Title: An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Author: Jill Mansell
Release Date: April 1, 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Chick Lit
Review: Originally posted at Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4 out of 5
Lola is in love – even though she’s only seventeen years old, she knows it’s the real thing. Her Dougie is perfect for her in every way. She knows that it’ll be hard when he moves to Edinburgh for school, but what’s true love in the face of some distance? And if it gets really bad, she can always move up there with him!
When Dougie’s prissy mother stops by Lola’s work and offers to drive her home one day, Lola thinks nothing of it. She definitely doesn’t suspect that Dougie’s horrible mum is going to offer her £10,000 to break up with Dougie before he leaves for school. Lola is completely affronted and decides to call her beloved Dougie right away and tell him exactly what his mother offered her and said to her (yes, her skirt might be short but that doesn’t mean she looks like a prostitute!), but before she can do that, she walks in on an unexpected situation, one that changes everything.
Lola doesn’t have a choice when she accepts the money from Dougie’s mother, and she has sworn never to tell anyone the reason she had to take it. But when Dougie walks back into her life ten years later, can he find it in himself to forgive her for leaving without a second glance? Or will Lola always be burdened by the offer she couldn’t refuse?
An Offer You Can’t Refuse is a wonderfully cute novel about a vivacious, loveable heroine. Lola is, quite simply, adorable. She’s fun to read about and carries the story very well. Indeed, virtually all the characters in An Offer You Can’t Refuse are easy to love; Mansell wrote them exceptionally well. They find themselves in hilarious situations, but it’s never that over-the-top forced laughter stuff that has often been showing up in the chick lit genre. Instead, while some of the situations are random (for lack of a better word), the humor is in the characters, rather than their settings. Therefore, Lola and her friends are funny even in their own homes because Lola is just an amusing girl. I love the way she was written!
The one issue with An Offer You Can’t Refuse was with Lola and Dougie. Quite honestly, it was difficult to understand why Lola was so in love with Dougie because the reader never witnesses a situation where he was treating her well. Granted, he’s horrible to her because she broke his heart for apparently no reason (though wouldn’t most people try to hide it, simply to prove they don’t think about the other person anymore?). But as the beginning of the novel is set right before Lola and Dougie’s breakup, there isn’t much for the reader to go on. Therefore, Lola’s adoration seems somewhat forced, as if it belongs in another place and time altogether.
Still, Jill Mansell definitely has a talent when it comes to writing chick lit. Her characters are sympathetic, believable, and entirely loveable. She also writes situations very well. For example, often in chick lit, one small decision that is somewhat unbelievable sets up the entire novel. In An Offer You Can’t Refuse, it’s understandable why Lola made that decision. She can’t divulge the reason behind why she took the money, though it would make everyone’s life a lot easier, because she made a promise and that is important to her. Not only does that make the novel that much better, it affirms Lola’s integrity and makes her a more loveable character.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse is a thoroughly enjoyable novel. I look forward to seeing what novels by Jill Mansell Sourcebooks, Inc. releases next!