8 May 2013

Book Review: The Guest List by Melissa Hill

"When funny, kind and gorgeous Shane proposes, Cara is over the moon, and can't wait to share the news of their engagement with all their friends and family.

Excitement, however, quickly turns to apprehension when it seems that everyone has a fixed idea of the perfect wedding and offers to 'help' with the planning. With tussles over the ceremony and the size of the guest list, sibling rivalry and insistent in-laws-to-be, Cara can see the vision she has of her big day being ripped to shreds.

So she and Shane determine to make a stand and do things their way. But when they announce their plans for a beach wedding on a beautiful Caribbean island, there is uproar. Threats are made, family secrets are revealed, and things turn decidedly stormy.

Will Cara and Shane manage to overcome all obstacles? Or will their dream wedding turn into a nightmare?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The Guest List as a paperback or an eBook now.

I always eagerly look forward to a new Melissa Hill book, she is one of my all-time favourite authors and has never let me down with a book yet. I have to say when I first saw the cover for her new book The Guest List I was really impressed, it looks romantic and beautiful - her design team always do an amazing job for her covers, and this one was no exception. This one was based around an upcoming wedding, and I wondered what mystery Hill would throw into this one. This is what I've come to get used to when reading Melissa's book - she always puts something in there, a twist towards the end that you don't expect and I was hopeful there'd be something shocking in here too!

Shane and Cara have just got engaged, and they are both over the moon. They've been together a few years now, and Cara is excited to walk up the aisle with the love of her life. When they tell their parents, they are expecting a joyous reaction, and for everyone to be thrilled for them. However, no-one reacts to their plans of a beach wedding very positively; Shane's parents want a society wedding, and Cara's family want a big traditional white wedding in an Irish church, not to the mention the fact that Cara's pregnant younger sister Heidi is kicking up a stink about travelling in her delicate condition. The warring families soon put a wedge between the happy couple, and Cara and Shane are left wondering if a wedding is a good idea after all...

I have to say when I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought it sounded like a great idea and had potential for the story to be really interesting because weddings are of course a source of conflict for many people, and after reading it, I had to wonder how many people found their own stories to be similar to that of poor Shane and Cara! As the main two characters in the book, I thought they were a fantastic couple. They were likable, genuinely nice and in love people, and importantly, you as a reader will want them to have their dream wedding and happy ever after, and it makes you dislike their families even more for what they put Shane and Cara through in the build up. I especially liked Cara, she just loved Shane and was determined to marry him no matter what, and the fact she wasn't into big designer names or an expensive wedding was really great I felt, and I felt like I could relate to her in parts.

The fact that Shane and Cara were such nice people just made their families seem even worse if I'm honest! There's Cara's baby sister Heidi, newly pregnant and convinced she can barely breathe without posing risk to her unborn child. She is just an awful woman, but she is funny about it as well, you can't help but laugh at her ridiculous notions, although I thought she was horrid to Cara in parts. Shane's parents, in particular his mother, are even worse. They seem to be all about their own interests, never mind what the happy couple want, and Hill writes their upset so very well, some of the scenes are really awkward between the family members, it made me grateful that my own family would never be like that! You really do feel sorry for Shane and Cara, it just seems like everything is shattering around them, and you just want to bang all of their horrid families heads together and make them see what is most important about the whole thing.

Now, as I said, Melissa Hill's books usually have a twist in them that just doesn't become apparent until the end when you realise it's been slowly building, and I always love that element to her books. However, for the first time, I actually guessed the twist in this one. I don't know how, it wasn't obvious but for some reason I just picked it, and when it was revealed that I was right, I have to say I was a little disappointed, I did miss the surprise element of it that there usually is for me. That said though, it was well written and covered in the book, and I liked how the fall out of it was covered in the book. You're also left wondering if the wedding will indeed happen as you're reading, it isn't clear if there is going to be a happy ending or not for Cara and Shane, and I didn't want to put it down because I had to know how it would end!

I really enjoyed reading The Guest List very much, and liked how it slowly revealed its secrets, and the despair of poor old Cara and Shane who you can't help but really love the more you read on. With warring families, a beach wedding, and plenty of family shenanigans going on, there is lots happening in this book to make you want to keep reading, and by the time you reach the end, you'll be praying for a happy end to Cara's woes! A wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a couple's life together, but Hill shows how quickly it can all go wrong. As usual, Hill's writing is a pleasure to read, and you can so easily lose yourself in the story, and the emotions which feel so real as you read along. The mystery and family secrets hidden inside are well worth reading for too, I wonder if anyone else will be able to guess it quite early on as I did?! A super read that's perfect for the upcoming summer months, or your holidays.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Melissa writs in a way ,so you wreally want to know how it ends:)
    What to you think is her main message?