Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway: Those Pleasant Girls

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Author: Lia Weston
ISBN: 9781743538593
RRP: $29.99

Those Pleasant Girls is the second novel by Adelaide author Lia Weston and, for locals, she is launching the book at Dymocks in Rundle Mall on May 7, more details are available on the Dymocks Facebook page.

The blurb was intriguing and I thought this would be a book that I really loved, unfortunately I wasn’t fond of the leading lady. By the end of chapter 4 I despaired that the book would drag because I couldn’t warm to Evie. I had a feeling that she would be redeemable but I had trouble connecting with her.

Evie Pleasant will always be Evie Bouvier to the residents of Sweet Meadow, where their memories are long for the mischief a young Evie was involved in. In the wake of divorce and facing poverty until the settlement is finalised Evie returns to Sweet Meadow with her reluctant teen daughter Mary. She has completely changed her image and promised herself ‘No Drinking, No Swearing, No Stealing, No Fires’ which is quite telling about the sort of teen she was before she left town.

Sweet Meadow is a small town that is getting tired and dying off. It’s a far cry from the city life Evie became accustomed to, there isn’t even a homewares store in town and all the business owners remember her well so there’s not much chance of employment. Evie is a completely new woman, modeled on the perfection of 50s housewives, but it doesn’t take long for the cracks to start showing in her new facade.

Joy Piece moved to town after Evie left and she has plans to bring life back to the town, but they don’t include keeping the small town feel and charm. The two clash from the beginning and I think a lot of that is because Joy wants to change everything and take it into the future but Evie returned to town to go back in time and pick up where she left off, with her childhood sweetheart/best friend not the hell-raising.

Evie came back to seduce her childhood partner in crime, some social media stalking tells her that he’s still single but he’s also the town pastor. Evie doesn’t let that stop her, he’s still able to marry.

I was turned off by Evie’s single mindedness, and her total denial of who she was. She was determined to get what she wanted regardless of anything else or what anyone else wanted and I think I would have been okay with that if she had been true to herself or shown any actual emotional attachment.

Mary on the other hand was a character that I did connect with, sixteen years old and moved away from everything she knows, away from her Dad and not at all happy with the situation. Making friends never came that easy so starting a new school in year twelve is not an easy task. She’s a little gothic and a lover of books and gardening. She had me until the gardening – I am far from a green thumb.

Starting at a new school can be hard at the best of times and Mary is very different to the students of Sweet Meadow which only makes it harder. She manages to make a couple of friends and ends up settling in well but there is still a lot of the usual teen angst and heartbreak. It was well written and easily relatable.

Those Pleasant Girls is quite an entertaining read that I did end up really enjoying, but I never quite warmed to Evie. She did some wonderful things for the town, but she also allowed the facade to slip and the real Evie to slip out and it wasn’t until the last couple of chapters that she recognised how much she had ignored in her quest. She was redeemed in the end but I think it was a little late for me. Even before she was redeemed I could understand her motivations, but I couldn’t agree with them. I’m sure some people will love her, but she wasn’t for me.

There was a lot to love about Those Pleasant Girls and I quite enjoyed the interactions and the secondary characters. Some of the characters were a little over the top and caricature like but they were fun. I found this to be an interesting and light read that went really quickly. The growth of the lead characters was good but there wasn’t a lot of exploration of the secondary characters which made it hard to really get to know them.

Those Pleasant Girls is published by Pan Macmillan and is available in May through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Lia Weston can be found on the following platforms:
Facebook: @LiaWestonAuthor
Twitter: @LiaWeston
Instagram: @liawestonauthor

Thanks to Pan Macmillan we have 5 copies of Those Pleasant Girls to giveaway to readers. So for your chance to win please tell us in the comments below about your most mischievous teen antics.

Competition closes 28/05/16 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

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7 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review and Giveaway: Those Pleasant Girls

  1. God…teenage antics. I’ll give you a tame story. I used to sneak out at night and go walking along the foreshore. I’m talking 4am’ish…just for fun. I was a crappy teenager sorry Mum and Dad lol

  2. My friend and I got stuck into mum and dad’s alcohol cabinet! They had a few half empty bottles of gin, vodka and bicardi and once the bottles started looking too low on content we topped them up with water. I knew they hardly ever drank top shelf so was able to slowly get through them over a few weeks.
    Came back to bite me though, on my 21st mum planned on making a punch and was going to throw in all the old top shelf they had in the cupboard, i had to come clean and tell them it was mostly water! We still laugh about it now!

  3. I was a complete nightmare to my mum, sorry mum! I constantly made things harder for my family, I would take things apart so they would have to start again.

  4. Well, I was generally a pretty well behaved teen, and my mischief was mostly pretty mild… like wrapping a teacher’s car in toilet paper at midnight one night. Or filling another teacher’s office with balloons. Like, completely. You know, silly, maybe inconvenience someone a bit, but no real damage kind of mischief. Probably the cheekiest I ever got up to was when a boyfriend told me he’d been fantasizing about having an attractive woman climb through his bedroom window one night when he was in bed and ravishing him… at 3am a few weeks later I made that fantasy come true.

  5. I think I’m more mischievous as an adult now, lol. I never used to do anything bad other than antagonise my brothers.

  6. A couple of times I skipped school for an hour and hung out at the pet store. Much more fun!

  7. I was pretty good most of the time except for one time my friends and I decided to wag school, I jumped over the school fence straight into a huge pile of horse poo and old straw ( there were horse stables next to my school ) my friends thought it was hilarious as they would and then they decided to go back to class leaving me to get back over the fence get to the bathroom and try and clean up the best I could, this was the 1st and last time I decided to skip school

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