Friday, January 10, 2014

Fiction Review: War & Piste (SP Alert!)

When Poppy Connors swaps a life of suits and cappuccinos for a job as a ski rep, she soon finds that resort life on the side of an Austrian alp is more than she bargained for.

Adapting to her new diet of J├Ągermeister, adrenaline and europop, Poppy throws herself into this strange new world - a world in which 200 foot cliffs, midnight shootings and the intrigues of the megalomaniac resort manager soon start to feel normal. When a growing love for backcountry adventures and the irresistible prospect of an illicit affair start to pull her in different directions, Poppy begins to wonder just how she will ever return to the life she left behind…

War & Piste

Thomas, Alex (2011). [Genre: Chick-lit] 


How I found it: Browsing the Bestsellers list on Amazon.


When I first picked up War & Piste I was a little confused as to what I was actually reading. As is often a pitfall when I 'buy with one click' on Amazon while perusing freebies, I hadn't read much into what War & Piste was actually about (I just liked the punny title) and wasn't sure whether I was diving into fiction or a memoir. As it turns out, War & Piste is fiction that reads like a memoir - which is actually pretty great. It's authentic, funny and very very real. You can imagine every scenario happening in real life and the characters are flawed, but likable. Poppy's narrative voice is like being told a very long story by your best friend - chatty, but worth listening to. Even though I have very little experience of snow skiing and even less of the life of a chalet host in European Alps, I could identify with almost every character. I've met bosses like Gina, had friends like Rachel and random work situations surprisingly similar to chalet host hi-jinks (and the rest can easily imagine happening). War & Piste's strongest point is definitely the element of truth that comes across throughout, which in turn makes it extremely comedic. The best comedians draw the funny side out of everyday situations, and War & Piste does the same. 


What let down the novel slightly for me was the pacing. The narrative is presented as the main character's diary, which means there were several places were the plot dragged as days went by with nothing much happening. What irritated me more so {possible spoilers} was that two thirds of the book were devoted to the main character's relationship with a not-so-good character, leaving limited time to develop another relationship which had been on slow burn for some time. The second relationship being a. much more satisfactory to the characters involved and b. more entertaining to read, it was a shame that so little time was devoted to expanding it and making it more real. It was almost like the author had changed her mind at the last minute about the characterisation and been to lazy to re-edit so that the changes were reflected throughout. 


 Overall? 4/5 stars. A funny and genuine chick-lit novel. As other reviewers have suggest, it's almost like a cross between Bridget Jones and the film Chalet Girl. It's not without problems, but makes up for them with heart. I'll be looking out for more by this author. 



  1. I also like reading indie books and try to read more each year. This one sounds very cute! Thanks for the great review :)

    1. Thanks - I'm finding more and more indies are making their way onto my radar, which can't be a bad thing