Review: 'How to Get Ahead in Television' by Sophie Cousens (2015)
Poppy Penfold desperately wants a career in television. After months of dead-end applications, she gets her big break with a temporary job as a runner for RealiTV. But to land a permanent role, Poppy will need to go head-to-head with fellow runner Rhidian: arrogant, highly competitive - and ridiculously good looking.
Poppy goes all out to impress, but somehow things don't go to plan. Whether failing to prevent a washed-up soap star from becoming roaring drunk during Scottish game show Last Clan Standing, or managing to scare the horses during the filming of Strictly Come Prancing, Poppy gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. With highly strung presenters and distractingly handsome producers in the mix, it's Poppy's determination that will see her win or lose her dream job, and maybe her dream man too...
In 2014 Corvus, Atlantic’s commercial imprint, and Lovereading.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading book recommendation and discovery websites, launched the #LoveatFirstWrite competition to find a new voice within the world of romantic fiction. The winner’s novel would be released in 2015 and that exciting moment has now come! Sophie Cousens was the lucky winner of the competition and her novel ‘How to Get Ahead in Television’ was released by Corvus on the 3rd of September. I was lucky enough to find a review copy of the book in my e-mailbox and I straight away looked forward to checking out this new romance author. I already liked the bright and colourful book cover and the description promised a good read, so I had my fingers crossed I would end up enjoying it!
Twenty-something Poppy Penfold has always had a dream of working in the world of television and no matter what, she's not giving up. Even though her parents aren't too supportive and her financial position isn't ideal, Poppy knows her time will come and it does, in the form of a three-month placement as a runner for TV broadcaster RealiTV, a well-known production company. However, the placement is a competition at the same time as one of the runners will win a one-year-contract at the end of the three months. Poppy sets out to impress, but unfortunately she somehow manages to get into all kinds of trouble. To make matters even worse, her competition is a good-looking guy named Rhidian whom everyone falls in love with. Poppy knows she will need to give it her all to get that contract, but all the distractions along the way aren't making it easy for her...
'How to Get Ahead in Television' is Sophie Cousens's debut novel and it's a simply wonderful one which I couldn't get enough of! I honestly loved everything about this novel and was taken in by the story from the start. The protagonist, Poppy, is an amazing leading character and I was rooting for her straight away. She's someone who somehow manages to find herself in the craziest situations and you can't help but love her for it. The author's writing style was great; Sophie Cousens really has the perfect well-paced and funny style for a romantic comedy like this one and I just didn't want to put the book down. The chapters weren't too long or too short and I personally really liked all the fun chapter titles.
Next to Poppy, there are numerous secondary characters that added something special and entertaining to the story. There's Poppy's family (especially her mother cracked me up); other runner Rhidian (who I have to admit I developed a little crush on); Poppy's best friend Natalie, and her new colleagues JR, Helen, and David. Overall, the book had everything I look for in a good read: an entertaining plot line, a relatable and loveable group of characters, a fun setting, and a dose of humour and romance. 'How to Get Ahead in Television' is a fabulous romantic comedy set in the world of TV broadcasting; a stunning and thoroughly enjoyable debut novel and a promising start to Sophie Cousen's writing career!