Page to Stage reviews were given exclusive and early access to I heart Christmas – now that’s what we call an early Chrimbo present!
Here what Zarina thought of the latest installment in her Page to Stage blog:
“I think Lindsey Kelk’s hilarious and witty novels are brilliant and I love anything to do with Christmas, so you can imagine my excitement when a few months ago I found out that Lindsey would not only release a second novel this year (the first in her new series, About a Girl, was only published four months ago and was fabulous!) but that it would be the next instalment in her brilliant I Heart series. And it would be Christmas themed! There may have been some squealing from my end upon reading that announcement.
Of course there’s always the risk of looking forward to something too much and setting yourself up for disappointment, but thankfully that wasn’t the case this time around. The book was very enjoyable, easy to read and laugh out loud hilarious at times (I had actual tears in my eyes when reading a certain sequence set in a vent), and fans of Angela, Alex, Jenny, Louisa, Delia and James, and those who love to hate Cici, will be in for a festive treat.
The story is this: Angela and Alex are living a (mostly) happily married life and Alex is starting to drop some not so subtle hints about wanting to take the next step in their relationship: starting a family. But Angela believes that she is not even an adult herself yet and she’s not at all ready to think about being responsible for another human being.
Add to that the stress of some major changes at work, the always cunning Cici making a reappearance, unexpected visitors on her doorstep just before the start of the holidays, and two of Angela’s closest friends going baby crazy when they seem in even less of a position than her to be able to think about starting a family and Angela is really, really stressed out just before Christmas. And when Alex drops yet another bombshell on her, Angela’s normally favourite part of the year turns into the exact opposite as it looks like she will no longer be able to spend the holidays eating her own weight in food and watching crappy telly, but instead she’ll have to busy herself with grown-up stuff.
I Heart Christmas is a fantastic and festive new addition to the I Heart series. With the relationship between Alex and Angela now well established (they’re even married, yes he put a ring on it…) it would’ve been so easy for author Lindsey Kelk to give the two characters the happily ever after we’ve all desperately been longing for since the first book, but that wouldn’t be very realistic now, would it? So instead of taking the easy way out she has given our favourite characters more depth as she tackles issues that most couples, married or not, will face at some stage in their relationship, which gives Angela and the gang some personal growth.
And it isn’t just Alex that gives Angela grief either. Everyone around her grows and changes and even though she tries to be a supportive friend, the mountain of stress at work and the usual Angela mishaps add up to her unintentionally neglecting the people around her. She’s not always as good a friend as she thinks she is and it eventually comes to blows just before what is supposed to be the merriest day of the year.
Thankfully though, the novel it isn’t all doom and gloom. Even when things look bleak in Angela’s life she still manages to get herself into some seriously awkward (for her) yet hilarious (for the reader) situations throughout the novel. The previously mentioned vent incident was a particular highlight, but there are plenty of other moments where Angela gets caught in faux pas, and they provide some laughs and giggles to ensure the book is also still a lot of fun.
Ever since I got my hands on I Heart New York I’ve loved Lindsey Kelk’s books and characters, and this latest part in the series is my absolute favourite one yet. This novel carries a little more weight than the previous ones but is still filled with plenty of Angela’s classic antics and has added festive fun too, making it a perfect addition to anyone’s Christmas wish and/or reading list!”
“5 out of 5 stars”http://0