Craving Adult Contemporary?? Wedding Night and The Bookshop on the Corner Reviews

New week, new type of post.

Since my thoughts on Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner and Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night are a bit short and non-spoilery, I decided to change up my usual review format to include 2 reviews in one post (rebel I know). Plus, both books fall under the same genre: British, adult contemporary!

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The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Summary: Nina is a literary matchmaker, having plenty of practice as a librarian. But when the job she loves disappears, Nina is left with a lot of books and trying to figure out her next step. Taking her love for books and plenty of them in tow, Nina moves to a quiet village in Scotland, where the community is in dire need of reading. There, Nina buys a van and transforms it into a bookshop on wheels. Between sharing her passion for storytelling with the village and dealing with her grumpy, but caring landlord, Nina begins to feel more at home than she ever has before.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

28372019.jpgMy Thoughts:

Jenny Colgan captured my heart in 2017 with Meet Me at the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, so kicking off my 2018 reading with another one of her books was a great start to my year.  

Obviously being a reader myself, I adored Nina’s appreciation for books and literature, and I found myself trying to figure how I could hypothetically open my own bookshop out of a van. After I finish writing this review, I’ll be off to Internet, looking for any fan art of Nina’s van/bookshop. I wish there was somehow a picture of it included in the book because I struggled to visualize it a bit (I know, minorish detail, use your imagination, Haley, but still!).

My favorite aspect of reading The Bookshop on the Corner was how cozy it made me feel. The majority of the novel takes place in Scotland, which I wasn’t expecting, but I loved this setting! I haven’t read any novels with Scotland as the main setting, and seeing Nina live on Lennox’s farm and participate in village life makes me want to move to the Highlands for a bit! Speaking of Lennox, I loved his role in the story, and it was really fun to see a whole new side of Nina come out when she talked to him. I also loved Surinder, Nina’s best friend, from pushing Nina to do something with her life to her comic relief.

Overall, if you’re looking for a book about books  or a cozy contemporary, The Bookshop on the Corner is the one for you. Personally, I love reading books about books, like Words in Deep Blue, so I would love to see a sequel to Nina’s story (even if it’s a just a small check-in).

 Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Summary: When Lottie’s boyfriend said that he had a big question for her, she thought it’d be finally be a marriage proposal, not a question about a trip abroad. Heartbroken, Lottie randomly receives a call from her first boyfriend and decides that it must be fate—a trip down the aisle seems like the right way to go! While Lottie is excited for this stage of her life, her sister Fliss feels the exact opposite. Going through her own divorce, Fliss is determined to end Lottie and Ben’s marriage with a ruinous wedding night.

My Rating: 3.75/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working my way through Sophie Kinsella’s books (I think my local library has ALL of them!), and next up on my TBR was Wedding Night. I didn’t know too much about the book going in, but I figured I would enjoy the wedding aspects of the novel.17406464.jpg

Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much about weddings itself in Wedding Night, as the novel primarily focuses on Lottie’s rashness in her marriage with Ben and Fliss doing her best to sabotage their marriage for her sister’s sake. There is a considerable amount of wedding talk in the beginning of the novel, with Lottie overcoming her failed engagement to Richard and trying to “plan” a wedding with Ben. Additionally, I really liked the first half of the novel for its introduction to Lottie and Fliss, before the wedding night shenanigans begin. My favorite aspect of the novel was the dual POV from Fliss and Lottie. I liked learning about their backgrounds, like Lottie’s first trip to Greece and her mentoring college students to Fliss serving as head editor at the travel magazine. While reading about Lottie’s honeymoon mishaps from her perspective were quite funny, I liked Fliss’s POV a bit better, with her growing connection with Lorcan.

Wedding Night was a really fun and light read for me, between Fliss and Lorcan’s blooming romance and Lottie’s honeymoon from hell, but it was a little predictable and often dragged towards the end of the book. I figured that Fliss’s sabotaging Lottie’s honeymoon and wedding night would eventually lose control, and I saw some of the cracks in Lottie’s past history with Ben before she discovered them herself. The plot did become a bit ridiculous and far-fetched at times, but overall I think it added to the book’s romantic-comedy vibe.

In conclusion, I recommend Wedding Night if you’re looking for a light-hearted, rom-com-y read. I have two of Sophie Kinsella’s standalones left, and I’m highly anticipating Surprise Me, coming out in February 2018!

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Have you read Wedding Night or The Bookshop on the Corner? Share in the comments!

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Summary: Baking is in Issy’s blood- if not, there’s definitely plenty of sugar and butter! Raised by a baking extraordinaire of a grandfather, Issy can whip up the most delicious cakes and treats. After being laid off from her desk job, she decides to open up her own café. But Issy soon learns that running a business, even one inspired by her passion, isn’t a piece of cake.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts: 

As someone who loves British contemporaries and books featuring baking, I am in shock that I had never heard of Jenny Colgan’s books until a recent trip to the library with my mom. I was perusing through the adult books section of my library, planning out how I was going to read ALL the books during my winter break, when I found Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me at the Cupcake Café sitting on the shelf. I was going to put off this book about baking until my winter break, but I couldn’t help myself from going back to the library later in the week to pick it up. I am quite happy with my decision because I absolutely adored Meet Me at the Cupcake Café.

As you can tell from above, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café has a huge emphasis on baking, as Issy opens her own cupcake shop. The most unique element of the book is that it features recipes of many of Issy’s treats that she makes in the book. They filled me with desire to bake, especially for Christmas ( I may have been looking up gingerbread recipes when I should have been writing a paper), and I really want to try to make the Nutella cookies. They recipes are really special and important to the story because Izzy’s grandfather, Gramps, sends them to her through letters. Issy and Gramps have a super close relationship, as her grandfather raised Issy and he influenced her to fall in love with baking. The most heartbreaking element of the novel is seeing Gramps suffer from dementia, but through it all, he supports Issy’s opening of the café. Issy’s moments with her grandfather often brought tears to my eyes, and by the end of the novel I was full-on crying—the first book in a while to make me do so!

Moving on to the more heart-warming aspects of the novel, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café has such a funny and supportive cast of characters for Issy. Pearl and Helena were my favorite side characters, as they brought a lot of humor to the story, but they also supported Issy the most. What really made me laugh out loud were the interactions between Caroline and Pearl’s son, Louis. The following argument between the two made me laugh out loud:

“ “Caline,” said Louis seriously, leaning over to make his point. “Bad cake, Caline.”

“No, yummy cake, Louis,” said Caroline tightly.

“No, Caline,” said Louis. Issy hastily got in the middle before it turned into a genuine argument between a forty-year-old and a two-year-old.

There is a bit of romance in the novel, as each woman in the novel deals with their own relationships. I didn’t mind the romance, with the exception of Issy. Her relationship with her on-and-off again boyfriend, Graeme, frustrated me to no end, especially since she had a much better suitor throughout the story. However, the romance really doesn’t affect my opinion or rating of the novel that much because the baking and storyline made up for it immensely. I just fell in love with Issy’s story, the people in her life, and of course, the cakes. Although it’s an adult novel, if you love the baking aspects of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I Loved Before trilogy and want a book with even more of an emphasis on baking, pick this one up immediately!

I want to read ALL of Jenny Colgan books now, especially the ones that have to do something with baking and food! And she has so many books centered on Christmas, including the sequel to Meet Me at the Cupcake Café!

Do you enjoy books about baking? Have you read anything by Jenny Colgan? Share in the comments!