Book Review: Watching Willow Watts by Talli Roland

For twenty-five year old Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop; nights watching fuzzy telly whilst the elderly residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when Willow's especially embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation is uploaded to YouTube. A canny viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image hidden in the film and Willow becomes an international sensation. Her dire little town is suddenly overrun with fans proclaiming her to the the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers- whose shops and businesses are cashing in- Willow eagerly embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and scoffing cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves. But when the only man she has ever truly loved returns; seeking the old Willow, it's decision time. Should she risk stardom and the village's new-found fortune on love? Or is being Marilyn Willow's real ticket to happiness?
I found Talli Roland's last book The Hating Game very entertaining and I was not disappointed with her latest book, Watching Willow Watts which in my humble opinion is even better.
I love Talli Roland's ability to come up with a really quirky idea and then to create a great story and characters around it. In this case we have the lovely Willow Watts who had been living in London and enjoying her dream occupation as a florist and a relationship with the gorgeous Alex. However, when Willow's mum died, she decided to move back home to look after her dad. As if things aren't bad enough, Willow discovers that her dad's antiques business is in serious debt so she sets about trying to pay it off without her father knowing as she doesn't want him to have any more stress.
It is Willow's best mate Paula who gets her to dress up as Marilyn at the village fete and before she knows it a video has been uploaded to YouTube and she is an Internet sensation. People seem to believe that she has been chosen by the real Marilyn Monroe to continue her legacy and people start travelling hundreds of miles to catch just a glimpse of Willow or Marilyn as they believe her to be.
Initially Willow is mortified but when Jay turns up in the village offering to be her agent and talking about all the money she could earn, Willow begins to think that this could be the answer to all of her problems. Soon Jay is completely in charge, he dyes Willow's hair, force feeds her sausage rolls and has her constantly pretending to be Marilyn. At first Willow focuses solely on the money but soon she begins to wonder about where the real Willow has gone, does she really want to be Marilyn forever and is Jay really looking out for her or is he exploiting her new-found fame for his own wallet? When Alex turns up, Willow can't help but look to the past, how does she get back to her old life, will Alex want her back and what about the contract that she signed with Jay?
I read Watching Willow Watts in one weekend, the story flows really easily and I was completely taken with the character of Willow. She is just trying to do the right thing and look after her dad; I think that Talli Roland really showed how the fame game often takes advantage of people. The story was really entertaining and i was willing Willow to find the happiness that she clearly deserved. As I said, I think this book is even better than Talli Roland's first so I can't wait to see what she does next!

Many thanks to Talli for sending me a review copy of her fabulous book, it is published on September 14th.

If you want to know more then check out Talli's blog here or follow her on Twitter where she is @talliroland

Dot Scribbles rating 4/5


Denise said...

Great review!
I'm currently reading 'The Hating Game' and loving it and I can't wait to read 'Watching Willow Watts' especially now after your review.

Angela Felsted said...

The premise is fantastic.

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