Book review: (Un)like a Virgin by Lucy-Anne Holmes

15 Sep

Is Gracie in love for the very first time? You know that bit in The X Factor, when the singer tells everyone about the rocky road they travelled to pursue their dream? Well, that’s Gracie Flowers’ story.

Gracie is very focused for a woman of almost twenty-six. Her favourite book is ‘The 5-Year Plan: Making the Most of Your Life’. And her five-year plan is going very well. That is, until she is usurped from her big promotion by a handsome, posh idiot; she is dumped by her boyfriend; and discovers her loopy mother is facing bankruptcy.

Hormones awry and ice cream over-ordered, a dream Gracie thought she’d buried ten years ago starts to resurface. A dream that reminds her of the girl she used to be and everything she wanted to become.

I absolutely loved this book! It made me laugh and it made me cry and lead character Gracie Flowers rocks :-) The story is told from Gracie’s point of view and she had me smiling from the first page with her wry observations on her job, her boyfriend, friends and family.

As a child, Gracie was a talented singer but since her Dad passed away when she was sixteen she hasn’t sung in public. We meet Gracie ten years later working as a successful Estate Agent. Her life is going according to her carefully plotted Five Year Plan but things soon begin to go wrong. As her plans for the future fall flat one by one she finds herself drawing on the strength her Dad provided and the songs they used to sing together.

Unlike a Virgin is one hundred percent Gracie’s story and Lucy Ann Holmes has perfectly captured her thoughts and feelings in a chatty and easy to read style. The story isn’t all laughs though and touches on some heartbreaking issues, particularly bereavement and loss. I don’t want to give out any spoilers but I thought Lucy-Anne Holmes dealt with the difficult situations that Gracie finds herself in in a refreshingly honest and open way and there is a lot that readers will be able to relate to in this book.

Gracie is supported by a fun and varied cast of characters all of whom are just as well written as our leading lady.  My personal favourites were Gracie’s builder friend and ‘ Bob’ and pub owner Anton but the banter between Gracie and her new boss and her best friend Paula was also fantastic and really had me chuckling. I was really impressed with the mix of characters included in this novel.

Despite everything in Gracie’s plans going awry, this is a really feelgood novel and one of my favourites of the year so far. As Gracie faces her fears and decides what she really wants from the future Unlike a Virgin has a lovely message about following your dreams and being true to your heart. The romantic in me absolutely loved the ending and with three possible love interests for Gracie, I was gripped for the whole book!

Gracie is definitely up there with my favourite leading ladies and I really hope that Lucy-Anne decides to bring her and her friends back for back for future novels.


Unlike a Virgin is released today and I’d like to thank publishers Sphere for sending me a copy to review.

To celebrate publication the publishers are running a fab competition to win a PlayStation 3 and Singstar package. Check out: for the full details!

You can find out more about Lucy and her books at:

6 Responses to “Book review: (Un)like a Virgin by Lucy-Anne Holmes”

  1. Mrs Q Book Addict 16th September 2011 at 12:22 am #

    Glad you enjoyed this one so much. This one is new to me.

  2. Sharon Goodwin 16th September 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    One of your favourite this year is good enough for me Amanda :) Loved the review. Thank you for sharing your opinion x

  3. Alexa 16th September 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Every time I read one of your reviews, I always end up really, really wanting to get the book right away. This one sounds like an absolute treat and hopefully, I’ll get to read it soon!

  4. carol 18th September 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I loved this book too.

    Gracie is a great character.

    great review


Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Giveaway! Unlike a Virgin by Lucy-Anne Holmes | onemorepage - 16th September 2011

    [...] of this brilliant book to give away to lucky readers. I really loved this one as you can see from my review but don’t take my word for it – enter this giveaway and find out for [...]

  2. My year in books – favourites of 2011 | onemorepage - 9th January 2012

    [...] Heroine: Gracie Flowers from (Un)like a Virgin by Lucy-Anne Holmes [...]

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