Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

oh my god what a complete aisling

Oh my God…what a complete let down. Okay that’s a bit extreme but I don’t think it quite lives up to the hype. I’ll start by saying I haven’t yet seen the Facebook page (I requested to join but they haven’t accepted me). I was expecting great things from this, judging by the length of time it stayed at the top of the best sellers list, and the fact that I had to join the reserve list in the library at number 468!

The story itself is quite good. It starts with Aisling, who everyone (except me) knows from Facebook. She’s a girl from Ballygobbard (Ballygobackwards) in rural Ireland, where she lives with her parents, she’s been dating a local GAA player John for years. She’s watching all her friends get married and is expecting a proposal from him any day now. When it’s made clear that this proposal isn’t going to come anytime soon the pair split up. Aisling decides it’s time for a change and moves from her parents’ house in rural Ireland into a room in a plush penthouse apartment in Dublin City with two girls from work (for which she somehow pays very low rent), and so the shenanigans begin. Cue endless Rosé drinking, a ridiculous drugs mix up, and plenty more hijinks. Then circumstances change, Aisling needs to return down home for a while as her dad is unwell. The tone of the book turns a lot more serious as we deal with a sick parent, a friend with a serious problem and a parent with a secret to reveal.

This book is funny in parts, and sad in others, but is overall quite predictable. There are a lot of typically Irish turns of phrase, that gave me a giggle at first but get a little bit repetitive as the book goes on. I didn’t particularly take to Aisling either, I found her quite self-involved and a bit of a drama queen if I’m honest. She and I would never be friends! It also deals with the subject of abortion, which is quite topical at the moment. While that’s an important issue, and I understand what the author was trying to do with it, to me it felt like it was thrown in just to have it included in the book.

All in all, it wasn’t the right book for me. It would be a good holiday read, and probably better suited to someone young and carefree in their early twenties, rather than a cynical woman in her early thirties!

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

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