Book review by Simon Fairbanks Million Dollar Dress is chick lit packed with quick wit by local author Heide Goody.
It tells the story of Justine, who obtains a high-tech dress which can change the body shape of the wearer. Once Justine masters the technology, she can alter her slightly plump body image to match that of a Hollywood supermodel. Meanwhile, a host of interest parties are looking to take the dress for themselves.
The synopsis may suggest this is targeted at a female audience and it would certainly please this market. However, Million Dollar Dress offers a rich plateau for readers of any demographic and genre: the plot moves with the pace of a thriller, the dress itself is pure science-fiction and its comedy is universal.
It is this comedy element that propels Million Dollar Dress above the rest of its canon. Heide Goody has a particular knack for delivering an ensemble of sharply-observed characters and executing comedy set pieces with the chaos and energy of a Carry On film. Anagram fans will note that Million Dollar Dress contains two LOLs and you will certainly be laughing out loud as the story escalates.
The titular dress is a clever concept. As with all best science-fiction, it introduces a futuristic notion that addresses everyday concerns, specifically those relating to the body image culture which keeps certain magazines and reality shows in business.
The dress also acts as the MacGuffin and provides the perfect excuse to bring together an unlikely ensemble, ranging from fashion designers to military operatives. Particularly memorable characters include Blake Charwood (Sutton Coldfield's answer to Justin Beiber) and Justine's interfering mother figures, Pat and Irma. Their recreation of a scene from Alien to scare off an interested party is hilarious.
And best of all, the novel is set in Birmingham so there are plenty of regional references (the Bullring, the Jewelry Quarter) which act as an extra reward for local readers.
You can download Goody's novel for Kindle for a reasonable £2.05. And Million Dollar Dress is worth every penny.
By Simon Fairbanks who can be contacted via @simonfairbanks
Contact Heide Goody via @HeideGoody