Image courtesy of JacquelynMiddleton.com
Many of you who know me, or have read my blog know that I’m an avid reader. I’m currently trying to read 50 books this year, but I think I’m going to have to settle for 40 – I’m only on number 37 now. Aim high and manage your expectations I say. I looked back at the books that I’ve read this year, and let’s just say that my tastes run a little to the depressing/critically acclaimed side of the bookstore. Books read include “First They Killed My Father”, “The Cellist of Sarajevo”, “House of Sand and Fog”, “Girl With the Pearl Earring” and “The Colour of Our Sky”. All excellent, but the common thread is that although some may have uplifting moments, generally speaking, they aren’t the happiest books that I’ve ever read. You wouldn’t catch me smiling to myself as I flipped the pages of these tomes on the subway. That is why I was grateful to find out that my friend, author Jacquelyn Middleton was publishing a sequel to her popular book “London Belongs to Me”.
“London, Can You Wait?” was a breath of fresh air. Sometimes, in life, things get heavy, and you need something to escape to and that’s exactly what this was for me. The follow up novel picks up a year after the end of her first book with her heroine Alex and her boyfriend Mark together and enjoying their relationship. It was a very different book from “London Belongs to Me”. Her first novel was great – you can read my review here https://jillschnei.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/london-belongs-to-me/. That book could very well be classified as Young Adult, but “London, Can You Wait?” takes a decidedly more adult spin on the tale of its two main characters. We aren’t talking “50 Shades of Grey”, but I would say it was at least 5 shades of baby blue.
It’s definitely chick lit, but there is a part of the tale that is true to the original book – Alex suffers from panic attacks, and this makes the book a stand out from traditional women’s fiction. It’s a real struggle for her, and it impacts her in various ways in the book. It is a contributing factor that led to issues in her relationship with Mark, and it plays on her confidence making it relatable to people who suffer for panic attacks, and bringing a greater understanding to people like me who don’t have them. It also explains how Alex deals with things and instead of feeling frustrated with her inaction at times, you get insight into why she makes the decisions that she does.
All of the likeable supporting characters from the first book are back and you learn more about their back stories. You also hear more about Mark, her boyfriend in this book and understand his motivations. I’m not going to spoil the story and tell you any other details, you can find those on other sites, or novel idea (pun intended), buy the book. I will say that although some of the story rang a little untrue, like when Alex expects her actor boyfriend to cut back on acting roles abroad (as if), but, the drama is more than enough to capture and keep your attention. You also don’t get as much of the touristy stuff that made book one so readable for me, but that makes sense since Alex is a resident of London now so she doesn’t have that new to the city mentality. What you do get is an enjoyable read that feels more sophisticated than the original (although I really liked that book too). Middleton has another success on her hands. I plowed through the book in 3 days – c’mon, I have a job – and could have finished it in an afternoon if I had the time. Congratulations Jackie – you have a winning formula.
You can buy this book from Indigo, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo and more by clicking here http://www.jacquelynmiddleton.com/book-store/354/ It can be read as a standalone, but you really should read “London Belongs to Me” to get the most out of the story. Please don’t buy the book from pirated sites – the author doesn’t receive any royalties, and Jacquelyn Middleton poured her heart into this. Stay tuned for my interview with her in the upcoming weeks.