1 November 2016

Blog Tour Book Review: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Joanna Bolouri

"Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends, an amazing car and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, batshit crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex . . . but he's nothing she can't handle.

Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it's going really well. So well, in fact, that this year Emily is hoping to take him home for Christmas to meet her family. Finally she won't be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity looks from her younger married siblings.

But when Robert breaks up with her a week before Christmas, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan (in exchange for one month's rent and the use of her convertible) Emily is determined to take Robert home for Christmas come hell or high water, even if it isn't the real Robert . . "

Rating: 5/5

You can buy the book now!

I absolutely love festive books, so jumped at the chance to be involved in the blog tour for Joanna Bolouri's new Christmas themed book The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! I love the cover, it's such a lovely festive looking book you just want to devour, and devour I did! The story is the story of 38 year old teacher Emily who is fed up of going home alone at Christmas. Therefore, when she's finally settled in her relationship with boyfriend Robert, she decides to ask him to spend Christmas in Scotland with her family, and he (reluctantly) agrees, much to her mother's delight. However, when relations turn sour between the lovers, Emily realises she can't turn around and say she'll be arriving alone and single once more, so decides to ask her new friend Evan to play the part of Robert. With her family none the wiser, Emily is sure she can pull this off, even if just for a few days...

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the humour. It was genuinely funny, I loved Emily and her antics, and she was a heroine I could truly love and get behind. I couldn't quite believe she had the gall to go through with it, and I was sure her family would see through it all in a matter of minutes but much to my delight they didn't! Emily and Evan's fledgling friendship is really put to the test, having to pretend to be a couple after now knowing each other for very long at all, but it does lead to some very amusing moments, and I really did laugh out loud quite a bit throughout this! I especially loved the car journey the pair take up to Scotland, absolutely hilarious!

Emily's family, although marketed as the family from hell, were actually quite sweet, and I loved that they were all so close with each other, especially at this sort of time of year. Emily clearly wanted to impress them too which was really sweet, it goes to show you're never too old to make your parents proud of you, and you always want to keep them happy! I did feel sorry for Emily constantly having the mickey ripped out of her because of her perpetual single status, but that's what families are for isn't it - a bit of friendly ribbing every now and then?!

The book is actually set in the run up to Christmas for the main part, but I was thrilled that we actually get to spend the actual Christmas day with Emily, Evan and co, it sounded like a fantastic Christmas day to me! There was lots of funny goings-on between the family members, they certainly weren't too shy around each other, but I really liked the warm feeling I got when I read about them all, it sounded so perfect in so many ways! I really enjoyed getting to see Evan and Emily getting to know each other too, and I was hopeful that the pair might spark off despite the age gap, but Joanna Bolouri certainly keeps us guessing as to how it's all going to end up!

For me, this is a perfect Christmas read, and I just can't recommend it highly enough! There is so much festive feeling crammed into the pages here, I loved everything, especially the descriptions of Emily's family home and the small Scottish town where she lived, covered in snow - it sounded like my idea of Christmas heaven if I'm honest! With a really loveable cast, especially the main 2 characters, a really funny story that will have you cringing and laughing equally, you can't go far wrong than to read this in the run-up to my favourite time of year. A truly brilliant festive read, I cannot wait to read more from Joanna Bolouri!

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