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The Wrong Girl by Zoë Foster

The Wrong Girl

by Zoë Foster

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The Wrong Girl has recently been made into a TV series (one of the many things premiering after the Olympics), starring Jessica Marais. I think Marais is a fantastic actress and that’s 90% why I chose to pick up this book (the other 10% is for the balloons on the cover). Some years ago I read Zoe Foster Blake’s Playing the Field and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t 100% my cup of tea (seeing as we’re talking percentages, 90% of this was probably due to the wrong football code). The Wrong Girl is definitely more up my alley, with food, TV, snortingly funny moments and just the feeling of being totally…real. It’s the kind of thing that could happen to any girl if she was lucky!

The wrong girl of the story is Lily. She’s a TV segment producer on a morning program with aims to go higher but not really too sure how to get there. She’s also just slept with her best friend, who at the conclusion told her about the girl he’s in love with. Totally repelled by Pete’s idiotic actions, she and flatmate/best bud Simone decide to go on a man detox. Which is fine until hot new chef starts on Lily’s show, then promptly falls for Simone. Suddenly everything – work, friendship and love is even more mixed up than before. But Lily won’t go down without a fight, even if it means trying to drive a manual hot ute in a desperate search for ingredients for the lovely Jack…

I loved this book. It wasn’t just the humour, not the descriptions of the food nor the fun times that Lily, Jack and Simone have. To be all serious and kind of nerdy, it’s a coming of age book for those in their late twenties. The time when you want it all, but have no freaking clue of how to get there and wonder if you’re going to be in limbo forever after as those around you get hot men, promotions and just general luck. Lily epitomises all that, and while things do come together for her, it’s not in a way that she was expecting. It’s an ultimately a positive novel that celebrates friendship and finding out who you are. The other characters aren’t immune from that theme either – country boy Jack needs to work out his place in the city and Simone needs to face why she’s fond of pills and quite a few drinks.

The only character who didn’t quite get his time in the spotlight is Pete. At the start he seemed like a nice guy (if a little sleazy) but then he turned into an alpha douche. There’s a follow up scene where Lily cuts him down in rather a mature sense (very restrained girl!) and then he disappears. By this point I was quite glad because he was a total tool. From some early pics, I suspect Pete has more of a role to play in the TV show and it will be interesting to see how his character is portrayed (like does he have a reason to act like a total tool?). I’m also looking forward to more of free spirit Alice, Lily’s colleague and friend and Nikkii (2 Ks, 2 Is) the self-absorbed co-worker. All the characters are quirky and individualised, there aren’t any paper cut-outs here! I also loved the inherent Aussie-ness of the novel with its mentions of Bondi Beach, country shows (oh the competitiveness) and general fun times. (However, if you’re not Aussie, please don’t be put off by this – ask the internet!) Plus, bonus points for being about to mention rosewater and Iron Chef in the same novel.

I’m hoping with the imminent arrival of The Wrong Girl series there will be a reprint of Zoe’s other novels because I’ve been an idiot to ignore the rest based on my football leanings (even though Aussie Rules is 10 gazillion times better). That would be amazing, or should I say amazing-er?

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Aug 6, 2016 |

Loved this book.
It was predictable, but still a fun and easy book to read. ( )
  onebookishgirl | Jul 19, 2016 |
The Wrong Girl is the fourth lighthearted chick-lit novel from Australian author Zoe Foster. Despite having several of her previous works on my shelves including The Younger Man this is the first book of hers I have read, though I do read her weekly column in the Sunday paper.

Reeling from an ill-advised one night stand with a friend, Lily makes a pact with housemate and gorgeous bikini model bestie Simone, to swear off men for at least six months. It’s hardly a stretch for Lily who has barely had a date in the last two years and besides she needs to focus on advancing her stalled career. Though she enjoys her role as a cooking segment producer on a popular morning television show, Lily is tired of her supervisor taking credit for her hard work and ideas. The only compensation in her job is the new TV chef, Jack Winters. Though they got off on the wrong foot when Jack first stole her parking space and then her kettle, twice, Lily can’t help but be charmed by his amiable personality and good looks. Maybe she is developing a little crush, just a teeny one, but by the time she decides to risk breaking her ‘SaBOYtical’ she discovers Jack is seeing someone else. Simone. Deflated, she throws herself into a special project aimed at gaining her the promotion she craves but when she is passed over despite its success, she realises it’s time to move on, not only from her job, but also from Jack.

The Wrong Girl is in many respects a coming-of-age novel on Gen Y terms. Nearing her thirtieth birthday, Lily feels as if her life has stalled. She has none of what she imagined she might at her age – a steady relationship, a progressive career, or her own home and Foster explores Lily’s struggle with her inertia and insecurities.

The love triangle, of sorts, between Lily, Simone and Jack is well handled. Lily wouldn’t dream of interfering in Simone and Jack’s relationship, even if she believes they are all wrong for each other.

A more serious element of the story relates to Simone’s struggle with addiction. One quick drink turns into a three day bender, an Ambien to help her sleep needs countering by an upper to get her to work. Despite her stunning looks, her successful career and enviable lifestyle Simone is as insecure as Lily, who has none of her advantages.

Foster grounds the novel in Sydney with mentions of Bondi, Wonderland and the Harbour, recognisable landmarks to both locals and overseas visitors. I’m thankful the author avoided the irritating name/label dropping that usually accompanies novels involving television/celebrity/models, though there is the odd reference.

I enjoyed The Wrong Girl, well written with appealing, genuine characters, it is an entertaining and easy read. ( )
  shelleyraec | Mar 19, 2014 |
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A delicious new novel from the bestselling author of Amazing Face and fruitybeauty.com. Lily is a producer on a successful cooking segment for a daily morning show. The new chef has just arrived on set and he is drop dead gorgeous.

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