No, you're not experiencing déjà vu. This is a different book from last month's review, just with the same title! However, I was incredibly upset and confused when I realized...I had already read this book! What the heck? I've been trying to figure out when or why I would have read it before now and just can't do it. I therefore must conclude that I've lost my mind :) That's the only reasonable explanation, obviously.
I know it probably seems like a bad thing that I read a book and didn't remember it, but I did enjoy this book. I must say though that I liked last month's Wedding Season more than this month's but they had completely different takes on weddings. Last month the book focused on a wedding planner (a job that I can't decide if I would love or not) who had two weddings to plan on the same day, one of which was her sister's. This month the novel was about a woman who had to attend or be in seventeen weddings in six months. Can you imagine??? I think I would go nuts...not only the stress of being in a ton of weddings and making decisions but all the money...oh boy. Two weddings in one summer was enough for me.
Now, I will give you the synopsis from Goodreads...
Seventeen weddings. Six months. Only the strong survive.
Joy Silverman and her boyfriend, Gabriel Winslow, seem perfect for each other. Living together in New York City, they have everything they want and everything in common--most important, that neither one wants to get married. Ever.
But when Joy finds herself obligated to attend seventeen weddings in six months (including those of her father, mother, younger brother, and five of her closest girlfriends), the couple is forced to take a new look at why they're so opposed to marriage when the rest of the world can't wait to walk down the aisle. As the season heats up and the pressure mounts, Joy must confront what it means -- and what it costs -- to be true to one's self.
A witty, wicked comedy of manners in the satirical tradition of Jane Austen and Evelyn Waugh, Wedding Season is an intelligent, laugh-out-loud funny examination of friendship, faith, integrity, and the ideas and institutions that bind us together, shape our lives, and define who we are.
The synopsis mentions one of things that I wanted to comment on...this novel has a very Jane Austen type feel to it. It's hard to really describe but it really is a "comedy of manners" that the cover says it is. Joy is also very clever and critical of her society's norms - which is quite similar to Elizabeth Bennet from Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Joy can't understand why her friends all want to get married. She doesn't see the point if you can be just as happy without that piece of paper. Elizabeth can't understand why her friends would marry just to marry and be secure. She wants to marry someone she loves and respects. (Imagine not having that choice? It seems like such a no brainer now but women didn't always have that choice.) Can anyone else see the similarities or am I stretching with the comparison?
The book isn't very character driven which I didn't love. Ironically, there were a ton characters so I think I just didn't get a good sense of any of them. I actually found myself pretending that some characters didn't exist. Is that wrong? They just didn't add anything to the story and they bothered me. The last few books that I've read had main characters that were just so vivacious and likable and I found it hard to really connect with Joy. She was so set in her ways that marriage was evil and everyone who got married was stupid that it bothered me. Also, she had suspicions that her boyfriend was fooling around with another woman but didn't approach him about it. It was also obvious that he wasn't doing anything, at least it was to me. But maybe that was because I had already read the book... :)
The ending of this novel is a little surprising because it's not a typical happily ever after. I loved that, once I got over the fact that things weren't all wrapped up in a pretty little package. Even though things don't seem to be "perfect" at the end, Joy grew as a person and I think that's the most important thing.
Overall, I liked the book but I didn't love it. It's clever and real and has quite a few laugh out loud moments. (Joy's aunt's bachelorette party is pretty amusing). Has anyone else read this one? What did you think of it? I wish I liked it more, but you can't love everything! I would still recommend this novel for a fun summer read - it is wedding season after all!
Happy reading :)