"Yours Truly" by Kirsty Greenwood
Natalie Butterworth is newly engaged and ready to settle into the comforts of family life. A people pleaser, Natalie just wants to live a quiet life and if she has to tell a few little white lies to not rock the boat then she will do so. Until one night, Natalie finds herself accidentally under the spell of a pub hypnotist. Soon those little white lies are no more, as she has been hypnotized into telling the truth anytime anyone asks her a question. This doesn't just have the potential to get a little messy, it ends up threatening her impending marriage!
Natalie and her friend Meg decide they must track down the hypnotist before her wedding is called off and they head to a small Yorkshire village to find him. But when they arrive they discover he's left town in a hurry. The locals offer their help but this turns out to be even more trouble. And when the snow begins to fall with no end in sight, the girls are trapped in the village and a desperate Natalie is forced to face the truths about her life head on.
Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood is an irresistible debut novel. I immediately took to the character of Natalie. I can't even imagine what would happen in my life if I would have to share exactly what I'm thinking whenever anyone asks! I love the concept of a girl who has trouble speaking up being hypnotized into never telling a lie. I also really enjoyed throughout the book when the other characters knew they could use that to their advantage.
There is tons going on in this book - crazy family members, family secrets, wannabe pop stars, pubs in danger of closing down, snowstorms, controlling boyfriends, gangsters, tacky weddings - but it all fits together wonderfully to create one funny story. There were many laugh out loud moments including the one where Natalie's fiancé Olly asks her how good things were after a night of passion.
I liked how this book was set in the UK city/area of Manchester (though I've never been there my love of Coronation Street has given it a spot in my heart.) I've read quite a bit of British chick lit but never one set there. There's definitely a lot of references/language that are unique to the area but don't let that put you off this book if you're not familiar with it, it doesn't take away from the book at all! I think my only "criticism" of the book was that the backstory of the hypnotist could have been a bit more developed. At the end of the book, I wanted to know more about what his deal was!
Overall this is a strong debut novel. Kirsty Greenwood is the editor of chick lit website Novelicious and you can tell from this book that she understands the genre perfectly. I highly recommend putting this book on your summer reading list.
Yours Truly is an e-book available for download on Amazon Kindle here. You won't find another book as fabulous as this one at that great price.