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The power of packaging, by Kate Hutchinson

The topic of environmental sustainability has been a widely reported theme of late, and plastic waste has been at the centre of the controversy.

Marks and Spencer’s sparked much of the recent conversation, with the sale of their ‘cauliflower steak’, which came under fire not only for the cost but also the excessive packaging. The UK Government have already pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Going plastic free and making more of an effort to become sustainable is a lifestyle decision that more people are moving towards – but do we really have much choice?

As consumers, we have a responsibility to be considerate about what we buy and how we buy it. Although the food and drink sector is the obvious perpetrator which immediately springs to mind, plastic containers are everywhere we turn.

Some products can be costlier and less convenient, but if you’re dedicated to cutting plastic out of your life, it can be achievable. Buying fruit and vegetables from your local market or farm shop for example, ridding the necessity for the plastic tray and wrapping, is an obvious step. But have you ever considered products such as shampoo? Certain products don’t practically lend themselves to alternative packaging options, making it difficult to be a consumer dedicated to the cause.

These issues and the recent controversy asks the question of businesses to consider how they operate for the good of the environment. It is also becoming an increasing consideration of consumers, with brands trying to cut through the noise in a dense market.

Iceland became the first business to announce their commitment to becoming plastic free, with a vow to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the plastic packaging of its own-label products in the next five years. This is bound to be a trend that will spread across industries, with many other businesses adopting a different mentality towards sustainability and packaging.

Although the questions over sustainability can be a challenge for businesses, it also presents an opportunity, providing brands commit to the change proactively and embrace the need for change.

I for one can’t wait to see the developments in packaging that businesses adopt to meet the changing needs and demands of the typical consumer.


Top five health benefits of house plants, by Lilly Wright

Now that Christmas trees are brightening up homes around the country (Christmas tree syndrome aside), we’ve been thinking about how adding some greenery to your living space can benefit your health.

From snake plants to bonsai trees, cacti to English Ivy, house plants are the perfect room filler, adding that little bit of much needed ‘Zen’. Roll your eyes at thinking this is just another hipster trend, (succulents anyone?), they actually have some pretty impressive health benefits! So, as a New Year’s resolution, here are the top reasons why you should grow your greens as well as eating them:

1) They work as natural air purifiers:Cleansing the air from toxic chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene, which are commonly found in cigarettes, 180 Smoke e cigarettes which use flavoured liquid and paint, plants work as some of the best natural air purifiers around.

2) They can help fight colds: Believe it or not, due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust (always handy), indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by over 30 percent!

3) They reduce stress levels: Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society state that ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ can help reduce stress and actually improve your mood, with their study finding the calming presence of plants to also increase productivity and even help hospital patients tolerate pain better.

4) They help you to sleep better: Aloe Vera, Gardenia, Lavender and Jasmine are just a handful of the plants found to help soothe the body and mind, leading to a better, easier night’s sleep.

5) Last but not least, they help you work better too. Studies carried out by The Local Tree Experts show that working around plants can improve your concentration, memory and productivity. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention up to 20 percent. So, whether you’re cramming in some deadline work, catching up on emails, or revising for a big test – make sure to surround yourself with as much greenery as you can.

Can personality and the home really go hand in hand? by Norina Maniscalco

As most of us are fully aware, minimalism is a thriving trend in both fashion and the home and lifestyle sectors. I mean, who can honestly say they haven’t seen around 500 Instagram posts of white walls with one perfectly positioned cactus and everything looking immaculately pristine?

Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’, is thought to have brought minimalism to the mainstream, and Forbes notes that although it is not a new concept, the minimalist lifestyle is growing amongst millennials in particular.

Bradford Shellhammer, however, is bucking the trend, claiming “I’m uneasy if I’m somewhere pristine or too minimalist. I need textures, layers and lots of colour”. His home showcases bold clashing colours, with vintage and shabby chic influences also emerging – all of which simply can’t be summed up in one word. Perhaps the word maximalism may come to mind.

Nate Berkus, interior designer notes: “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love brought together under one roof”. Amina Mucciolo seems to epitomise this idea to the maximum within her own rainbow-themed flat which has become an Instagram sensation thanks to the bold colour schemes and rainbow coloured walls. “It’s really important to me that where I live is a reflection of me and my personality, and also of my husband,” she told the Mail Online.

As someone who was once described as ‘a walking rainbow’, I for one am a strong advocate of expressing yourself in every way possible. With this in mind, when looking at one of the areas in which we spend most of our lives (aside from work of course), it could be argued that perhaps we should be reassessing how space in the home works best to highlight our own personalities.

2017 interior trends are in & the jury is unanimous: bold is best, by Rhys Reynolds

It seems like only yesterday we were ushering in the beginning of 2017, yet somehow we’re already halfway through our calendars. The interior trend forecast said soft pastels and a ‘less is more’ attitude would flourish this year, but like many a weather forecast, it appears the opposite is true.

2017 is all about exaggerated glamour; jungle prints, copper accents and sleek yet striking kitchens. Let’s be honest, you have probably found yourself purchasing a copper embossed pineapple, scented candles decorated with palm fronds or even a fuchsia flamingo. It’s clear then that bold is in and frugality is out, which apparently is down to the bright spring/summer collections popping up on runways and high street stores.

Marianne Shillingford, design extraordinaire, said during one of her talks at Clerkenwell Design Week: “When looking at what colours a person should choose to decorate their home, they should take a hint from their wardrobe”.

As corporate wear is no longer blacks, greys, knee length skirts or perfectly pressed white shirts, but now all about strong statements of colour and splatters of metallic, it seems our homes are reflecting this daring design style. The once white marble kitchen top (like the many kitchen tops depicted here) now sees chic matte black, cupboards with no handles, and butler’s pantries that house all appliances (from unclutterer) so to maintain a clutter-free kitchen. Coupled with timeless copper or gold accented fixtures, the kitchen is now more a statement piece with appearance taking priority over functionality.

Moving into the living room, ombre-hued wood gives a warm and inviting appeal to the revitalisation of Gatsby inspired luxe, and gold gilded mirrors and reflective surfaces hang as focal points in a room. Where a Bromley piece once inspired coffee table conversation, now Eichholtz’s modern metallic mirrors take centre stage.

Whether you wish to escape the political landscape in which we find ourselves through jungle inspired Amazonian prints, or bathe yourself in the decadence of velvet and distressed leather, this year is all about being creative and enjoying bursts of colour. Set your inner designer free and tell the somewhat reserved corporate worker to take a seat on the settee and let your imagination run metallically wild. Be bold.

Making the most of your outdoor space by Nick Horbowyj

As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, attention shifts back to our outdoor living areas. Whether it’s a balcony, small courtyard garden or vast expanses of lawn, there’s an abundance of exciting and cost-effective methods to spruce up an alfresco space. Here are some trends set to take 2017 by storm:

Indoor outdoor

Far removed from the days of wobbly, plastic tables and chairs, this year will see a rise in creating an indoor feel, outdoors. Waterproofed lounge furniture (bought from a China furniture wholesale event), outdoor rugs and occasional tables gives a relaxed vibe to alfresco dining, perfect for tapas and sangria fuelled evenings. For smaller areas such as yards and balconies, French-style café tables and chairs, slim potted plants and outdoor, wall-mounted mirrors help to give a sense of luxury and space.

Embrace the wild  

Shake off the shackles of perfectly trimmed hedges and borders with a scattering of wild flower seeds. Available at all good garden centres, mixed packs will give colourful surprises when flowering and due to their hardy nature, they’re happy even in the most hostile of places; including gravel patches and partially shaded corners.

Darkness to light

When dusk falls, extend the opening hours of your outdoor space with exciting lighting. Fire pits make for a dramatic centre piece, while log candles add a rustic, campfire feel. For a more whimsical approach, opt for rows of fairy light bulbs or battery powered string lanterns for night-long illumination.

The Marketing Industry’s Biggest Coup? Beer Yoga is coming to a park near you, by James Harris

The ancient practice of yoga, which finally gained prominence in the West in the 1980s, is undergoing a rebrand as yogis across Germany, Australia and the Far East are taking to enjoying a bottle of their favourite tipple while seeking mental, physical and spiritual nirvana. Known as Beer Yoga, it’s the latest health and fitness craze due to hit our shores.

For years we’ve been told that alcohol (a diuretic) and exercise are not best friends. England’s Edge Hill University even found that “just smelling alcohol was enough to weaken people’s willpower”, so what’s changed? Well, there are no prizes for guessing that the trend originated in Germany, a country that is reported to consume 116 litres of amber nectar per capita per year.

Has the German beer industry seen the marketing opportunity of a lifetime following the explosion of yoga worldwide? Are there genuine benefits to this practice, or is it too good to be true? Or, perhaps the world has simply gone mad. We’ll let you be the judge, but what’s for certain is that it shan’t be long before a Beer Yoga comes to a park near you.



Brexit and the homeowner: what can we expect? by Jenna Greig

In not-so-breaking news, this week Theresa May triggered Article 50 and in doing so, ushered Britain head first into Brexit negotiations.

For months, every industry in the UK has been pondering Brexit’s impact; how will it affect international travel, for example, or what will the impact be on the pound? All jokes aside, we’re in for an interesting couple of years and one of the most talked about topics is the housing market. As the FT reports, analysis by Google shows that property concerns are rampant with searches prefaced with “How will Brexit affect…” followed by “house prices”, rather than “the economy” or “immigration”.  So, what are the experts saying for homeowners and house hunters?

The Evening Standard’s Homes & Property recently enlisted a team of professionals to share their thoughts and they collectively had quite a sunny outlook, forecasting a more stable property market, a rise in house sales and no rise in interest rates. However some of these predictions were based on historical patterns and this is one milestone the UK has not yet faced. Zoopla’s founder, Alex Chesterman, speaking to the Express says that purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions we make and so naturally there’s a lull in sales during “times of uncertainty”, meanwhile The Telegraph tells us that it all depends on the UK’s economic health, which is “difficult to forecast”.

While these opinions are all interesting takes, they lead us to the same conclusion: it’s still too soon to tell. It’s a frustrating outcome but one we’ll probably have to get used to for the next two years. At least we can rest assured that we’re all under the same roof.

Fancy a Prefab? by James Harris

Do you fancy living in a prefab? Tricky question. One thing is for sure though, it’s time Britain upped its prefab reputation.

Since they were masterminded, prefabricated homes have been known for both brilliance and abomination. Some, such as The Sonoma weeHouse are at the forefront of housing design, while others can be described as little more than temporary onsite office cabins. Unfortunately, Britain’s latest prefab venture is a far cry from The Sonoma weeHouse.

Chelmsford City Council announced last week that it will be building 18 4m by 8m low-cost homes for those on the housing waiting list. Britain’s housing crisis is certainly alive and kicking, but the worldwide prefab industry has shown that we can do better than this. Globally, prefabricated homes have come a long way since Airey Houses popped up across the UK as “temporary” replacements for homes that were destroyed after World War II.  More than 50 years on many of these homes, which were never exactly architectural masterpieces, are still in use today. I only hope the same isn’t the case for Chelmsford’s answer to the housing crisis.

Hygge’s out and Lagom’s in – but why are we so taken with Scandinavian trends? By Jenna Greig

In case you missed it (and I’m certain you didn’t), in 2016 cosiness received a Scandinavian rebrand and suddenly you couldn’t open a magazine without being confronted with the almost unpronounceable Hygge (hue-ga). The age-old Danish phrase is more accurately translated to a comfortable state of being or a warm feeling of contentment, yet in Britain we filtered this down to listing soft furnishings and the most comfortable socks.

In October, The Guardian championed Hygge as a soothing balm for the traumas of 2016, yet come November had cottoned on to the ‘conspiracy’ of the buzzword, at the same time as The Spectator crowned Hygge the most annoying word of 2016 – a sure sign it’s on its way out. So, what’s next?

That would be Lagom, according to Elle – a Swedish word meaning ‘just the right amount’. Or perhaps Sisu, as the Times reports, a Finnish word that means fearlessness and stoicism. Either way, whether we’re ditching knitwear for balance or bravery, it looks like the next big lifestyle trends are migrating from Scandinavia once again.

So, the question remains, why the overwhelming interest in Nordic culture? It could be because they’re just so happy. In the 2016 World Happiness report, the top five countries listed are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland respectively. As a region, Scandinavia seem to have their collective lives together, and that’s pretty appealing. Perhaps it’s just a clever marketing tool? It’s all too easy it seems to find a mysterious-sounding foreign word for an everyday concept. Or maybe it’s just a long-standing notion that the birthplace of Ikea can do no wrong? At the end of the day we’re in it for the kaukokohteisiin (that’s long-haul in Finnish), but at least Lagom is easier to pronounce.

Going green in 2017 by Nick Horbowyj

Is green the theme for 2017? Nick Horbowyj, amateur lover of all things interiors, gives his thoughts on how to incorporate Mother Nature’s palette into your home this year.

Green with envy

Firstly, attention must be paid to the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year aptly named, Greenery. Described by Elle Décor as the world’s brightest neutral, it is said to represent rejuvenation and although the colour of envy may be scary to some, going green will inject life into any room. Paired with pale greys, stark whites and matt black, the colour helps highlight elegance, marrying perfectly with a wide range of styles, from ancient splendour, 70’s revival and extreme modernism.

Taste of the tropics

The tropical trend has been consistent in design since the Rio Olympics, and it’s not hard to see why. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard in Vogue attributes the ongoing trend to runway collections from Marc Jacobs, Prada and Emanuel Ungaro, with hibiscus and palm leaf featuring prominently. The vibrant prints certainly add excitement to interiors however, moderation is important, if you want to avoid your living room resembling a Tiki lounge.  Subtle incorporation can be achieved through soft furnishings, such as accent pillows on a neutral sofa.

No-fuss greenery

From print to potted plant, any space can benefit from foliage. According to an article in The Telegraph, this year swap your flowering house plants for evergreens, with ferns taking centre stage. Loved by the Victorians, this plant adds year-round architectural elegance to a room. If you struggle with the responsibility of keeping plants alive, incorporate your ferns into a sealed terrarium – minimal upkeep for maximum leafy impact.

The road to Rio – the impact of the 2016 Olympic Games


Recently the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors.

As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, making sure we’re sharing the latest insights and delivering campaigns with real impact.

Ideas and Insight

As part of this, our regular I&I events will feature expert panels discussing the issues which will affect consumer behaviour, create trends and be written about by media, making sure we stay ahead of the pack.

The Rio Olympics 2016 was the subject of our first event, held at Brazilian bar Floripa in Shoreditch. Including brand and marketing managers, designers, journalists and writers, our 12 experts brought experience and expertise from across home and lifestyle, food and drink, travel and creative thinking.

Influencing everything from colour palettes to fast food


Discussions ranged from how the Olympic Games will influence our paint choices to what will be the next fast food trend to hit the high street (office delivery of real coconut water, anyone?). It was a glimpse of how w,e as consumers, want to be communicated with and how brands can (and will) explore that.


We’ve put together a short film of the event to give you an idea of what happened and some of our predicted insights can be found in more depth here.

If you are interested in hearing more about I&I or would like to take part in a future event, please email or call 0113 243 1117 to be added to our mailing list.

Your table is ready…

Dining Table

Kitchen suppers à la Nigella? Tray bake courtesy of Jamie? Forget it. The formal dining room is back and the Home and Lifestyle sector is about to change.

Says who? Elle Decoration, that’s who, and what they don’t know about home and lifestyle isn’t worth writing about. What it means of course is all those people who knocked down walls in favour of open plan layouts, kitchen islands and TV dinners will have to give the builders a bell, and here at Lucre PR our Home and Lifestyle experts think this is a good thing. Because there’s nothing like the return of the formal dining room for creating a sense of occasion to our eating habits.

The impact of such a seismic change in our lifestyles is most probably going to be felt in our consumer purchasing habits. Could this be the return of the ‘family china’ on the wedding gift list of the soon-to-be-betrothed? Will we be buying decanters again and passing the port?  Let’s face it, there’s no point heralding the return of the formal dining room without accepting what comes with it: formal dining.  Which means the return of the dinner party. Less throwing a few chicken thighs in a pan, more five courses and carving the Taj Mahal out of a goji berry.

We might even enter next year’s Masterchef.

The hottest trends interior design trends for 2016


(Photo credit:  Solid Nature: this Dutch company exhibited 40 monolithic “standing stones” — just a fraction of its range of marbles, Travertines and granite in more than 600 colours. The company plans to open a London office this spring.)

Here at Lucre Towers, Home & Lifestyle is one of our four key sectors, so we make sure we know what’s what when it comes to everything from wallpaper to diffusers, from hot colours to cool kitsch.

At the recent Maison & Objet Paris show, it seemed that if you want to be up-to-date, rather than down-at-heel, you need to get your hands on some marble – as much of it as possible.

And the icy cool palette of pales remains popular, not only in interiors but also in haute couture. The majority of stars at this year’s Oscars were wearing the palest of pales, and whether you like her Armani Privé dress or not, Cate Blanchett never puts a foot wrong when it comes to fashion. If she’s into the palest of blues, then rest assured the rest of us will be soon enough.


Emily Blunt in palest pink Prada showed that crystal embellishment remains on fleek; it’s a real trend for interiors in 2016, (see below)



Consider this collaboration between Lalique and Steinway: the Helconia piano.  The iconic piano firm has created a unique instrument, decorated with glass crystals made by the equally iconic glass firm Lalique:

Finally, back to black.  This stand-out Maison de Jeu wallpaper by Christian Lacroix Maison for Designers Guild demonstrates just how effective black is as a foil to other colours.

Capture 2



Now, where did we put that step ladder and set of overalls?


How much fun is this? make your own new London Tube line sign

Well this has whiled away the time at Lucre Towers, as we made our own new London Tube line signs.  Our lovely friends at BuzzFeedUK really know how to hit the spot!

Naturally, we had our own take on it.

There was the fairly literal approach:

























Although some were more sporty.  Our resident tennis buff gave us:












Some went slightly off-piste:












And (there’s always one) went her own way entirely:


judging you


The Great Sport Relief Bake Off – episode 2


bake off

For a variety of reasons we  missed the first episode of the Great Sport Relief Bake Off.  Nothing, however, was going to stop us from watching this episode, mainly because of our giant girl-crushes on Victoria Coren-Mitchell (VCM) and Kimberley Walsh. We love Kimberley, and still feel aggrieved on her behalf for being ROBBED of the Strictly trophy two years ago.  ROBBED.

Anyhoo, moving on. Signature challenge? Bake 24 muffins which must be identical.  Jennifer Saunders was very keen that the bakers understood this.  We’d have preferred Jen to appear as AbFab’s Edina, but you can’t have everything.

Blokes were Chris Camara (sports commentator, apparently) and Ed Balls (#edballs). Chris was making sultana (bleurgh) and banana muffins, with a touch of cinnamon. Ed  was making the same, but his had yoghurt in it. Kimberley made strawberry cheesecake muffins because she is a goddess, and VCM made Bloody Mary muffins, involving celery (meh) and vodka (get in). VCM is ace, and should be our best friend and teach us how to play poker.

VCM spent a great deal of time staring worriedly into her oven. Perhaps she should have ditched the muffins altogether offered Paul and Bezza several shots of vodka instead? Everyone knows Bezza likes a drop of the hard stuff.

Judging time. “The muffins should be well-risen, beautifully flavoured, and neither tough nor soggy,” intoned Jen. Chris presented his muffins (no innuendo). Paul looked unimpressed. “They taste like paint.”   Ed’s were more successful. “A pretty good muffin.” Meanwhile, Kimbers’ efforts had sunk, but nil desperandum. “The flavour is FANTASTIC,” Paul announced, ignoring the muffin and looking adoringly at Kimberley’s false eyelashes.  VCM was told her muffins did, actually, taste like a Bloody Mary.

The technical challenge was football pies.  Er, football who the what now? Double crust, filled with mincemeat, onions and peas, with a football “design” on the top, apparently.  Everyone looked taken aback, but carried on gamely whilst Bezza and Paul discussed supporting Liverpool (Paul) and Everton (Bezza).  Nobody had any idea how to make pastry well, apart from Ed, who looked smug. Kimbers read out the instructions.  “Add two egg yolks, and small splash of water.” This didn’t help Chris, however.  “How much is small splash?” Which, when you think about it, is a perfectly reasonable question.

VCM said her eyes watered when she chopped onions, so she put on a huge pair of sunglasses, looking like Roy Orbison in a blonde wig.  Ed pratted about with hexagon-shaped bits of pastry that looked like flowers, not footballs, but we like Ed so we’ll say no more. VCM’s pies looked as pale as a Jane Austen heroine with consumption, because she’d forgotten to glaze them. Chris’s pies looked like roadkill, several days after a rogue Ford Fiesta had flattened the carcass.

Kimberley’s pies had what she described as a “sort of” football on the top, with nice and thin pastry, Chris’s effort was under-seasoned, VCM’s were described as “a nice bake” and poor old Ed’s were under-baked, collapsed, and lacked seasoning. He looked as disappointed as the other Ed just after David Dimbleby announced the winner of the General Election.  Still, a man who gives rise to his own annual hashtag (#edballs) doesn’t care about that kind of footling detail.

He came fourth, Chris third, Kimberley second and VCM in first place. Who would win the whole thing overall?  It was all down to the show-stopper, a three-layered cake representing an extreme sport.  Chris started making an “extreme bodyboarding” cake, becauase riding shallow waves is the most extreme of all the water-based sports. His boarder looked like a corpse on a banana and caused Bezza to giggle uncontrollably.  Kimberley recreated Mount Kilimanjaro in cake form, in memory of her Sport Relief climb a few years ago. It looked sensational.  Ed made a complicated ski jump cake, complete with a fondant Eddie The Eagle and VCM went for a “round the world sailing” cake with, she explained, “the taste of the sea”.  This turned out to be nothing more sophisticated than insane quantities of salt in a blue mess.  “I’ve done a slightly rubbish cake,” she said, ruefully. Stick to vodka and cards, Vic.  That’s a winning combination in anyone’s book.

Lovely Mary was on hand with a smile and just the right amount of praise. “All of them have been baked beautifully.”  In the end, Kimberley won and everyone applauded heartily.  You know why Bake Off is such a success? Because nobody is mean, or needlessly cruel.  Everyone has a laugh, helps each other, and treats it as the good fun it is.  We love it.

Luckiest Girl Alive – book review

Luckiest Girl Alive


When Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll was been tipped as the must-read book of 2015, it went immediately onto our reading list.  Yes, it’s taken us a little while to get round to it, but hey, we read a lot! Anyway, the novel entered the UK market in July last year with a position in the Top 10 New York Times Betseller list already under its belt, along with comparisons to previous blockbuster hits in the contemporary fiction world, including Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.

It’s no plot spoiler to suggest the protagonist is perhaps not quite as lucky as the title portrays, from the poisonous sting of yellow font on the front cover overlaying a deadly black rose, to the first sentence “I inspected the knife in my hand.” Not the subtlest of introductions but the subsequent pages turn effortlessly as this latest popular thriller unfolds.

With Reese Witherspoon snapping up the rights to a film adaptation in the US, and media outlets across both sides of the Atlantic rushing to leave rave reviews, the book has also gone on to perform sensationally here in the UK since its release, buoyed by traditional marketing techniques enhanced by social media.

Central to this has been Jessica Knoll, of whom it could be said has taken on a character herself in support of promoting her first fictional work. A former senior editor at Cosmopolitan in the US and currently an editor at SELF, Knoll has played a critical role in the story behind the story, with comparisons being made between herself and her fictional anti-heroine.

Supported by a clever influencer strategy helping to maintain in excess of 2 million impressions of the hashtag, #LuckiestGirlAlive on Twitter in only one week, the social buzz was peppered with cross platform author Q&As, interviews and competitions, including a $1,000 prize draw, covering everything from the contents on the page to Knoll’s career path.

Whether interested in Jessica’s steps to stardom, or fictional TifAni’s road to redemption, Luckiest Girl Alive is definitely worth a read for fans of crime fiction. We’d like to see the next smash hit focus on a more positive female role model. Drunk, damaged or dangerous has been the topic of debate around the female dialogues in the latest genre success stories including the aforementioned Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. While the tortured hero is not a new character concept for men either, it would be nice to see an inspiring female lead take the spotlight, we’re confident ‘good’ girls can be interesting too.