Wednesday 17 August 2011

Book review : Baby Be Mine - Paige Toon

When it comes to chick lit, Paige Toon is one of the top names so you know exactly what you're going to get when you pluck one of her books from the shelf. True to form, her latest novel Baby Be Mine follows the trials and tribulations of leading lady Meg. The path of true love never did run smooth and sure enough, Meg is in for a lot of heartache before she finally gets her happy ending.

As I'm now approaching the end of my thirties, I'm starting to find some chick lit too frothy and frivolous for my liking. The tales of endless parties, one night stands and agonising over the latest pair of killer heels has little to do with my lifestyle any more. But in Baby Be Mine, Paige Toon takes her central character to the next stage, giving her more responsibility and more serious concerns than the next night out because she has a one-year old baby boy called Barney. To re-use a phrase I coined in my review of Carmen Reid's How Not To Shop (here), this is more "hen lit" than chick lit so it appeals to the slightly older audience, as well as the young, free and single twenty somethings because it still has its fair share of glamour and nights out.

I started off in a slightly awkward situation because I instantly disliked the central characters. Meg is living with her boyfriend Christian, who dotes on little Barney but fails to notice that he looks nothing at all like him. Meg knows perfectly well that Barney is in fact not Christian's son at all but the result of a one night stand with her ex, Johnny. To make things more complicated, Johnny just happens to be not only an A-list rock star but also Christian's best friend. Fans of Paige Toon will instantly recognise Johnny Jefferson from her previous novels, including Johnny Be Good, in which he had a starring role, and also Chasing Daisy (which I reviewed here) where he had a cameo role. As Barney is the spitting image of his real dad, Johnny instantly recognises his son and wants to play at being daddy. Meg has to decide who to choose, for herself but also for her son's happiness. I couldn't help but condemn Meg for her deceit and hypocrisy, Christian for his ability to not notice the obvious and Johnny for his insensitivity and total lack of loyalty to his friend.

Fortunately, as the novel progressed, I did start to look on them all a little more positively and got wrapped up in Meg's dilemma, intrigued to see where her sometimes dubious choices would take her and Barney, especially as she ultimately realises that the most important person in the whole story is her son. The stories of celeb excesses, attempts at rehab and drug-fuelled binges did leave me feeling slightly uncomfortable as they seem to strangely echo the sad demise of the late great Amy Winehouse, but this book would have been written long before her unfortunate end so it's just a sad coincidence.

It's a great poolside read, offering a slice of glamorous escapism in the tales of the A-list lifestyle, but also providing a dose of realism and seriousness in the aspects involving Barney's future and well-being. Fans of traditional frivilous chick lit won't be disappointed either, as Meg still manages to take the odd mini break or girlie night out without Barney too.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £6.99 (but an amazing £2.98 at amazon !)

Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (21 July 2011)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1849831262
ISBN-13: 978-1849831260

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Chasing Daisy - Paige Toon
Book review : The Baby of Belleville - Anne Marsella
Book review : RSVP - Helen Warner


  1. I do love a good chick lit book, although I'm a bit of a gadget freak so I read mine on my Sony e-reader rather than in a paper version.
    I agree that some chick lit is tries to be a bit too much like 'sex and the city' - all beautiful people living upmarket lives.
    One of my favourite authors is Nora Roberts. I read a lot of hers because although they could be called 'chick lit' they always contain real characters and ususally a bit of a mystery too> Plus I love her futuristic police series that she writes as J.D Robb - thisis te 'in death' series and it's brilliant!

  2. lovely review looks like a good book too x

  3. I hope Meg and Johnny gets back together..(i still not receive my book from my online supplier)Even though Johnny is pain arse ..I still like his character..Christian is too nice..


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