I just love discovering new chick lit authors and must say I was thrilled when I was contacted by Tara Ford for a review of Calling All Services. I was especially pleased to hear this is part of a series, and we will be able to read the next installment very soon.
But back to Calling All Services. I must say, I was pretty surprised by this book. Baring in mind this is a debut I really had no expectations, all I was hoping for was a fun read (since the cover, title and blurb implicate a fun and easy read). BUT this book and Ms. Ford surprised me, of course pleasantly.
It’s fun and entertaining, and had my attention till the very last page. And what was even more surprising was the plot and turn of events. You see, those that read (and love) chick lit know well what I mean when I say chick lit can be (and is allowed to be) predictable to certain extent. We all want to get our happy endings and few (or more) good laughs and pretty much ‘feel’ how things will turn up at the end. This is not bad, I repeat NOT BAD AT ALL. There’s something really comforting in knowing the characters you love to read about will be/stay together forever and ever and all is gonna be great for them.
When it comes to Calling All Services I really had no idea what will happen next, and there are just so many things happening.
We are introduced to Alex Frey, a successful businesswoman, a mother and a wife who’s got a lot on her plate. One day she’s hospitalized with a mysterious illness and weird symptoms NO ONE knows how to interpret. After reading the first chapter I thought this was gonna be a sad (even a depressing) book, and really, I’m not much of a fan of those.
But I was wrong! This is not a sad or depressing book, far from that, it’s really fun and funny actually. The focus is not Alex’s illness but how her family manages to take care of themselves and the house while Alex is away. The story is told from different perspectives and usually I have difficulties with it, but in this case it worked. We get to see what each of the characters thinks (and feels) about the situation they’re in and we really get to know them. I have to say, I especially had fun reading those parts told from Grant’s POV. Grant is Alex’s husband and really an ordinary funny guy who finds himself in few very weird situations. He needs to take care of the kids, the house..and of course, ‘report’ to his annoying mother in-law which doesn’t really like him. However, he disappointed me with few actions by the end of the book, but I really hate spoiling it for you and telling you why. Despite this, he remained my favorite character, he’s sloppy, silly at times, and sometimes ends ups doing the wrong thing but has a good heart.
But there were few things really bothering me, especially Alex’s illness. I don’t know how to actually explain it without putting any spoilers, but I’ll just say that Ms. Ford could’ve given a better explanation about the symptoms and the illness itself. Some questions still remain hanging and I really would’ve enjoyed it more if I knew all the WHYs. Even if the focus is not Alex, but the Fray family as a whole, I really think readers would love to have those answers to enjoy and understand the story, especially the ending.
Ok, wrapping up now. It’s really an eventful week in the lives of Fray’s and seems like EVERYTHING can go wrong. They will need the help of all services – but you will need to read this book to find out why;)
Calling All Services is funny and entertaining and full of action and drama (but in a good way). If you’re a fan of chick lit or humorous books, I think you should check it out. I’ll definitely be checking out the next part, which I heard is gonna be called ‘Calling All Dentists’.
My rating: 3.5/5