Can you tell I’m trying to whiz through reviews quickly?! I read both of these in December last year, and since they’re both chick lit I figure they fit nicely together for a review!
I read You’re the One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher first, over a couple of evenings when I just wanted to wind down and chill out, rather than a demanding read. While this book irritated me slightly with its ending, I did enjoy its cutesy plot. Definitely good for the purposes of ‘winding down’. The book is about three friends Madeline, Robert and Ben. We join the story when Madeline and Robert are about to get married, and then go back in time to when they met as kiddies in primary school and traces the course of their complicated relationships back up to the big day.
Spoilers – I felt pretty unsatisfied by the ending of the book, because the whole narrative was predicated on the concept of Maddy having a choice to make when she gets to the end of the aisle about whether she’s letting her wedding carry on or whether she’s grinding everything to a halt. To me, if you’re walking up the aisle thinking of anyone other than your intended slightly longingly – you maybe need to back up and have that conversation because, really. But the whole basis of the book – Maddy being stuck between her actual relationship with Rob and her potential relationship with Ben – didn’t feel like it went anywhere, for me, because what Maddy actually did was… nothing.
I think I understand what Giovanna Fletcher is trying to ‘do’ with this (kind of?) plot twist, but I’m not convinced it came off for me. Mostly I found it difficult to be happy with Ben’s marriage in the epilogue, because while he seems happy, that whole thing has a few pages of mostly summarised development – while most of the book has been focused on the development of his feelings for Maddy.
All that said, I promise I did enjoy the book and its writing in general– enough to have bought a copy of Fletcher’s debut, Billy and Me.
Moving on to A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley. As you might know if you read my other review of an Ashley book (Every Woman for Herself) I’m a bit of an Ashley fan – there’s something about her way of approaching chick lit style stories which, while her stories tend to have certain things in common, just makes me happy to read. I love her sarcastic, quirky protagonists, and her brooding, moody male romantic interests. I picked this up for Christmas time and found that actually most of the book doesn’t take place at Christmas – but it does take place at a vintage cracker factory. The whole book made me smile and chill out, which is precisely what I was looking for over the holiday period.
I probably preferred A Christmas Cracker out of these two books, but honestly, they’re a great example of how different things can be within one genre!
Note: Somehow, I managed to miss You’re the One that I Want off my 2015 Reading Review and book total – but I definitely read it last year!