Thursday 26 May 2016

Reviewed: Remember My Name by Abbey Clancy

TITLE: Remember My Name
AUTHOR: Abbey Clancy


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From the moment Liverpool teenager Jess stars in the school musical, she knows that she’s GOT to be a star. Fast forward a few years and the closest the now 22 year old Jessica has got to stardom is as a children’s entertainer – which is where she meets Jack , uncle to the spoiled 5 year old birthday princess who spots Jessica’s talent and offers her a job with a record label. But that means that she’ll have to leave her family and her home and move to London – where she quickly finds that the streets aren’t quite paved with gold. And as she spends her days making tea for bitchy PR girls and her night in a mouldy studio flat, Jessica wonders if leaving Liverpool for London has been a terrible mistake.

Attending an industry party – unfortunately only to serve canapes – Jessica’s fortunes suddenly change when Vogue, the singer due to perform at the event drops out. Before she knows it, Jessica volunteers to stand in and takes centre stage. After a dazzling performance, she is surrounded by people wondering who this amazing new talent is. What’s more, her star turn has been captured by the press and she has become an overnight sensation.

Plunged into the crazy world of glitz and glamour, Jessica’s life is transformed but as her star rises, she loses touch with her roots. Jessica’s teenage dreams of stardom may have come true, but at what cost?

Remember My Name is the debut novel from Abbey Clancy, ghostwritten by the brilliant Debbie Johnson and so, combined, the book provides the perfect blend of Scouse, humour and entertainment, with all the components of a fab beach read to lose yourself in this summer.

A fun read from page one onwards, Remember My Name tells the story of Jess, a down-to-earth Liverpool girl who has dreamt of being a star ever since she was a teenager. Jess felt very real and likeable and because of that, I was rooting from her right from the beginning and still throughout, even when you can tell she’s making choices which aren’t necessarily right for her. The book is told in a really conversational style which makes it feel accessible and more like you’re having a catch-up with a friend. Jess is really honest with the reader and we get to know her really well which feels more rewarding when you see her character develop throughout the story.

Though Jess dreams of being a star, so far she feels only destined to be singing songs from Frozen for the rest of her life and frankly she’s had enough of that the moment she was attacked by a pretty brutal snow-machine mid-song at the birthday party of a spoilt, evil little girl. But that’s the day she gets spotted by Jack, head of talent at Starmaker Records, and the process of Jess quickly uprooting her life from Liverpool to London soon follows as her dreams are about to become true – and here forms Jessika.

Books with characters who become singers or actresses often follow the same kind of path and I’m not saying Remember My Name was much different to that because you’re quickly aware of how things are likely to work out. But there was something about this book that gave the story a different edge to me, maybe because being able to connect with Jess so easily and being able to pick up on everything she is truly thinking made her appear less and less self-obsessed. When her new-found stardom led her to arguing with her family and losing contact with the people who once meant something to her, this instead led me as the reader to feel for her because it was easy to see how caught-up in this new life she was and how mostly she had the best intentions. As “celebrities” go, she was pretty harmless.

Remember My Name is entertaining from start to finish, almost as frenetic as the celebrity life of Jess but in a good way – with laughter, disaster, friendship, drama and a mix of romance all satisfyingly worked into the novel. I was pretty shattered myself trying to keep up with Jessika’s day-to-day life, mostly because I kept persuading myself one more chapter was a good idea (and rightly so). I really enjoyed the romance aspect to this book. Guessing where it was going to go didn’t affect that and though I do love reading romance novels it’s sometimes quite refreshing to read a book which isn’t dominated by the romance, like here, as there was much more going on in Jessika’s life than that.

Overall I found this book to be a really fun read and a really ideal escapist read for the summer. With amusing characters, both good and bad, there was always a new part of the story to follow without Jessika’s stardom becoming too repetitive a read. My favourite secondary character was Vogue, who was fresh and had her own interesting story. My only complaint is that I’d have loved to have seen more from her character because she contributed to some of my favourite parts of the book. Despite that, Remember My Name was built up to an ending sweeter than I could have imagined and it was, for me, the perfect way to end a really lovely book.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realise that it was ghost written by Debbie whose books I enjoy. I had to laugh at the idea of the snow machine as I know that would happen to me. Mind you it would probably be to stop me singing. This is a good review and another for the list.


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