If you enjoyed Lauren Weisberger's THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series but disliked the profanity and gratuitous sex, then SHE'S ALL THAT is your book. Kristen Billerbeck bills herself as "one of the first Christian Chick Lit authors" and in kicking off her "Spa Girls" series she also proves that she's one of the best.
Lilly Jacobs tries to make a name for herself as a fashion designer in San Francisco (a refreshing change from all the Chick Lit set in New York City). She's just lost a promotion from boss Sarah Lang (yup, rhymes with "Vera Wang") to a man who wears more eyeliner and is less talented. Her sort-of boyfriend Robert has dumped her for another woman, and Lilly is more miffed than heartbroken over the whole thing. When things get tough, Lilly and her two best friends head for the Spa Del Mar, where there's nothing a good pedicure and facial can't cure.
Is this the sort of tale you like? Then read on....
Billerbeck excels at giving her characters little eccentricities that make them appealing and memorable. Lilly, who at twenty-something "has the figure of your standard thirteen-year-old," also has a thing about Lysol and bad smells, going to the point of even smearing a little Vicks Vapo-Rub under her nose whenever she has to take public transportation with the unwashed masses of San Francisco. (No surprise that aromatherapy becomes a part of the novel.) Her two best gal pals are chiropractor Dr. Poppy Clayton, an updated version of a Haight Ashbury beatnik --- complete with gauzy skirts and endless chatter about positive energy fields and toxins --- and Morgan Malliard, a mannequin for her father's diamond jewelry. All three women have issues with their mothers --- or lack of them.
For a Chick Lit novel, the characters --- dare we say it? --- are reasonably complex. Lilly has a degree