Helen Fielding is one crazy gal. For after all, an author who has created a character like Bridget Jones, has to be a little kooky herself. And that’s exactly why I love her style. But Bridget Jones and Olivia Joules, even if they’ve sprouted from the same mind, are completely different characters. They might have a few similar shades of eccentricities, but while on one hand Bridget is down-to-earth as far as her appearance and insecurities are concerned, Olivia is confident, beautiful, and has no difficulty landing herself a man. So for a reader like me who loves Bridget for her close-to-real problems, would not completely identify with Olivia’s stunning looks and near-perfect-ness. However, Olivia is not proud, and has characteristics that makes you think that she could be your scatter-brained friend. She wins you over in the first few chapters with her morals and bravery, and you can’t help but cheer for her to have the right intuition.
Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination begins with Olivia being sent to Miami to cover a beauty related event for her freelance stint with a newspaper and a magazine. There she comes across an attractive so-called Hollywood film producer Pierre Feramo who wishes to court her. But Olivia’s hunch tells her that there’s more about this smooth-talking man than appears on the surface. She goes with her intuition, nearly missing death, and in a series of adventures ends up working for the CIA as a spy in order to stop terrorists from another attack on the United States.
Olivia Joules is Fielding’s attempt to break-free from the Bridget Jones mold by creating a semi-realistic post-9/11 world. By no means does Olivia leave the same impact as Fielding’s previous cult work, but the book is a fun, quick read that at times leaves you in giggles. You’ve got to give that to the Brits – they have a whacky sense of humor.