Melissa and the Singer (by Terry Grimwood)
My review of this story:
This is a brilliant story. Simple, staccato language suits Grimwood. Actually, with 'Melissa and the Singer', I was compelled to read to the end voraciously, quite agog. Both cringing and uplifting. I really felt Melissa's emotions. The stress of an office party in all ts nightmarishness. It is an effective story of a gauche, overweight girl in a highly believably-evoked office scenario of professional and personal politics. Presumably, this story was written before the Susan Boyle 'Britain's Got Talent' phenomenon? (The story is in a book that was first published in 2008). Whatever the case, it either prefigures (or echoes) that phenomenon with panache and memorability. I won't forget this story for a long time. I will continue fathoming how Melissa progresses beyond the story's end, Susan Boyle or not.