Overall Impression: Boundless summer fun. I can’t get enough of Lindsey Kelk!
(To read my review of the previous book from the I Heart Series, I Heart New Hollywood click here.)
I love that I am loving chick-lit right now! I never thought it would happen. After trying it several times and always coming away underwhelmed, not to mention my general disdain for the genre, I turned to a little book snobbery. (Shameful, I hate book snobbery.) But this just proves that you only need one good experience to change your mind about a genre. 🙂
I was worried this series might fizzle out as it went along but I Heart Paris pulls out all the stops, taking it up another notch. It twists and turns its way through one hilarious scene after another, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the I Heart series skip the blurb as it contains spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. The rest of the review is entirely spoiler free. 🙂
Angela is in the city of love – but romance is taking a nose dive.
When Angels Clark’s boyfriend Alex suggests a trip to Paris at the same time as a hip fashion magazine Belle asks her to write a piece, she jumps at the chance.
But even as she’s falling for the joie de vivre of Paris, someone’s conspiring to sabotage her big break. And when she spots Alex having a tête-à-tête with his ex in a local bar, Angela’s dreams of Parisian passion all start crashing around her.
With London and her old life only a train journey away, Angela can’t decide if she should stay and face the music or run away home…
I think this was Kelk’s best writing yet. She had such a simple flirty and fun style, but there was something so warm to it. Everything she wrote was endearing in one way or another, whether she was describing the landscape, Angela’s insanity or a passer by on the street. In my opinion I think she was very skilled at pointing out the differences between the lifestyle and culture of each place she visits. Angela is chiefly British, a lot of her friends are New Yorkers and she has also visited and met people in LA and now Paris. Multiple accents is a lot for an author to take on, but she seemed to traverse it once again with ease.
The best part about her writing in this book had to be the comedic effect. There were so many scenes where I couldn’t stop laughing. Kelk’s sense of humor was excellent, it was simple so it didn’t feel forced. For instance:
On a disaster:
Boyfriend: ‘All you have to do right now, is calm down, remember what Mary said, and chill.’
Angela: ’You know I can’t “chill”,’ I frowned, ‘I’m English. We don’t know how to chill. At best I can try to keep calm and carry on.’ –Pg304
On stepping into an Apple Store:
’After a couple of minutes of aimless wandering around from computer to computer, a very young sales assistant sidled up to me, clad in the internationally recognizable aqua shirt of someone who is going to help you, but also make you feel really, really stupid in the process.’ -Pg 146
It’s silly little observations and comments like this that made the book such a wonderful read. Obviously they had so much more impact in context, but I think it gives you a general idea of her style. 🙂
The plot of this novel was similar to the last, Angela has a boyfriend, Angela does something misguided that threatens her relationship with said boyfriend and Angela tries to find a way out of the mess. When you get down to the basics it is quite formulaic, but the change in scenery means it never feels stale. Kelk kept coming up with unusual yet hilarious scenarios which made me physically unable to detach myself from this book! The pace raced along consistently and there was never a boring moment. Whenever I thought the book was beginning to lag it would hit me with another curve ball, for example Angela’s luggage getting blown up at the airport, unexpected, dramatic and laughable! I read the book in three sittings over the course of three days because I was so desperate to know what would happen, this novel was addictive.
Not only that, but it managed to fully invest me emotionally, it made me laugh uncontrollably, it made me frustrated and upset on behalf of the characters to the point where I was talking to them out loud, (That’s never happened before, honest!) it had me exclaiming NOOOOOO ANGELA, NOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING? and then a couple of pages later NOOOOO ANGELA’S BOYFRIEND, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME? and then back to NOOOO ANGELA, THIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. ARG. It is safe to say this book was a rollercoaster of emotions!
The one issue I did have with this book was Angela’s insecurity and the way the author made her note the appearances of other women. This seems to come with the territory with chick-lit but it doesn’t mean I have to accept it. Every female character that Angela encounters she feels the need to comment on their size and looks, always coming to the conclusion that everyone is much better looking than her. I know to an extent this is realistic, females are often known to be self deprecating but Angela’s character did it to such an extent that I became uncomfortable with it. I didn’t like the way it could reinforce and continue to fuel how body conscious women in modern society have become. I’m hoping Kelk will tune this down in the subsequent books. That being said, this was a very small aspect of the book and for the majority of people will not impact the overall enjoyment of it.
The characters were once again fantastic. It would be hard not to enjoy Angela’s crazy escapades, her constant stream of bad luck and her weakness for far too much alcohol. You can’t help but root for the girl who is living the American dream, although it is not all sunshine and rainbows she ultimately carries herself with dignity. Her happy go lucky narrative sets the tone for the entire novel making it extremely entertaining. She is a chick-lit lead we can be proud of. 🙂 We also get to delve further into the past of Angela’s boyfriend which I found interesting. While their relationship is rocky in this book you can’t help but root for the couple to succeed, said boyfriend wrenches at the heartstrings at all the right moments and I feel it is important to note here that I am once again in love with a fictional character. 😉
Some of the secondary characters that we know and love also make further appearances, Louisa, Angela’s long term best friend, Jenny the over enthusiastic no nonsense fashionista and of course Angela’s beloved Marc Jacobs bag. Along with these are a few new French characters, Alain the concierge who was at first baffled and terrified by Angela’s crazy personality making for some really funny scenes, the Parisian guide (who’s name I fail to remember) and said boyfriend’s persistent ex Solene, gosh she was a piece of work!
This book was good old fashioned pure entertainment, not too complex, serious or realistic but tons of fun! I can’t get enough of this series and will be impatiently looking forward to reading the next book. I’m trying to spread them out, making them last longer so I can savour them at times where I really need a feel good book. I would recommend this series to females 15+ who love cheesy romance, somewhat innocent but lovable characters and travel.
Writing Style: 5/5
Character Development: 4/5
Would I recommend this book? Most absolutely, positively yes blogsters. 😀
Book Cover: http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/8208564-i-heart-paris