Review - Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope's Back Up Man by Laura Kemp
A tender, funny and haunting coming-of-age novel which asks if the past can ever be part of your future.
Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn't married by the time she's thirty, she'll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.
Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents' home.
Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it - but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three.
After reading The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green earlier this year I couldn’t wait to read the next book by Laura Kemp.
So what did I think...
There were so many moments where I was smiling especially the parts that reminded me of when I was younger. The bit about gagging on the smell of CK One particularly made me chuckle! Although there are some sad parts this book manages to be both witty and heartfelt. This is definitely a difficult balance to manage however Laura Kemp manages to do this brilliantly. I was pretty much hooked from the very first chapter.
I took to Vicky right away and it's pretty sad when she comes to realise she has been taken for granted by her boyfriend. Vicky has her flaws but it also makes her seem all the more real, after all no one is perfect!
Some of my favourite parts were the flashbacks to when Vicky and Mikey were teenagers. It was lovely to see the connection that they shared. I was pretty heartbroken for all of them as their pasts are revealed.
I really enjoyed reading the story from all three points of view. I found Kate was the most intriguing character. The relationship with her mum was one of the main things that made Kate feel so lost in her life. So it was interesting to see what had happened and how things would play out.
This book has everything from friendship, love, secrets and betrayal right through to new beginnings. I enjoyed immersing myself in all of their lives. Laura Kemp has written a wonderful account of friendship.
Five stars from me!
I loved this heartwarming story of friendship!
You can read my review of The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp