Elly in Love was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. I had fallen in love with Elly in Colleen Oakes' first novel, Elly in Bloom (review here) and I couldn't wait to get back to her world and see how she was doing. Happily, the sequel held up and was a great read.
Here's the synopsis:
Curvy wedding florist Elly Jordan has had quite a year. First, she had to design her ex-husband’s wedding to the mistress who split them up, and then she broke up with the hottest musician this side of St. Louis. Three months have passed since then, and now Elly is primed for what promises to be the best wedding season of her life.It had been just over a year since I had last visited Elly but I remembered almost everything about her and her friends. I'm glad that all of the supporting characters I loved from the first book were present in the sequel. Snarky Teenager was, once again, fabulous. I liked watching her grow as much as I did Elly. The women had a lot of growing pains to work through but I knew they'd make it through and have a fabulous end result. I also enjoyed that we still don't know what Snarky Teenager's actual name is. I imagine Oakes will have a grand reveal for the final book (a la Sex and the City).
Helped by her loyal friends, Elly is on the verge of opening a chic flower boutique uptown when BlissBride, a popular wedding reality show, asks her to design the wedding of a famous—make that infamous–celebrity. Elly is about to get everything she’s ever wanted, when a stranger shows up at her store with a request that changes every aspect of her life–including her budding relationship with deli owner Keith. As she struggles to stay calm in the midst of growing chaos, Elly will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice.
The only thing I didn't like about this book, and probably why I didn't give it five stars, was how Elly was acting with Keith. Not to give too much away, but he was hiding something (I totally called what it was, by the way) and she did not appreciate it. I totally understand why she was behaving the way she was...so perhaps I should amend my earlier statement...I didn't like how Keith was acting with Elly. He was, frankly, being an idiot. He explains, in the end, but I wasn't convinced. I may be too critical but this part of the story felt weak for me.
One of the things I loved about Elly in Bloom was how funny and real the story and Elly were. That realness carries on in Elly in Love. Elly isn't your typical heronie. She's clumsy, she's clueless about fashion, and, well, she's also overweight. It's a bit of a bummer that I, as a reader, still note when a main character isn't stick thin because it's still not the norm. I'm hopeful that things are changing though. I said it in my last review but I'll say it again: the way story is told and the type of character Elly is reminds me of Jennifer Weiner's novels. If you like her books I definitely suggest checking out Colleen Oakes.
I'm really happy with the way things turned out for Elly in Elly in Love. Colleen Oakes has written yet another fabulous novel about an equally fabulous heroine. I cannot wait to read the next Elly book!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Spark Press, in exchange for an honest review.*