Picks and Pans Review: Behaving Like Adults

updated 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Anna Maxted

Like a lot of chick-lit heroines living in London today, sweet Holly Apple-ton, 28, has to make some adult decisions, especially about her loser fiancé, Nick. An owner of a dating agency, Holly has the usual sitcom-style friends and siblings. But Maxted must yearn to be a soap-opera writer: What her crew experiences in three months—a rape, a coming out, an adoption and business reversals—would make the cast of The Young and the Restless cluck in sympathy. A few funny moments (a bad meal causes flatulence that "could have powered a hot-air balloon from London to Colorado") are surrounded by angst and therapy-speak ("You have no power over what has happened to you, but you have every power over what happens to you next"). This soap drowns in suds. (ReganBooks, $24.95)

BOTTOM LINE: Weepy where it should be witty

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