• NZ Booklovers

Definitely Not Monica by Joanna Butler

Updated: Nov 27, 2018


For years Jenny Sullivan has been different from everyone around her, with her phobia of germs and her compulsion of cleaning everything obsessively that she comes in touch with. She works from her bacteria-free apartment, only venturing out once a week for dinner with her family. Her best friend Amber has learned long ago that Jenny won’t come to visit, that she will need to visit Jenny in her apartment. Jenny has resigned herself to the fact she won’t ever have other friendships or romance in her life. She is too strange.


But then Jenny’s cleaning compulsion goes one step too far, and after an ‘incident’ she is forced to attend a local support group for addicts. Before she knows it, Jenny is meeting a cast of unforgettable characters, all of them addicts in some way. Grayson gambles, Anthony can’t stop himself from stealing things, Phil is addicted to food, while Petra is struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs. Ellen is a sex-addict, Jonty is an alcoholic, while Suze is addicted to shopping. Jenny dreads joining this support group, but it sets her on a pathway of stepping out into the world.


I loved Definitely Not Monica! This novel is such a pleasure to read, the characters are so warm and funny, and the plot line is very satisfying and not predictable. All the characters are very well drawn, and it lightly touches on more serious issues, while still being a rollicking good read. I really enjoyed Jenny stepping out into the world and challenging all the things she had thought about herself previously.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

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