2 December 2015
Book Review: One Wish in Manhattan by Mandy Baggot
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.
With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.
But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.
While Hayley tries to fufil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.
Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever? "
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I was a bit disappointed earlier this year when I read Mandy Baggot's summer read, Truly, Madly, Greekly, because lots of other book bloggers were raving about it, and I just didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. However, when I found out that Mandy had a Christmas novel coming and it was set in New York at Christmas, I was eager to find out if I would enjoy this one more and.... I did! This was a beautifully written tale that I thoroughly enjoyed, and definitely recommend to you all this Christmas!
Hayley Walker is determined to make her daughter Angel's Christmas wish come true, no matter how impossible it might feel. All Angel wants is to find her father, but given that she is the product of a one night stand in New York nearly a decade ago, Hayley is unsure where to even begin looking for him. She decides to go to New York for the festive season to find him, staying with her brother Dom who works for multi-millionaire businessman Oliver in the technology business. Hayley unwittingly bumps into Oliver in a restaurant and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship, and sparks begin to fly. Is Hayley about to make more than just her daughter's wish come true this Christmas?
Now, I have been lucky enough to visit New York at Christmas, way back in 2005, so I love reading books that transport me back there, to one of the best holidays I have ever had. I have high hopes for how authors describe this beautiful city, and everything Christmassy about it, and luckily Mandy Baggot has done a brilliant job on this front for me. She described everything to perfection, from the streets and building, to the tall glittering tree at Rockefeller Centre. Her descriptions really bring it all to life, and the memories came flooding back for me, so this certainly added to my overall enjoyment of the book.
I did really like Hayley's story too. For some reason, I kept muddling up Hayley and Angel, assuming that Angel was the older of the two (I think it was because I envisioned Angel being more of an adult name in my eyes), but once I'd got it straight, I was fine! The pair had a lovely close relationship, and I thought Mandy did a great job of a writing a realistic child character, something some authors don't quite manage to do. I really did want Hayley to make Angel's wish come true, given that it was something so precious to Angel, and enjoyed the twists and turns the story took as Hayley desperately hunted across the city for any sign of him.
However, although I loved the tale involving Hayley and Angel, my favourite part of the story was Oliver and his life. Oliver has had a bit of a sad life, losing both his dad and his brother to a hereditary condition, which he is sure he also has, and is therefore also sure he's going to die young. I felt so sorry for Oliver, feeling like he was in an impossible situation, and not knowing how to deal with his emotions, and his still-raw grief from losing his brother and father. His relationship with his mother is also very strained, so you could see why he was quick to befriend Hayley, someone new who had no idea about his life or his family. I loved seeing him develop as a character as their friendship brought him out of himself more, and I really did love him as a character, he was just such a lovely person!
This was a perfect Christmas read in my eyes, it had everything I could wish for in a Christmas book - lots of Christmas feeling and spirit, romance, humour and just a brilliant story that you as a reader can get invested in. As I said, being set in the magical city of New York added to the magic for me, and if you haven't been, you certainly will feel like you have once you've read this book. I thought Mandy's writing was spot on in this book, and I really didn't want it to end, although of course it had to. It's the ideal read to curl up with in your living room with the beautiful Christmas lights dotted around, and will leave you with a lovely warm feeling inside. A beautiful book!