Monday 25 August 2014

Review ~ Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon.

Title: Thirteen Weddings.
Author: Paige Toon.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.
Genre: Chick Lit.
Release Date: May 8, 2014.
Source: Bought.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Bronte never expected to see Alex after their one night together, but she never stopped thinking of him. So when she arrives at work one day to find that Alex is a new colleague, she is secretly thrilled. The only problem is that Alex is now engaged to the girl he was on a break from the night they met.

Determined to move on, Bronte becomes a part-time wedding photographer, alongside her day job. Surrounded by loving couples, tearful bridesmaids, mischievous pageboys and interfering mothers-in-law, she struggles through wedding after wedding whilst her heart is slowly torn apart.

As Alex’s own wedding day draws ever nearer, their chemistry becomes harder to ignore. Bronte must decide whether to fight for the man she loves, or to let him go forever.

Paige Toon is the author that transformed me into a chick-lit lover, and so a new book written by her is always an exciting time for me. Given that I’m not really a massive fan of reading about weddings, or love triangles, Thirteen Weddings was probably a strange choice of book for me to read but Paige Toon has never let me down so far and she definitely didn’t here. Actually, Thirteen Weddings has been my favourite of her novels so far.

That cover and synopsis would sell any book to me but Thirteen Weddings had a lot more to it than what’s revealed on the back of the book. It’s more than Bronte simply not being able to let go of her one night stand – it was at times a light read, and always entertaining but then in turn, there were some heavier themes worked into the plot, in Paige’s typical stunning fashion. What I was intrigued by the most was Bronte’s new job as a wedding photographer, since we learn early on that she is not a believer in marriage and has a general fear of churches too. It was a fascinating story.

If I’m honest, as soon as I read the prologue, I was kind of disappointed it was just the prologue because I loved it. So much so, I would have been happy to see the story continue straight on from then onwards rather than a year and a half later. Although that might have had something to do with the fact that I fell a little bit in love with Alex at the beginning and his obvious chemistry and connection with Bronte was great to read. Further on in the book, Thirteen Weddings brings us a love triangle though not the one I’d been envisioning before reading. The introduction of Lachie made me feel about as confused as Bronte did about her feelings. Lachie was such an uplifting character – I couldn’t read his involvement in the book without a smile on my face, even though my heart was always with Alex. I could understand both ways for Bronte and thought Paige wrote this aspect of the book smoothly and it was unpredictable.

From the beginning, I thought I knew where this story was going to go but throughout, there were twists and lots of brave and bold writing that I couldn’t be sure of anything. I felt like I was reading a Paige Toon novel at her absolute best. Her gorgeous writing is so easy to read – I love how she touches on and mentions characters from previous books because we all like to know how the characters we left behind are doing don’t we? Friendship was a big theme in Thirteen Weddings too and I adored so many of the characters we meet. Bronte’s friendship with Bridget and Maria was a real joy to read and I loved how supportive Bridget was, especially with the cracks beginning to show with Poppy, who had a really interesting sub-plot here.

There was really nothing for me to dislike about Thirteen Weddings. The concept of photographing thirteen weddings did make me think it might become a little repetitive but that was not the case at all. Each wedding was different from the rest and some of the people Bronte met during her wedding photography, in fact most of them, were nuts and completely livened up the book. I fell in love with Paige Toon’s writing all over again and it was a satisfying ending, only marred by the fact that it had actually ended. I will be waiting impatiently for more from this brilliant author.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

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