Sunday, June 26, 2011

June Chick Lit Review: Wedding Season

Ah, wedding season. While I have not had too many weddings to worry about yet I know the time is coming when I will have quite a few to attend in one year. I've already been in two weddings in one summer (sidenote: my profile picture is from my boyfriend's brother's wedding) and, let me tell you, it is not a very fun experience. Especially when you're unable to find a job right after graduating university. Woohoo! But I digress. This post is actually all about the wonderful novel Wedding Season by Katie Fforde that I read for my June Chick Lit Challenge Review. (Another fun sidenote: this was the last purchase I made with my discount at the bookstore!)

Let's start off with the synopsis from Goodreads:

Sarah is a wedding planner hiding a rather inconvenient truth—she doesn’t believe in love. But as the confetti flutters away on the June breeze of yet another successful wedding season she finds herself agreeing to organize two more events, on the same day, and only two months away. And while her celebrity bride is all sweetness and light, the other bride, Sarah’s own sister, quickly starts driving her crazy with her high expectations and very limited budget. Luckily, Sarah is aided in her seemingly impossible task by two best friends, Elsa, an accomplished dress designer, and Bron, a multitalented hairdresser. All three are very good at their jobs, but romance doesn’t feature very prominently in any of their lives. As the big day draws near, every moment is spent preparing for the weddings, and they certainly haven’t got any time to even think about love; or have they?
 I don't think this synopsis does the book justice quite honestly. It's about so much more than Sarah and the two weddings she is planning. Elsa and Bron each have a story to tell too. I loved this book, and not only because it featured a wedding planner (more on that later).

While the story does focus on Sarah, I appreciated that Fforde allowed for development of both Elsa and Bron. It seemed so natural for the three of them to become close friends as well as having a working relationship. The three women all have a somewhat negative view on love and relationships. Sarah is completely cynical and has given up on finding someone. Elsa is so shy and quiet and she doesn't really think she deserves a relationship. Bron is with a man who doesn't appreciate her and she's struggling to find herself again. I think Elsa was my favourite of the three and I think it's because she has the best "growth" story. I liked how each woman changed for the better and also, how she helped the other two evolve.

As I mentioned earlier, I really liked that this novel was all about planning weddings. Give me a book, tv show, or movie that is about wedding planning and I am one happy girl. It's not because I'm obsessed with planning a wedding for myself (thinking about getting married right now freaks me out, quite honestly) but because I enjoy planning events and think that weddings would be so much fun. Yes, I know it would be unbelievably stressful and brides are not always the best to deal with (I mentioned weddings are stressful, yes?) but they're the kind of events that have a lot of love, a purpose, and one hell of an awesome party. One major downside (and quite possibly the reason I haven't pursued wedding planning as a career): working weekends!

This is the kind of book that you know going into it that the main character(s) will end up with a man. And that's ok. I don't mind that chick lit books usually follow a typical formula, as long as the author does something new and fun with it. Fforde did that. When all the men were introduced, I knew which one ended up with each woman but I had no idea how they were eventually going to get together. That's what made this novel fresh - the common chick lit devices were used but Fforde put her own twist on it.

I highly recommend this novel - especially for a summer read. Anyone who has been in, attended, or planned a wedding will see the humour in it and will be able to identify with the story. Everyone else will enjoy it just as much as there is so much else going on outside the weddings. A quick check on Goodreads and I can see that Katie Fforde has many other novels. I think I'll have to find room for a few more of hers on my to-read pile! Happy reading :)

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