Published in: 2005
Edition read: Paperback
Series: Bell de Jour book 1
Belle couldn’t find a job after University. Her impressive degree was not paying her rent or buying her food. But after a fantastic threesome with a very rich couple that gave her a ton of money, Belle realized that she could earn more than anyone she knew–by becoming a call girl. The rest is history. Belle became a twenty-something London working girl–and had the audacity to write about it–anonymously.
I used to watch the TV series years ago, so this has been on my TBR shelf for ages as a result. This book is… well, it’s terrible. I was seriously disappointed by this book and the main character who is crass and judgemental and just really thoroughly unlikable. I struggled to connect with her and her situation so much, because as you read through, you can’t actually see any reason as to why she’s a call girl. I’m just saying, normally, people in that profession are there for a reason. Belle… I can’t understand why she’s a call girl.
The book is loosely based on the author, an American who travelled to the UK after university, couldn’t get a job in her obscure field (some sort of anthropology) and instead of doing the usual- go back to uni, go into a different field, bunk with friends or family, cut back on spending, etc… she turns to prostitution as the logical next step. Just going to mention, Belle has no drug habit to fund, no history of abuse, no mental illness, isn’t living on the streets or unable to buy food etc. She is honestly the most well setup person and she turns to prostitution as an income source. I feel like there were other things you could have done before prostitution. A lot of things. She also then judges people who have ‘nomal weekday jobs’ like she is so high and mighty.
Belle is not ashamed of her sexuality or needs, and she details things that are taboo in most circles. The honesty (well we assume honesty) is refreshing and I think it’s that shock factor that made this book into the sensation it was when it came out and then spawned a television series. I just felt like she made some questionable life choices that seem beyond extreme. It’s not like she was out of options. She lives alone (could have taken on a roommate to help with rent); she has an addiction to buying lingerie (how many underpants can you have? how about you cut back on that?), and she seems to spend an awful lot of time out drinking, partying, entertaining (hey, how about cutting back on that too and staying in?). Not to mention, in this book, her parents live close by and offer to give her money if she needed it.
Also, she seems to have serious commitment issues, of which this profession is not helping. I understand it might be hard for her to find someone she wants to be with, but its like she doesn’t even try with half of her relationships. She also seems to have no actual friends who are women, and all of her male friends, she’s slept with. I could not relate to her character at all and just felt frustration while reading through the book.
Diary of an unlikely call girl rating: 4/10
Would I re-read it? No
Who would I recommend it to? Erm… I guess fans of the television series?