Pants on Fire – Maggie Alderson

Pants on Fire tells the tale of Georgia Abbott. After catching her so-called “perfect” fiance with a prostitute, a job opportunity on the other side of the planet is a tempting prospect. So Georgia packs up and goes to work on Australian magazine Glow as its deputy editor.

On her arrival, Georgia is instantly impressed by the friendliness of the people and the sheer beauty of Sydney. She’s instantly swept up into a wild world of parties and product launches, and she starts to leave her old life and worries behind. The Australian men also seem to be rather superior to British men, with their strong forearms and tanned skin. Georgia hopes to meet her dream man, who will sweep her into his arms and take her off to live on a huge farm in the country.

As Georgia settles in, she begins to realise that things aren’t all that different to life in London. Sydney is rife with gossip, everyone knows everyone and there’s lots of bitching and backstabbing. But a gorgeous man persuades her that things aren’t all that bad, and makes her feel like the most special girl in the world. When they eventually go to bed together Georgia thinks she’s really struck it lucky. A gorgeous, lovely man who’s fantastic in bed, he was almost too good to be true…

Which isn’t so far from the truth. Turns out the wonderful Nick has slept with almost every girl in Sydney – and nobody thought to warn Georgia. After another disastrous fling, things are looking really bleak, and Georgia thinks perhaps the Australian men aren’t all that different from British men after all…

This is a fantastic book. It had me laughing all the way through at the mad characters, particularly Georgia’s gay best friend Antony. It’s full of controversial issues, for example; drugs, bereavement, depression and bulimia, but it’s all dealt with in a sensitive way. And it also shows how each issue is dealt with, showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that nobody ever needs to feel alone.

Overall, despite all the deep and meaningful sub-plots this really was a laugh a minute, and I was rooting for Georgia all along. I often found myself wanting to shout at her for being so daft, but she’s a great character and you’ll find yourself being on her side and hoping she finds her Mr Right. A gripping but light-hearted read.

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