Three Scorching Reasons to Read Hot Mess


What? I’ve only just got around to reading Hot Mess, by that witty, talented Lucy Vine? Me, late to the party? Hell, I’m just glad I managed to arrive!

I don’t know about you, but having a child has got me into some kind of a crazy life backlog. Some might say I’m a veritable hot mess.

Yep, that’s right. I’m behind with the feather dusting, I’ve no idea what the fashion is these days, and my stockpile of books to read? Dude, you don’t want to know.

So apologies for rocking up with a book review for a novel that’s been cracking people up for longer than my toddler, but, you know. That’s mumming. (AKA handing your life over to the Borg.)

Whilst my friends were raving about the genius publication that is Hot Mess, I was knee deep in icky green nappies, and trying to remember what the insides of my eyelids looked like.

(Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you, my lovely reader.)

Hot Mess and Prosecco

But worry not, senoritas; my chick lit reading is back with a vengeance.

Since my new Facebook group Chick Lit and Prosecco started getting fizzy, my inspiration to read (ALL OF THE BOOKS) has been ignited like a fiery little cracker.

If you haven’t joined the group yet, err – get on over there, girlfriend. We’re waiting for you. The butler’s getting arm ache from polishing up your glass.

Join our Chick Lit Facebook Group

Hot Mess – The New Bridget Jones?

Anyway, now I’ve crawled out from under my rock, I can’t wait to tell you about the legendary book, Hot Mess.

This bag of fun was an ebook number one best seller. Hell, it was even dubbed “the Bridget Jones for a new generation”. And who doesn’t love our Bridge.

My review, though, will be from a slightly different perspective. I’m going to share with you the things I will take away from Hot Mess as a writer. As a chick lit novelist in training, I read to learn, as well as for all the fun it brings.

And who better to learn from than Lucy Vine, who also writes and edits for slinky mags like Grazia, Cosmo and Marie (oh-my-god-how-cool-is-this) Claire.

Marie. Actual. Claire.

Anyway, enough of the sweaty fangirling. Huh hum. Where were we?

Just Tell Us About This Book!

Yes, Hot Mess! The tale of Ellie Knight, a relatable twenty-something, whose life is in a bit of a state. (Sound familiar?!)

She’s sick of her job and weird colleagues, she’s flat sharing with a man-whore she’s trying hard not to shag, and her dating life bounces from one Tinder cringe to the next. Even her crazy-haired dad seems to be making a better go of it.

I can promise you there’s banter aplenty, friendships, family ups and downs, twisty bits and even a few sad moments. Ooh, and a career shake up, to boot.

But without further jabbering, here are the things I loved about Hot Mess as a writer.

My three writer takeaways, if you will.

Hot Mess - my writer takeaways
Not that kind of takeaway, you numpty!

Hot Mess Takeaway One

The clever use of sub-plots.

Before I started writing fiction, I had assumed sub-plots were just ‘other stuff that happened’ in a book, so you didn’t get totally bored of the main story.

Ha. As if anything about writing a book is ever that simple.

A proper sub-plot should tie in with the theme of the main story, and should happen for a reason.

So for example, if one of the central questions in Hot Mess is whether you need to be in a relationship to be happy in life, each of the sub- plots in this book is a variation on that idea. And Lucy Vine chucks plenty at us – trust me – that’s a whole lot of impressive word weaving!

She does this by showing us how the love lives of Ellie’s various friends, family, colleagues and even strangers she sits next to on the plane are panning out.

We have people who seem happily married but are suffering, people who are ecstatic about being alone, people who seem to be enjoying the slutty life…all manner of cheeky little Liquorice Allsorts.

Read Hot Mess - find out all sorts...
OK, you know I couldn’t resist another food pic…

And these variations are there to make Ellie think, and to make us scream ‘oh my god, which path will she choose?’

As a writer, I was rubbing my hands with glee at every new sub-plot the author managed to pile in. Each added a new layer and thickened the sticky brew. It was a beautiful thing.

Hot Mess Takeaway Two

There were extra installments of comic relief running through the novel, in the form of a book which Ellie’s dad was writing.

He sends this to her by email, chapter by chapter. It’s like his fantasy life story, in which all the women love him, fight over him, send him private jets.

All of this ties in with the dad’s own love situation, but the joke for us is that it’s written in exactly the way you shouldn’t write a book – so much so, that it’s hilarious! Honestly, this deserved to be a spoof book in its own right – it’s the kind of embarrassing dad writing that could just go viral.

There is a running joke in there about all the women commenting on his rather nice calves. I recently read that you shouldn’t overdo a joke, but really, Lucy Vine could not tell this joke enough.

My sides were splitting.

I was willing her to tell it again, even when she didn’t. She was teasing us. It was comedy genius and is now a running joke in my own house. If only any of us had nice calves.

Hot Mess Takeaway Three

Lucy Vine sets up several possible endings, as Ellie has a few love interests on the go. Who will it be? Sleazy but hot flat mate? BFF? One of the Tinder hopefuls? The ex? Surely not one of the work weirdos…

I loved how the author kept us guessing. I don’t want to be a plot spoiling strumpet, so let’s just say when you read it, you’ll know what I mean. I didn’t guess – and it’s not often I can say that when there’s a romantic element involved. It was a refreshing change.

I Must Buy This Masterpiece!

So here’s what you should do. Hop on over and support this funny writer on her various social platforms, and then cheer yourself up by buying her book.


(Please note as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you, my lovely reader.)

Oh, and you know the best thing about being in a book backlog? I still have two Lucy Vine books to enjoy. Have you read them yet?

What Fresh Hell

Are We Nearly There Yet

(Allegedly featuring the best vagina joke ever. Can’t wait!)

Follow Lucy Vine

Click here to be directed to her website, or click here to find her on Twitter. It’s always fab to be able to stalk…err, I mean follow fantastic authors online.

And Finally…

I would love you to hear your thoughts – have you read any of these Lucy Vine beauties? Please do tell me more!

Don’t forget to hit one of the social share buttons to spread this love on social media. Authors and bloggers need your support.

And please do join the party in my Chick Lit and Prosecco Facebook group, where lots of talented authors and gorgeous readers hang out and get bookish. This post tells you more...

Ooh, and don’t go missing out on future posts, my lovelies. Stick your email address is the Subscribe box to stay ahead of the game. Mwah. xx

Photo Credits – 

Featured image – Photo by burak kostak from Pexels

Takeaway – Photo by Christopher Flowers on Unsplash

Sweets – Photo by Bill Craighead on Unsplash


18 Replies to “Three Scorching Reasons to Read Hot Mess”

  1. I already have a to be read pile a mile high but you’ve convinced me that I definitely have to read this book! It sounds like my sort of read.

    1. Wow I know, my list is through the roof! I’m so glad I made time for this one though. It was such a treat. XX

    1. Thank you so much for reading. Do check the book out – it’s great fun. I know what you mean about sub-plots. It’s all such clever stuff. Xx

  2. Ahhh it’s so good to have you back you lovely hot mess!!

    I have just been told about this by a colleague who is bringing it in for me to read, it’s right up my street and actually one of many sort of book ideas I’ve had myself!

    I always thought my dating nightmares would make a great story , my friends certainly waited in the latest ‘shit storm’ instalment!

    Good to have you back 😘

    1. Thank you, you gorgeous human! I think the seed of my first book sprung from my dating disasters, although it’s been rewritten many times since. Write that book! The world needs it. Always here with vague writer-ish support if you like! Xx

  3. Really enjoyed reading this, so interesting to hear it from a writer’s perspective! Like you, my little monsters mean I’m behind (like, WAY behind) on my unread book pile, but this sounds like a great read with a glass of wine now the nights are drawing in x

    1. Wine and books – you’re always my kinda girl! Thank you so much for reading and being generally lovely. Xx

  4. This sounds great. Thanks for sharing as I am even later to the party and am only hearing about it for the first time. It does sound like my sort of book x

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