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Summary

What do you get if you cross a dozen drunk hens with one shiny Butler in the Buff?

Meet Lilah Fox. She's on the hen do from hell. Then she gets a message (44 of them, actually) from her best friend with big news: she's getting married in six months. Oh, and Lilah's her maid of honour. Which means she just got signed up for:

  • A military schedule of wedding fairs and weekly planning meetings
  • Excel spreadsheets and endless hen emails
  • All the enforced, expensive fun you can imagine....

What fresh hell is this?

©2018 Lucy Vine (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Totally relatable and hilarious - one of the best books I've read." ( Heat)
"Laugh-out-loud funny. Truly, the Bridget Jones for our generation." (Louise O'Neill)
"So ridiculously accurate I had to take a lie down from all my genuine laughing-out-loud." (Laura Jane Williams)

What listeners say about What Fresh Hell

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A struggle

I think this might be one of those books that's better read in print. I couldn't warm to Lila at all, she seemed always to be moaning and whinging. The narrator's voice grated on me. I endured it because I'd paid for it but was relieved to have finished. The emails being read aloud were painful at times, especially the ones from Katie that were always sent 5 or 6 times and included multiple exclamation marks on every sentence. I found myself skipping forward often.

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Childish and patronising

Irritating from start to finish. Patronising, designed for a narrow audience and not particularly well thought out even for that. Don’t waste your time and money.

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Entertaining

Loved the story until it became somewhat predictable at the end. It was still entertaining and definitely a feel-good kind of book. I did laugh out loud quote a few times.

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Great fun

I really enjoyed the story and the fact it didn’t go as expected. Listened over 2 days.

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funny and charming

A funny read and a satisfying journey for the main character to a little more self-awareness.

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Profile Image for Sarah D
  • Sarah D
  • 09-07-21

Absolutely Hilarious! (But Definitely NSFK**!)

Okay, look. If you're hoping for great, life-changing literature, this is not it. And if you have no sense of humor, are offended by foul language, and/or are a prudish, uptight person that hates having fun, you really should just move along to something else.

(My apologies. Some of the other comments really set me off.)

However, if you can handle a little bit of immaturity and are looking for a fun, engaging audiobook to help pass the time on a long drive or, as in my case, while you are packing up your entire house for a move to a new city, then read on!

My family and I are in the middle of a major move and I really needed something funny, light-hearted, and entertaining to keep me company during the endless hours of packing, cleaning, and the hour long drive back and forth, and this book fit the bill perfectly. It seems like very few things make me laugh out loud these days, but this book had me cracking up nearly constantly. I fell in love with the characters and the story line and, even though I can't necessarily relate to the main character's reluctance to get married, I still understood and respected her reasons why.

Yes, some of the plot lines are a little bit over the top, but that's part of what makes this book so much fun.

The only thing I really dislike about the book is how much the main character, Lilah, blames herself for everything that goes wrong and doesn't defend herself when she really needs to. This is something that I, too, have struggled with all my life. However, that is also the biggest lesson she learns, and it is glorious when she finally breaks through her self-imposed wall, thanks in part to her grandmother's (amazing!) monologue in the second half of the book.

I love and respect the fact that Lilah was able to see and understand how her tendency to be a people pleaser actually made things worse in a lot of ways. It can be very hard to say 'no' when you need to, and even harder to tell a friend or loved one that they're being an idiot or a selfish asshole. However, sometimes that person really needs to hear it, and if you don't say anything now it ends up hurting them more in the long run.

The last few chapters of the book did seem a bit forced, though, and not as polished as the rest, but it didn't detract from the overall story and I still enjoyed it. I suspect that the writer really needed to wrap up the book and struggled to fit everything in, and I understand that. However, I really wish that she had spread the story out over multiple books as I'd love to know what happens with Will and whether or not anything romantic happens between Lilah and Mr. Cannid. Plus, I'd love to spend more time with Grannie Frannie!

Finally, I loved the narration, but I didn't at first. At the beginning I felt that the narrator took too many long pauses in between stanzas, and it was a little bit annoying. However, as the book continued, her pacing began to make sense and really work with the story.

The best part, though, is that she doesn't just read words on a page, but instead gives them life. Her narration adds so much to the story, and her phrasing makes the funny lines all the more hilarious. She was, in my opinion, perfect.

(**Not safe for kids. Lots of "bad" words and tons of references to sex, penises, vulvas, boobs, shiny naked men, etc. I highly recommend listening with earbuds to avoid warped young minds and scandalized old ladies, and awkward explanations for your husband or boyfriend.)