Me and Miss M by Jemma Forte

Me and Miss M was an Australian Women’s Weekly Great Read earlier this year. A couple of chapters into this book I wondered what on earth their rationale was for this  typical chick lit fodder where the recently dumped single girl loses her job and then gets the job of her dreams as personal assistant to a big name movie star. Then I read further, became suitably impressed and enjoyed the ride.

Fran is a struggling wannabe actress (with only one annoying jingle TV ad to her credit) who enjoys writing fantasy about her boss and coworkers. Naturally, this gets her sacked, but her friend Carrie Anne is able to get her a dream job – PA to Caroline Mason, one half of the ultimate power couple. Caroline is rude, selfish and demanding of Fran at all hours- when will Fran realise this and move on before all is broken?

There’s some lovely characters in this book such as Lorna the housekeeper and Carson the movie star (he is the ultimate man- his descriptions really shine and make you wonder can George Clooney possibly compare?). Fran’s friend, Abbie seems underutilised, as do all her friends- they pop in and out of the narrative very quickly. Didn’t Sex and the City set standards for female friend meetups? When one friend has  a baby (I can’t even remember which one, that’s how sketchily they are painted), how are we meant to care when we’ve only met the character in a few scenes? Am I meant to take the lack of friend detail as proof that Fran is neglecting everything to become indispensable to Caroline?

The book won’t stretch your brain or your vocabulary but it does contain some surprising twists on the chick lit formulae. Of course there’s a hunky down to earth movie star but what he does will surprise you. The boy next door has a brain and sometimes even uses it. The villain gets their comeuppance in a rather unique way. And it will remind you of The Devil Wears Prada, right down to the product name dropping. Still, that’s not to say that it’s not enjoyable and would be an easy beach read.

7 out of 10.

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