Think your love life is bad? Then you haven't met Emily Miller, whose super-rat boyfriend has betrayed her in ways you can't imagine. Emily is so lovable that you cringe each time something horrific happens to her, but her life is so disastrous you can't help but laugh—probably because you're thankful that it's not happening to you!

Every character in BARE NECESSITY feels utterly real and vivid, each struggling with his or her post-20s London life: Emily's most private moments with boyfriend Declan are put up on the Internet for the world to see. Suddenly she's homeless, jobless and labeled a tart. Emily would be happy if just one thing in her life went right, but even when she sees the love of her life in a crowded, trendy bar, things don't go smoothly for this beloved heroine.

This is undeniably fun. Even though Matthews gets a tad lazy, reverting to cliches in some spots, you'll forgive her because she's created adorable characters you'll love rooting for. Emily and Cara both make disastrous mistakes, but their friendship keeps them together as best mates. (Apr., 372 pp., $13.95)

Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris