16 July 2009

Book Review: I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

At her best friend's wedding, Angela walks in on her long-term boyfriend Mark cheating on her with someone on the back seat of their car. Nice. So she does what any self-respecting woman would do - flees... not just the wedding, but the country as well! Angela ends up in New York City with no friends, no money and no job.

But she soon makes friend with hotel receptionist Jenny and she's determined to put a smile back on Angela's face. Cue a LOT of spending in Bloomingdale's, getting drunk and meeting a couple of hunks along the way too. Angela also lands her dream job of being a writer - it seems everything is going right for her at last. But despite blogging her romance ups and downs, can Angela figure out which man is right for her? Does she heart NYC more than home?

I heard about this book quite a while before I got to actually read a copy, so by the time my library had it in for me, I was quite excited to finally read it and see if it lived up to the hype. It's bright and colourful cover screams out "chick lit" from the shelf, and plot sounds perfect for me too - exactly the sort of thing I really enjoy reading. I've been lucky to enough to visit New York (April 05 and December 05), and I still want to go back! I hoped this book would bring back some memories for me, and it definitely did that!

The book opens with a hilarious scene, and I hoped this was a sign of the rest of the book to come as well. It had me really laughing out loud, and I immediately loved the character of Angela, she seemed so normal and likeable, you couldn't help but feel sorry for her being cheated on by love-rat Mark! Luckily for us, this is pretty much all we see of the awful Mark, so thank goodness for that. He's one of those awful male characters you can hate with a passion but then, that's the point of him isn't it?! The other characters were well written as well, I really liked Jenny who despite her calm exterior is really a bit bonkers, Tyler the super-suave businessman was a bit too smooth for me and rock-God Alex who wasn't my cup of tea but still felt like real people and the relationships between them all were so well done by Kelk.

As Angela runs off to New York, this is where the book starts to become slightly unbelievable, and although that isn't some people's thing, I actually don't mind it in a book because I sort of expect everything to be better than it would be in real life! Yes, meeting Jenny and becoming best friends really quickly is unlikely, and yes, meeting 2 gorgeous men and dating both straight away is also unlikely, but it makes for great reading! Angela isn't sure of anything and the reader can feel her apprehension about the situation yet I still loved it. It made Angela feel normal, and the unlikeliness of the situation yet normality of the lead character made it that bit funnier for me.

For anyone who has been to New York City, this book will definitely reignite some memories for you. Kelk writes in great detail about the glorious lights of Times Square, the breath-taking views atop the Empire State Building and the bitter cold as well! I could totally see in my mind where Kelk was writing about for the most part, and I loved reading about the bits I didn't get to see when I was there as well. In terms of location research, Kelk has clearly done hers meaning its a great read for both visitors and non-visitors of NYC, although it will make you want to go back there!

If you like your chick-lit fun, readable and funny, then definitely pick up a copy of I Heart New York! With a great cast of characters, a great location and a brilliant (if idealistic!) storyline, its the perfect summer read, and one I will definitely re-read if I ever make it back to the Big Apple! Also, for those of us who love Angela, fear not - its not the last we've seen of her! Kelk has another 2 novels following Angela due out soon, I Heart Hollywood (late 2009) and I Heart Paris (2010) so I can't wait for those! A full 5 stars from me, a really great book.

Visit the themed website with a blog from Angela: http://www.iheartnewyork.co.uk/

Rating: 5/5


  1. I have recently finished this book too - loved this debut novel and can't wait for the follow ups - I found it a little in the vain of the shopaholic seris. A really good easy read!

  2. Haha, I'm really beginning to wonder if I missed something because I appear to be the only one who didn't like the book - I just thought it was too simple, too flat and kinda boring, as I said in my review, and that's just the opposite of what *I* personally look for in a book. Not saying it was horrible, just not my cup of tea. But I'm honestly glad that others have enjoyed the book as that's all that matters really and I wish the author the best of luck with the sequels, but books with are beautiful covers are bound to do well! :)
    ps: Just checked on Amazon - the sequel is supposed to be out in January 2010 already. :)

  3. Bookalicious I agree! I loved the setting and the idea but I just thought the story was a bit childish and just didn't go anywhere!

  4. I absolutely loved the book. Yes, a bit unrealistic but I couldn't put it down. It was light, funny and brought back many memories for me who has been to New York. I had to fight not to go to the last page to find out who Angela ends up with. I will be hanging out to read the next books - can't believe I have to wait 6 months. Bugger!!

  5. Thank you! Glad to hear that someone else actually didn't like the book, I was honestly getting a bit worried, lol.

  6. LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. I mean Angela is the typical girl next door who swans off to New York and begins to live the life that a lot of us can only dream off. This book was such fun and Lindsey really does a fabulous job of describing the characters and selling NYC. A brilliant read and I cannot wait to get my copy of I Heart Hollywood.

  7. I'm half way through this book and I really, really agree with bookalicious - I am absolutely hating it. I think it puts a bad name to chick lit as the characters and situation are so unbelievable, the scenes that are supposed to be funny are cliched and I haven't warmed to Angela in the slightest - I find her quite arrogant and unbelievable. I prefer chick lit where the characters are in situations you can really relate to and her spending all that money, finding those two guys and them sticking by her and being besotted with her despite her showing little personality and landing on her feet so quickly just makes it impossible for me to sympathise with her. Sorry, maybe once I have finished it I'll change my mind but I doubt it! xxx