I absolutely adored Belinda Jones’s The California Club (read my review here) when I first read it many moons ago, and couldn’t wait to read another of her novels. So I quickly got my mitts on Diva Las Vegas, and just as with The California Club, I’ve read it countless times in the years since.
I’ve always been obsessed with American culture and had always wanted to go to Las Vegas, but being 17 at the time and stuck at school, this wasn’t going to happen anytime soon! Thank goodness I had Divas Las Vegas to whet my appetite, and let me live vicariously through main characters Jamie and Izzy, until I too could finally hit Sin City.
Jamie and Izzy have been Best Friends Forever since they were 3 years old. Having got each other through scores of break ups with rubbish men, they launch “Project Presley”, a plan to leave behind their lack lustre jobs, relationships of past (and present in the case of Izzy!) and take off to Las Vegas to meet the men of their dreams and get married. What could go possibly wrong?!
(You can read the official blurb below)
As with The California Club, Belinda Jones creates very likeable characters in the shape of the two leading ladies, and the variety of friends and family we meet along the way.
Jamie, who is the main protagonist, is witty, thoughtful and very easy to identify with. It’s great fun to follow her journey of discovery as she works through her relationships with friends, family and fiancés, and figures out how she fits in, in Las Vegas and the world beyond.
Izzy is bold, brash and barrels of fun, always leading Jamie astray, often with hilarious consequences. Every girl has (and needs) a friend like Izzy! Described as a “tart with a heart” we also get to see her emotional side as she deals with juggling a fiancé back home, and finding a man she truly loves.
Jones also writes a great leading man (or several in the case of Divas Las Vegas). Zane (the stripper), Finn (the aquarist) and Scott (literally a knight in shining armour – well it is Vegas after all!) will all have you wishing you were actually part of Jamie and Izzy’s adventures even more!
I think my personal favourite character however has to be Nadine, Jamie’s snobby, snipey younger sister, determined to outdo Jamie and put her down in everyway possible. A great character in her own right, she also triggers many of Jamie’s funniest one liners and comebacks! Nadine’s interactions with the other characters are some of my favourite moments of the book, and she also goes through perhaps the biggest journey of all.
I also loved Jamie’s relationship with her mother, and it reminded me of how my own mum and I are together! We’ve even had our own American rendezvous; my mum bravely flew out to New York to meet me, though I bet she’d love round 2 in Las Vegas given half the chance, especially if it involves a Tom Jones concert as it does in the novel!
P.S – I finally made it to Vegas a few years after reading the book, and it was every bit as good as I thought it would be! I even took one of Belinda Jones’ ideas from Divas Las Vegas and collected change cups from all the casinos, which are now lovingly dotted around my house as toothbrush holders, pen pots and vases!
|My friend Toni and I at the famous Las Vegas sign|
Jamie and Izzy, friends for ever, have a dream: a spangly double wedding in Las Vegas. And, at twenty-seven, they decide they’ve had enough crap boyfriends and they’re ready for crap husbands – all they have to do is find them. So where better than Las Vegas itself, where the air is 70% oxygen and 30% confetti?
But as they abandon their increasingly complicated lives in sleepy Devon for the eye-popping brilliance of Las Vegas, their groom-grabbing plan starts to look less than foolproof. And those niggling problems they thought they’d left behind – like Izzy’s fiancé and the alarming reappearance of Jamie’s first love – just won’t go away…
You can read an excerpt of Divas Las Vegas for free on Belinda Jones’ website: www.belindajones.com
I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.