Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right by Stella Hervey Birrell

A few years ago, I read somewhere that you should keep a book title short and snappy. 

I disagreed at the time because in my case it made sense to have a first part, an indicator, to the title of books 2 and 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series. (#2 After Whorl: Bran Reborn and #3 After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks) The 'After  Whorl:' part at the beginning is meant to indicate a connection between the books since they are both about my character named Brennus... after the battle at Whorl between the Brigantes and the Ancient Roman Army which irrevocably changes him, his injuries meaning a whole new lifestyle has to be devised. This process lengthened my book titles but I'm glad to say that I've read a lot of other books in the interim that also have fairly long titles- just because they suit the book! 

One drawback to a long book title is of course how you get the text onto your book cover! 

The last couple of weeks have been a hectic time for me but I've still managed to fit in some light fiction reading. One of these books has a fairly long title as well - How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right by Stella Hervey Birrell, her debut novel published by Crooked Cat. It was just the right kind of chick-lit to lift my spirits at a time when I'd received some sad news about the death of a man who'd been quite an influence on me during my school days. In some ways ~Stella's book is about how the main character, Melissa, progresses from immaturity to maturity via the positive influences and support of a number of people, though Melissa's in her early twenties rather than late teens.

Here's what I thought about this chick-lit easy read, though what I'd originally written in my short review had included more about texting in 2001. I admit to have been a little thrown at first when reading the story because it seemed (to me) like it must be a historical error to have so much texting going on between Melissa and her friends. It was only when I researched how common texting had become by 2000, and asked people in their 30s (my daughter) that I was reminded that it was ME who resisted using a mobile phone and using text for ages and ages! I'm the troglodyte! 


This was a humorous, easy read and would be good for short snatch reading or during a lazy holiday. I got used to dotting back and forth between 2001, 2008 and the 1990s. Texting has been around a lot longer than I thought and Melissa really uses her phone to communicate with her friends, her relationships a pretty complicated business. The dialogue flows easily and the author’s skill means we can read Melissa fairly easily. I found all of the characters likeable and though Melissa might temporarily not be fond of one or other of her men friends, they seemed nice enough guys. The road to maturity is a theme that stretches throughout the whole book and Melissa creates a good few blips along the way. Sometimes I admit to wanting to tell her to get real...but she's an ingenuous character who's a bit slow to learn what other people really are like.  

Learning to rely on yourself, and not on others, does toke some people a lot longer to achieve. 

If you're a fan of chick-lit, I'm sure you'll enjoy this journey Melissa takes from being a little bit free with her emotions and her 'loving' to eventually become a bit more discerning. 

Read more about Stella HERE  since she visited my blog a few weeks ago during her debut launch. 


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