Book Review: The Fall and Rise of Harriet James by Susie Hooper

25688267This book was given to me by the author in exchange for a review, and I am extremely happy that she decided to do this. This book was wonderful and I really hope that there is a sequel that continues to focus on Harriet’s life.

The Fall and Rise of Harriet James by Susie Hooper is a romantic comedy about a girl named Harriet, living in London whose life has sort of taken a nose dive off a cliff. She was a west end actor who had a skiing fiasco. But she’s working on it. She’s got a job at the Conway Club as a trainer for Britain’s elite. She can totally be in-control woman, and sort out her life. I mean, it’s not like there’s anything horrendous that’s been pushed aside like suspicious looking brown envelopes. Or an ex she just can’t quite seem to get over.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am not just saying that because the book was free. I’m saying that because the book was good. The book was funny, and Harriet James is pretty awesome. This is truly an inspiring story that’s heartfelt, funny, and has some romance thrown in. Hari (as she’s known in the novel) is a very relatable character. She had it all. Glamour, glitz, a hot boyfriend, and then her life fell apart, she’s in debt, and she kind of sulks around and watches TV all day. I mean, haven’t you ever just wanted to hole up, watch some TV, and pretend the world outside your door didn’t exist? But what makes Hari so amazing is that she gets herself back on track and starts rebuilding her life.

The other characters in this novel are also quite likeable as well, and there are lots of side stories in the novel, so it’s not just Hari this, and Hari that. That being said, it is in first person, so everything is seen through Hari’s eyes, but Hooper still manages to create other stories apart from the main one to keep the reader interested. There are also an abundance of !!!!!!! I think I read somewhere that a writer should only use one ! for every 100 000 words, and this “rule” is pretty much broken on the first page. But it totally works with Hari’s style, and I don’t think the novel would be as good without all the !!!!!!!!

The writing style also worked quite well in this novel. Hari gets into some pretty funny situations, some of which involve dancing, and to get the full effect when you read it, I suggest you look up the songs on YouTube that are mentioned in the novel if you’re not familiar with them. I noticed when reading the novel that there were different expressions used as the novel was set in London, and I’m from Canada, but rather than detract this really adds to the quality of the novel, and helps the reader to picture the setting in London.

There were a couple of things that were left unanswered in the novel, so hopefully if there is a second one these will be addressed. Overall I would recommend this book to people who want a light, romantic read with some humour thrown in, and a story about a girl who reached bottom and starts to claw her way back into living.