Looking for Andrew McCarthy by Jenny Colgan

'I'm wearing a beautiful pink dress, and I'm in a big pink room with billowing curtains…and I'm dancing to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark…and my handsome partner leans over and whispers…'

Yes, 80s child Ellie really thought life was going to be like Pretty in Pink, St Elmo's Fire and all those other movies – where everyone was astoundingly glamorous, popular, successful, had huge apartments and lived happily ever after. But now that she and her gang are thirty, she has to admit that things haven't quite turned out that way. When did horrible flats, difficult relationships and menaningless jobs take over?And, more importantly, what happened to the coolest, wisest, most inspirational Brat Packer of them all? Where is Andrew McCarthy now? Did life fulfil its promise for him? Is he happy on Channel 5? Surely he, of all people, can tell Ellie what to do about her thirty-angst?

Determined to get her idol to unravel some of life's great mysteries, Ellie sets out, unwillingly accompanied by her best friend Julia, on a quest across the USA, from LA to New York to find him. It's an unlikely epic, by turns hilarious, romantic and downright uncomfortable – but, helped by a cast of thousands, of whom Frosty the Giant Pig is probably the least improbable, they do find some answers, although not the ones they expected.


I, like many others, was eagerly anticipating this book after reading the brilliant Amanda's Wedding. Seriously, if you haven't already checked it out then I would definitely recommend you do so! Regardless of that excellent book, I couldn't help but be sorely disappointed in this attempt and now wish that I hadn't wasted my time or money on this abysmal book.

The characters were unbelievable, contrived, not to mention annoying. There were several times where I could have cheerfully slapped the 'heroine' and the situations in which she found herself. I found her childish, whiney and from near the beginning I found myself wishing for an unhappy ending so that no-one would be lumbered with her. She really was that bad. There were one or two moments which tempted a smile but in general it was the kind of book you finish and feel like you have just wasted a lot of time and haven't got anything to show for it.

What else is there to say? I won't give up on Jenny Colgan just yet but I would advise others not to buy this particular book. Read it from the library if you must or better yet, stick to Amanda's Wedding. 1 star and that's being ridiculously generous.


403 pages


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