A little while ago I was delighted to find the following invitation in my email inbox, asking me if I would like to attend the launch of The Thunder Girls by Melanie Blake:
I had the most amazing time. I was, as you can imagine, quite excited to find the guest list included Claire Richards from Steps who performed a wonderful set of songs, Sabrina Washington from Mis-Teeq, Doris Pearson from Five Star, Coleen Nolan from The Nolans and Loose Women, as well as TV stars including Emmerdale’s Gaynor Faye, TV presenters June Sarpong and Mark Heyes, Saira Khan and Jane Moore from Loose Women, and Carol Harrison from EastEnders. Although I didn’t manage to speak with them all I was quite star struck and was thrilled to chat with Melanie briefly about The Thunder Girls. It was lovely to catch up with fellow blogger Laura too.
Now, I may look a little worse for wear here as I had consumed perhaps one too many of The Blake Cocktails…
At the end of the evening we were all presented with a superb goody bag personalised by Russell from Purely Personalised that included a copy of The Thunder Girls, a bottle of Bottega Rose Gold and a glorious Harley Street Skin Care Regenerating Body Moisture.
I was intrigued by the book’s premise and the background to Melanie Blake, so when I realised I wasn’t able to participate in the blog tour for The Thunder Girls because I will be away, I was disappointed. However, I had a fantastic time at the launch and, despite my towering TBR pile of books I couldn’t resist diving in straight away and I’m delighted to share that review today.
The Thunder Girls will be published by Pan Macmillan on 11th July 2019 and is available for pre-order through these links.
The Thunder Girls
Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita, an eighties pop sensation outselling and out-classing their competition. Until it all comes to an abrupt end and three of their careers are over, and so is their friendship.
Thirty years later, their old record label wants the band back together for a huge money-making concert. But the wounds are deep and some need this gig more than others.
In those decades apart life was far from the dream they were living as members of The Thunder Girls. Breakdowns, bankruptcy, addiction and divorce have been a constant part of their lives. They’ve been to hell and back, and some are still there.
Can the past be laid to rest for a price, or is there more to this reunion than any of them could possibly know? Whilst they all hunger for a taste of success a second time around, someone is plotting their downfall in the deadliest way possible . . .
My Review of The Thunder Girls
Having broken up acrimoniously, Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita might come back together for one last show.
I’m going to be completely honest and say I wasn’t expecting a great deal from The Thunder Girls. Having thought The Thunder Girls was probably over hyped and celebrity endorsed because of Melanie Blake’s showbiz background, I was expecting a self-consciously glamorous read with little or no substance. I was completely and utterly wrong. Melanie Blake has confounded me with a fabulously entertaining read written with verve and dynamism. I enjoyed every moment of being immersed in The Thunder Girls. It’s witty, sassy and actually incredibly exciting!
Melanie Blake writes with a vivid and fast paced style that draws in the reader and makes them part of The Thunder Girls‘ world. I loved discovering an existence that is about as far from my middle aged, middle England life as it could be. It was like stepping away from the mundane into a world of glamour and intrigue where not everything is as straightforward as it might at first appear. References to real people add to the authentic feel and I loved the touches of humour along the way too.
There’s an absolutely cracking plot to The Thunder Girls that packs a real punch. Obviously I can’t spoil the story for others but, although I worked out some elements, I was also kept guessing right to the end and encountered several surprises along the way. This is so much more than a mere escapist read.
Themes explored also add a layer of depth I didn’t expect. I can’t mention them all because it would undermine the enjoyment in the narrative and reveal some of the aspects from later in the book, but Melanie Blake understands the nature of true friendship, trust, betrayal and revenge. She uncovers the world of social and print media and the Machiavellian machinations of publicity perfectly. I’d defy any reader not to find an aspect of The Thunder Girls that resonates with them, regardless of their own lives.
There’s quite a cast of characters, but each person is so distinct that I felt I came to know them personally. Chrissie, the catalyst for the original band break up, was by far my favourite. This is because Melanie Blake illustrates through Chrissie the personal price of stardom and the way in which, regardless of our so-called status or fame, we can be self-delusional and actually quite vulnerable. I thoroughly appreciated the message that we alone are responsible for our lives, but that we might need support from other along the journey. The interactions between the band members are dynamic and hugely entertaining. Each woman has her insecurities, her secrets and her basic need to be loved so that The Thunder Girls really does illustrate that appearances and personas may not be the real person beneath.
I finished the book feeling as if I had had a thoroughly entertaining and engaging time. The Thunder Girls is like a glass of the best champagne – sparkling, fun and with just the right amount of bite! I loved it and hope it isn’t the last I’ll read about The Thunder Girls.
About Melanie Blake
At fifteen years old Melanie Blake was told by her high school career advisers that her decision to do work experience at a local record shop was an ‘embarrassment and a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in life or her career’. They were wrong. By twenty-one she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by twenty-seven she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers, with her own agency and a roster of award-winning artists who had sold more than 100 million records.
After a decade at the top, Melanie decided to manage a smaller client list and concentrate on her other passion, writing – first as a columnist for a national newspaper, then as a playwright and now as a novelist. They say write about what you know, and having lived and breathed every aspect of the music and entertainment industry, in The Thunder Girls she certainly has.
You can find out more by following Melanie on Twitter @MelanieBlakeUK or visiting The Thunder Girls website where you’ll also find ticket information for the stage play. There’s a Thunder Girls Facebook page here too.