The tried and true chick-lit formula of young, successful twenty-something woman in the big city looking for love has worked in countless fluffy books in the past few years. Why have books with such similar plots worked? Most of them have interesting, easy-to-relate-to characters being thrown into either hilarious or heart-rending situations, making it easy for readers to root for them and become interested in their antics. However, for a story such as this to work, it either has to have the great character or the great situations. The Fabulous Emily Briggs by Jacqueline deMontravel has neither.
The Fabulous Emily Briggs is the story of (obviously) Emily Briggs, a freelance artist who spends her time shopping, hanging out with her best (amazingly non-gay) male friend Dash and working in Manhattan. Emily is thrown one night when Dash tells her that his free-wheeling, lady-killing days are over and heís ready to find The One to settle down with. He happens to find The One at a soiree that very next night: a thin, pretty woman who Emily instantly despises. Emily doesnít have much time to resent her, though, as she may have found The One, too, in the form of British cartoonist Henry Phillips. But is Henry really The One, or could the man she is truly meant to be with be right before her eyes?
The plot in Emily Briggs has been done over and over again, although it was nice for her best friend not to be a gay man. If it had been handled with sensitivity and humor, though, this overdone plot could have still worked. Unfortunately, thereís nothing sensitive or humorous about any of this novel, and it could easily have been renamed "The Fabulously Boring Emily Briggs" as it consists of page after page of meaningless conversation and mundane happenings in Emilyís life that arenít in the least bit interesting. What happens in this three hundred-plus page novel could have easily fit into a short story, but deMontravel finds it necessary to drag it out, chapter after chapter, until the reader loses all interest.
As far as chick-lit books go, I never really expect anything earth-shattering. I do, however, expect a decent lead character and at least a semi-interesting plot. The Fabulous Emily Briggs fails to deliver on even these modest expectations and is not recommended to any readers.