Thursday, 16 February 2012

Book Review: Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes

They say don't judge a book by it's cover, but I have to hold my hands up and say I picked this one up in an airport because it had the name Rachel in it! I'm not fussy when it comes to genres and authors, I love reading so much I'll literally read anything (unless of course it's compulsory to my uni course and then it becomes harder to read than if it were in a foreign language!).

The blurb:
"'How did it end up like this? Twenty-seven, unemployed, mistaken for a drug addict, in a treatment centre in the back arse of nowhere with an empty Valium bottle in my knickers...'

Meet Rachel Walsh. She has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She's only agreed to her incarceration because she's heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey - and it's about time she had a holiday.

But what Rachel doesn't count on are the toe-curling embarrassments heaped on her by family and group therapy, the dearth of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - and missing Luke, her ex. What kind of new start in life is this?"

I've heard lots of good things about Marian Keyes before so I was expecting this to be a good read. I have to be honest though I didn't really enjoy this book at all.

I found Marian's style of writing didn't hook me in like most authors I've read before and I even found myself a little bored toward the middle of the whopping 600+ page story that I thought could have been told in far fewer. Over describing scenes and encounters (almost rivalling Tolkein, though his mega in-depth descriptions I enjoyed!) left me feeling like large chunks of the book are just setting the scene. She spends a lot of the story hopping backwards and forwards between past and present too, which is usually something I enjoy in a book (see Labyrinth by Kate Mosse) but this one felt disjointed and slow going.

2/3 or so into the book I found myself absolutely despairing with the main character - I don't want to give too much of the plot away if you plan to read this but... - let's just say her "realisation" right near the end could have come a lot sooner and, in my opinion, not taken anything away from the story.

Whilst this will not be on my list of favourite reads, there were a few moments where I may have let out a little giggle or shed a tear or two - so it's not all bad! And, despite all the things I didn't like, I actually thought the underlying premise of the story was pretty good.

Have you read this or any other Marian Keyes books? Are you a fan? ♥
*I purchased this book with my own money and was not asked to review it. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. i loved reading this review, there aren't enough of them in the blogging world :) i would read anything given to me too, not fussy with books! although i've never read anything by marian keyes..

    1. I'm really glad you liked it, thanks so much! I used to write book reviews for my school and I really miss it - I'm aiming to read and review at least one book a month so hopefully you'll see a lot more. Since I'll march my way through any book you put in front of me hopefully there will be lots of variety too :) xxx

  2. Thanks for the review, now I'm pretty sure chic lit is not for me :D My friend _loves_ to read these kind of books but personally I don't like these... Just too much fuzz and "teachings in life" etc. I prefer detective stories (especially Scandinavian ones! Swedish for example) and classics (loved Pride & Prejudice!).

    It's always nice to know what other people are reading and what they think about books, since I'm studying comparative literature. :>

    1. Thanks :) I'm glad you found it useful. I'm not a chic lit fan either but I enjoy reading them on planes and when travelling - they're easy to follow and get through quickly :) Detective stories and psychological thrillers are also my favourite! And Pride and Prejudice is also my all time favourite story!

      I hope you continue to enjoy my reviews! I am jealous that you study literature I wish I had studied this at uni! xxx

    2. Unfortunately studuing literature is mainly studying literature theory... And that's mostly not-so-interesting. But I still love books and good literature. Too bad I have too much to read for studies only, I don't have time for the novels that I'm interested in.

      I'm waiting for your next review! :)

  3. I love Marian Keyes! I am the biggest chick lit reader ever haha. I used to work in Waterstones so I got a lot of free/discounted books which fed my addiction.
    I haven't read this one yet though- I'm reading 'The other side of the story' by her atm, it was 50p in a charity shop :D

    Love, Elizabeth xx

    1. Ohhhh I am SO jealous that you work there. I've always wanted to work either there or in a cute little bookshop! Maybe I just started out on one of her less good books, I might read something else she wrote to see if it's just that one or if I just can't get into her style of writing :) xxx


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