Karl Weston left school to join band The Fallen Boys at the age of 16. Since then he has had fame and adulation, women throwing themselves at him and the lifestyle that apparently goes with being a young pop star. It all comes to an abrupt end when the lead singer dies of a drug overdose.
All but dropped by the band's management company Karl is forced to make a quick re-assessment of his life, and has to lower himself to considering roles in panto and the like to keep himself afloat. His disapproving dad seems quick to get the digs in so when he meets the lovely Lizzie in a cafe she's a welcome distraction. Considering her father was an IRA member who blew himself up arming a bomb and his dad lost both legs serving as a soldier in Northern Ireland the chances for the two of them long term don't look great though. Their relationship is tested when he appears on a reality TV show and has to decide what is really important.
This book is a really good read, it was sweet and funny (very funny in places) and is an interesting portrait of fame and celebrity. It was an easy read that I whipped through, helped by the quality of the writing and editing. The romance between Karl and Lizzie is one of the main threads, but I thought the development of the relationship between Karl and his dad was just as compelling. I did find the ending a little bit abrupt but may be that's because I warmed to the characters and wanted to see what would happen in the longer term. Karl never comes across as the big I am despite his stardom and Lizzie is worried about whether an ordinary girl, let alone one with her family history, will ever be enough for him. It was easy to like them both and want to see them get their happy ending.
I suppose if chick lit is about a female character and her challenges in life, be they romantic or job related, then this must be bloke lit (or lad lit) With that sort of label I probably would have passed on it as I generally don't read chick lit or romance, but lately between this book and Scratch in particular I think I'm going to have to revise my list of preferred genres again!
Format: E-book, review copy
My rating: 4*