Review: When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Find Love Book Cover When Girlfriends Find Love
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
401

Sophie Wharton is in control. Whether life is going according to plan or throwing her for a loop, Sophie is determined to remain calm and in charge. It's no wonder she's the successful owner of one of Seattle's most charming cafés, The Cup and the Cake. Her lemon meringue cupcakes, petite French treats, and cappuccinos always leave customers coming back for more. Naturally, her camaraderie of college girlfriends are still thick as thieves a decade later. And it should come as no surprise that she has her own cozy apartment in the hip part of town and grand goals for her future.

Of course Sophie has had her share of rough times, and recently some unexpected surprises have emerged. Her best friend Claire has moved across the state, the demands of her café are mounting, and some major changes among her circle of friends are shaking things up. But it's nothing Sophie can't handle.

When it comes to her love life, however, Single Sophie's at a loss. She approaches it the way she does nearly everything in life--by trying to call all the shots. But love doesn't work that way, and as Sophie examines her past relationships--thinking back on romantic trysts in Paris; college mistakes; the relationship responsible for the Year of Heartbreak--she must come to accept that love is an unpredictable, untamable, and often unexpected force.

This is the witty and heartwarming conclusion of the When Girlfriends collection, a novel about examining the past, moving forward, and following your heart. It's a story about friendship, relationships, acceptance, and learning to love again. About what happens when girlfriends find love.

When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page is the final (seventh) book in the ‘When Girlfriends’ series. It focused on Sophie, who was also the focus of the first book, so things had come full circle.

I have read several other books in this series, and found my interest in them depended on how much I related to the character. For example, ‘When Girlfriends Let Go’ focused on Jackie, and I really found her vapid and shallow… which didn’t let me love it. In contrast, I much preferred ‘When Girlfriends Take Chances’, because I liked the characterisation of Emily better. I found Sophie quite relatable, and had forseen the romance that unfolded in previous books, so was happy to see it come to a conclusion.

I did find it a little unusual that the final book only focused on Sophie; yes, the series returned to where it started, but Sophie was really no more important than any of the other girls… so why not use the final book to wrap up everyone’s stories, from all perspectives, rather than just Sophie’s? That said, I was looking forward to seeing how Sophie’s story played out, so it wasn’t really a bother to me.

I love it when I get to read a series through to it’s conclusion – it drives me mad when a series is never finished (*ahem* The Obernewtyn Chronicles, or Galaxarena series…). So, I was always going to like this book! Honestly, it’s not super deep, but the entire series would be perfect for a light chick-lit read on a sunny beach.

If you’d like to read it for yourself, author Savannah Page is giving away a signed copy, and vouchers to Amazon and Anthropology! Just click here to enter the rafflecopter giveaway.

Amazon

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Find Love by Savannah Page through Chick Lit Plus, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion.

Annabel & Alice Sign Off

REVIEW: When Girlfriends Let Go by Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Let Go Book Cover When Girlfriends Let Go
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
537

A novel about love, self-discovery, and realizing sometimes you have to let go. 

Jackie Kittredge is the consummate drama queen living the charmed life. She’s enthusiastic, outspoken, and is always looking for a good time. At twenty-seven she’s got a swanky Seattle townhouse, a wealthy husband, a designer wardrobe, the best of girlfriends, and a calendar filled not with meetings and deadlines, but spa appointments and happy hour reminders. On the outside, she’s got it all. 

On the inside, though, Jackie’s charmed life isn’t as it seems. She’s seeing a therapist, battling the demons of coming from a broken home and a past of promiscuity and heavy drinking. She can be selfish and demanding, sometimes even wearing her best friends thin. And now her marriage—what she thought could be her solid foundation—is on the rocks. Her husband Andrew spends nearly all his time at the office (and possibly with his secretary), and apologizes for his absence with lavish gifts and empty promises. 

Miserable and desperate, Jackie questions if her marriage is worth fighting for. Then a string of events begins to put things into perspective…into a perspective she didn’t quite anticipate. With her best friends by her side and some tough love, Jackie finds herself not only asking if she’s where she belongs, but if she’s who she’s supposed to be. 

This is a passionate story about having to answer some of life’s most important and difficult questions. It’s a story about fear, courage, and personal growth. About what happens when girlfriends let go. 

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Let Go by Savannah Page in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Another instalment in the “When Girlfriends” series, When Girlfriends Let Go follows the first five books that chronicle the lives of six girlfriends in Seattle. All very different, each book focuses on one girl and the dramas she is facing at the time. This book centred around flighty, loyal, self-involved Jackie – and her fear that the only solution to her marriage trouble could be divorce.

Having read and reviewed the fourth book in the series earlier this year, I’m glad that I was already familiar with the characters. Otherwise, the many distinct characters would have been quite confusing. That said, I didn’t really connect with Jackie. Throughout the series, she is described as selfish and spoiled, in part due to her difficult childhood. While I can empathise with her past and how it may affect her personality, I struggled to come to grips with her lack of desire to do anything other than shop and socialise. That frustration overcame my understanding of her desire to fix her marriage. All too often it seemed like she was being childish and creating drama for dramas sake.

My other issue with the book was its length. Page took a long time getting to the crux of the story, and was at times overly descriptive, describing every outfit worn, etc. I think the book could have benefitted from being a little shorter.

On the whole, as a part of a series, this book is a good chick lit read. I’ll be picking up the seventh and final instalment, as I really like some of the other characters and want to find out how the girls are going.  But, as a stand-alone novel, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Amazon

Blog Sign-off

REVIEW: “When Girlfriends Take Chances” Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Take Chances Book Cover When Girlfriends Take Chances
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
367

A novel about exploring love and life's path, and taking chances along the way.

Emily Saunders has never thought twice about grabbing her passport, rucksack, and camera and trekking across the globe. If there's an NGO, a study abroad program, or simply the travel itch, Emily's on the first plane out. Free-spirited, open-minded, and eager to explore, it's no wonder Emily's hardly in one spot (or relationship) for long.

For the past year and a half, though, Emily's found herself planted in her college hometown of Seattle. She's surrounded by her best friends, has steady work as a photographer and at her friend Sophie's café, and is certainly kept busy by the wild antics of her BFF Jackie. Life's enjoyable, but Emily's looking for something more. She's ready for a change, for adventure!But when Emily tells her girlfriends she's ready for something new she does not expect Operation Blind Date!

Sure, Emily's single. Sure, she hopes to some day find true love. But being thrown into an insane challenge like this is not exactly the adventure she had in mind! Couldn't she just travel and focus on her photography? Or volunteer in Africa? Will a string of eligible bachelors lined up by her friends--a shot at finding a real and lasting love--really be that change she's searching for?

This is a spirited story about seeking adventure while being true to yourself, wherever you are in life. It's a story about love, risk, and self-discovery. About what happens when girlfriends take chances.

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Take Chances by Savannah Page in exchange for my honest opinion.

The latest in a series of books about a group of six women living in Seattle, I’ll admit that I had mixed feelings about this book. For starters, I think it’s necessary to read the earlier books in the series before picking up When Girlfriends Take Chances. While Page was clever in filling new readers in on the highlights of each character without overdoing the details and boring longtime fans, I felt that I didn’t really have enough detail about each woman’s story to really connect to any of them, and it took awhile to get them all straight.

Perhaps this is why I struggled to warm to protagonist Emily. On the surface, I thought we had one big thing in common – an insatiable wanderlust! However, as I continued to read I started to feel that she was a little two-dimensional… Unsure of where she is going in life, she’s wavering between taking off overseas again and trying to settle down. In itself, that’s a recognisable feeling. However, her apparent disdain of those who don’t share her love of travel, and the fact that her life is largely funded by her trust fund (although she prefers to spend it on travel than flashy possessions, which is admirable), were a little off putting. That said, she did read as a loyal friend, which was definitely a redeeming feature.

The actual plot of the book was entertaining – although the feminist in me takes issue with how important it is to the women that Emily find a man to ‘settle down’ with. I liked how the different stories intertwined, and took some comfort in the fact that these (albeit fictional) ladies remain friends despite their markedly different personalities. I also liked how Page was able to use a number of different locations for the story that added new layers; the start-up shop of Emily’s friend, her new book club, her shabby flat and the homes of her friends.

Overall, I think my opinion of the book would have been very different if I had read all of the books in the series. The writing style was light and easy – a perfect beach read – and reader’s will likely identify with one of the many characters. Luckily for you, you’ve read this post and now know to start at he beginning of the series. You can pick up the first three books in the series here. When I get a chance, I’m going to start at the beginning and read about their adventures from the start!

Blog Sign-off

The Pitch by Belinda Williams

The Pitch Book Cover The Pitch
Belinda Williams
Chick Lit
306

She's in a long-term, committed relationship. With her business.

In three years Madeline Spencer has single-handedly grown her marketing agency, Grounded Marketing, into one of the country's fastest growing companies. But her success has been at the expense of her social life, and her girlfriends have had enough. They'll do whatever it takes, from speed dating to blind dates, to show her there's more to life than work.

Only Maddy is having a hard time forgetting about her business. She's about to pitch for her biggest client ever and the mysterious media mogul, Paul Neilsen, has volunteered to mentor her. Maddy might just be in with a shot of landing the account – if she can keep her mind on the job. Working with Paul is not at all what she'd imagined, and Maddy finds herself torn between her ever increasing workload and her feelings for Paul. She's discovering playing in the big league means making sacrifices ... and Maddy must decide what she can't live without.

I love a good chick lit read (no surprise there!), and The Pitch was no disappointment. I immediately warmed to Maddy, with her business savvy and take-no-prisoners attitude. Her self-starter, a rapidly growing environmentally focused marketing business, was the kind of business I’m interested in, which probably attracted me to the book even more.

As the book progressed, Maddy did too. Her single minded work-attitude softened as she discovered the benefits of a work-life balance, and her friends helped to keep her sane as an unexpected romance turned everything she knew on its head.

The one thing that rankled as I read was Maddy’s physical description; Williams describes an Amazonian goddess, completely flawless… Her beauty was a recurring element in the book, and at times I just wished she was more ‘regular’.

But, that aside, I loved gentlemanly Paul, his sweet children, and Maddy’s gaggle of girlfriends – I was excited to discover that Williams has already written one book from the perspective of Maddy’s best friend, which I am on my way to download as soon as I post this review!

On the whole, this book left me feeling cheery and all plot twists were wrapped up nicely (leaving room for another book in the series, of course!). Really, what more do you want than to put down a book and feel happy!?

Amazon

I received a copy of The Pitch by Belinda Williams in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Annabel & Alice Sign Off