clever she was at other moments in the plot. I was hoping for more than just a reinforcement of the Essex stereotype, and in this respect I was disappointed.

3/5 stars: If you like TOWIE then you'll love this, but it's just not my thing.


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