Monday, 6 February 2017

Review of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Joanna Bolouri

The bit on the back…

Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends, an amazing car and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, batshit crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex . . . but he's nothing she can't handle.

Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it's going really well. So well, in fact, that Emily is hoping to take him home to meet her family. Finally she won't be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity from her younger married siblings.

But when Robert breaks up with her a week before the trip, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan, Emily is determined for Robert to meet the parents come hell or high water, even if it isn't the real Robert . . .

Firstly thank you to Quercus for a review copy of this title. I am obviously a little behind in reviewing this book seeing as we are now in February and I read the book in December *hides face in shame*, however I would happily reread it right now and would enjoy it just as much as when I first read it.

I read Joanna’s novel “The List” a couple of years ago and I knew then that she was going to be one of my must read authors. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year more than lived up to my expectations and will be a book I will definitely keep to reread in the future.

The story is all about Emily who thinks she more or less has her life sorted; job – tick, friends – tick, car – tick, flat – tick and of course amazing boyfriend – tick. That is until Robert tips her life upside down and puts a spanner in every single one of her going home at Christmas as the well rounded, successful daughter plans. Robert, quite frankly is a swine and even though he had a kind of Colin Firth-y thing going on I was actually glad when Emily and him split up!

Emily is a really down to earth and relatable character. She has many worries and issues that readers will be able to identify with and she has a really dry sense of humour that will have you laughing throughout the book. One little trait of Emily’s that lets her down in the beginning is that she is quite judgemental, particularly when it comes to her hot, younger, neighbour Evan. I really liked Evan though. He wound Emily up and got under her skin which was fun to read because he shook her up a little and gave as good as he got from Emily.

The story follows Emily back home for Christmas where Evan masquerades as perfect boyfriend Robert. As the holiday season passes the two become closer and Emily begins to see that she has pegged Evan all wrong.

I really enjoyed this festive read which can really be enjoyed at any time of the year. If you’re a fan of Mhairi Macfarlane and Lindsey Kelk you will enjoy Joanna’s books!

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