'Revenge of the Wedding Planner' is the story of Mags Grimsdale, a 40-something woman who works at Dream Weddings, a small wedding planning business run by her best friend Julia Sultana.
But Mags isn't your average 40-something mother of four - she's a goth with long black hair, has gargoyles in her house and is keeping a secret or two.
Julia sends Mags' life into disarray when she dumps her latest boyfriend, can Mags keep it all together - her family, friendship and of course, Dream Weddings?
The plot sounded pretty interesting to me, and was pretty good to start with. Mags was quite a fun character to read, and her first person narrative made very pleasant reading, which stumbled along, describing well Mags' life and her thoughts as well. However, that's really where the good things about this book ended for me. All of the other character in the book (perhaps apart from Mags' husband Bill) were all hideous - they were whiny, selfish, rude and generally not very nice people! Julia was the worst offender, and you have to wonder why Mags' would still stay friends with someone who treats her like that! She was very selfish and quite a user towards Mags. Her background is explained (quite extensively I must add) by Mags early on in the book, but this didn't make me any more sympathetic to her, quite the opposite actually. I think it was supposed to evoke sympathy from the reader, but just didn't from me.
We also get to meet 2 of Mags' children, Alexander and Alicia-Rose. Her daughter leaves the book a little way through (not through death!) so we don't see much of her but Alexander on the other hand, seems to be the son from hell. I feel Owens has rather exaggerated with his character, to the point of being so incredibly annoying I found myself wanting to skip his parts because he was so irritating to me! Other characters through the book included Mags' sisters, Jay; Julia's boyfriend, and the odd wedding couple.
Now, the awful characters isn't my biggest gripe with the book. I had a real problem with the amount of narrative in the book! Usually when I read a book, I expect to have an equal amount of dialogue and narrative from the author, but this book was so heavy with the narrative, it became very hard going after a while. I found myself checking how many pages there were until the end so that I could move onto another book because reading it at times was a real chore, and I was just bored with it. Dialogue betwen the characters was quite rare, and when it did occur, it was pretty short, and it soon launched back into its pages and pages of Mags' narrative once more. Owens' writing style itself is pleasant enough, Mags being quite funny to read, but the long narrative just wasn't sustainable from the characters and just went on far too long for me, and therefore really dented my enjoyment of the book overall.
The story was pleasant enough, with a couple of twists and turns throughout, not to mention a quite explosive ending, but it just didn't really do it for me unfortunately. I felt it was a little bland, far too narration-heavy, and the title didn't really make much sense for me - where was Mags' revenge?! I couldn't see it anyway. I was really looking forward to this book but I was actually relieved when it was finished. I hate reading a book when it feels like a chore, and that is what this was for me. Very disappointing, I'm quite unsure about trying any more of her work after reading this.
PLEASE NOTE: This book was published in Ireland under the title of The Trouble With Weddings.