I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a story that perhaps takes sibling rivalry a bit too far, as suggested by the title of Sophie Ranald’s funny British novel. Ellie is the stereotypical ugly duckling sister who has lived in the shadow of her younger and more glamorous sister, Rose – but this isn’t a story about pent up resentment or sibling rivalry. Ellie and Rose love each other, live together and, most of the time, get along fine. Ellie is enamored when she meet’s Rose’s boyfriend, Oliver. Not coincidently, she embarks on a mission of self-improvement that involves dieting, exercising, new clothes, highlights and an exciting new job in PR for a hip fashion company. Soon, Rose and Ellie end up on a level playing field. Will Oliver notice?
Initially I didn’t like the premise of this book – sisters shouldn’t steal each other’s boyfriends! Not to give away the plot, but I don’t think Ellie sets out to actually steal Oliver, but rather uses him as an excuse to make some changes in her life. With the exception of lusting after Oliver, Ellie is a delightful character. I also appreciate that despite her outer transformation, Ellie never changes who she really is, even when she finds herself in some very questionable moral dilemmas. I love the dynamics of Ellie’s relationship with Rose and all the family baggage that comes along with it. I thought the characters were all well developed and appropriately flawed. Despite my misgivings, the plot was fun and original with many possible conclusions – the result was a truly surprising and satisfying ending.