YouTuber books have become the topic of heated debate over the past few years. It’s an argument that I have found myself agreeing with both sides of so I don’t want to open *THAT* can of worms. Instead, this is my honest review of Louise Pentland’s ‘Wilde Like Me’.
A friend lent me their copy of this book and I read it out of curiosity more than anything else. Over the past year, I’ve grown rather tired of ‘chick-lit’ as they are starting to feel all the same to me. Ever since I read Bridget Jones’ Diary last year, all the other chick lit books I’ve read have felt like they were trying to emulate that story but not quite managing to achieve that level of relatability and humour. Unfortunately, ‘Wilde Like Me’ was the same in this sense. Whilst there were moments that genuinely made me laugh, a lot of the ‘relatable’ traits of Robin’s personality felt very cliched.
Louise has been very open and honest about how much help she has had in regards to developing her story and editing the novel so I was surprised by how clunky the writing was. It gave me the impression that the editing process had been rushed in order to get the book out by a certain deadline, I can appreciate the difficulty of writing to a deadline but when reading a book it’s nice when you can tell just how much time and care has gone into making sure it is as good as it can be, that every ‘i’ is dotted and every ‘t’ crossed.
I’ve watched Louise’s videos and followed her blog for a few years now so was interested to see how her writing style differed from her blogging style but, unfortunately, it doesn’t. Of course, this is a fairly lighthearted book so it’s understandable that the writing style would be more informal than most books, however, the use of words such as ‘bants’ made me cringe. Louise has insisted that this is not an autobiographical book but I found it very hard to separate ‘Robin Wilde’ from Louise Pentland – perhaps if I wasn’t aware of her before hand this wouldn’t be a problem. Obviously, this is all just personal taste, and if you like books that feel like you are reading a friend’s thoughts, you’ll probably love Louise’s style of writing.
Unfortunately, the story itself didn’t do much for me either. I found it to be rather boring at times, or perhaps that was just due to my reservations about the writing style. Nonetheless, there were some very interesting topics such as domestic abuse and depression that were hinted at very briefly but ignored for most of the novel. It would have been really interesting to see how those themes were explored in an otherwise lighthearted novel. I was disappointed that Louise portrayed Robin’s depression (or ‘The Emptiness’, as she referred to it) as being purely down to her lack of romantic relationships with men. Yes, that could well be an aggravating factor but falling in love with a man is unlikely to solve all of Robin’s problems and it was upsetting that Louise would write such a story line for a book that is, due to the large numbers of young people in her audience, going to be read by young girls. Personally, I think it sends the wrong message but perhaps I am being unduly critical.
It has been announced that Louise is writing a second novel about Robin Wilde so I will be intrigued to see what the book is like, I just hope, this time, more care and time is taken over the editing process (and that she doesn’t use brackets on every page).