Wednesday, 15 June 2016

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Amanda Brown: Legally Blonde - review

Author: Amanda Brown
Publish Date: 1 July 2001
Genre: Romantic comedy, chick lit
Audience: Teens and up

I stumbled across this novel at a car boot sale, having completely forgot that a book-version existed. I am a massive fan of the 'Legally Blonde' film and musical and so I decided it was time I read it!

Remorsefully, I really didn't enjoy this book as much as I was hoping to. The strong, dedicated character of Elle Woods that I know and love is unfortunately nothing like she is portrayed in other adaptations; instead of working hard to secure a law degree to prove herself what she is capable of, she is incessantly preoccupied with maintaining her physical appearance and daydreaming about Warner whilst in lectures and seminars. In short, there was a distinct lack of character development that really drives this story.

Secondly, the plot wasn't confusing to read, but it was filled with a lot of unnecessary scenes - for example, a whole chapter was filled with a law lecture, entailing numerous terms and logic that frankly I, as a reader, was thoroughly disinterested in as it brought no real value to the story. Maybe it was to prove the difficulty of Elle's studies? Regardless, the occasional off-plot section was inessential and stopped the story line from progressing.

Contrarily, I still wholeheartedly loved the overall plot of 'Legally Blonde', and the clever ending packs a punch as ever. I also enjoyed the addition - and loss - of particular characters in contrast to other adaptations; the character of Eugenia was realistic as a friend to Elle, and the lack of a romantic interest other than Warner was a fresh addition to a rom-com, helping to portray Elle as more of an independent woman. Furthermore, I enjoyed the chemistry Elle gained with Sarah as it felt more genuine and less forced than other adaptations, and again promoted female integrity.

In conclusion, I was disappointed with 'Legally Blonde', but mainly because it differed so radically from the film and musical which I simply adore; however, the lack of character development and slow progress did let the novel down in its own right. Fundamentally, I still enjoyed the plot and character relationships, and if venturing into the world of Elle Woods for the first time this may prove more enjoyable than I have let on. Unfortunately, this novel just did not excite me as I had hoped, and the future for me and chick lit looks fairly bleak.

Next read: 'Am I Normal Yet?' by Holly Bourne


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