Fourth Estate, £6.99, ISBN 1-84115-387-7
Contemporary Fiction, 2001
Alexandra Potter’s debut effort What’s New, Pussycat? made her a superstar author. I like that book too. But her follow-up Going La La sees her going down the tired, overdone Bridget Jones route. It is one thing to use the same theme loosely, but when this book sees the author following the same plot, frame by frame, brick by brick, I just have to don my best sarcastic tone and say, “Selling out so soon, my dear Ms Potter?”
When the story starts with heroine Frankie losing her job and getting jilted in the same breath, I sigh. It’s going to be one of those books. Frankie flees to recuperate in LA with her friend Rita who’s an aspiring actress. And she has to fall for Reilly, the worst JR Ewing stereotype this side of Hicksville. Reilly, naturally, blows her hot and cold, and Frankie hangs on until the last chapter, where her humiliation is rewarded with a maybe of a good relationship with Reilly. Like all those “chick-lit” books England vomits out in nauseating regularity, of course.
Nothing new, nothing interesting, Going La La is salvaged only by the author’s buoyant writing style and wit. But with her overhyped blitz serving so little in return, Alexandra Potter is definitely going the way of the mediocre Helen Fielding-wannabe Hen Squad. Going, going, gone.