17 October 2016

Review #536: ...And a Happy New Year? (The Spinster Club, #3.5) by Holly Bourne



My rating: 5 of 5 stars


“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

----Elbert Hubbard



Holly Bourne, an English bestselling author, pens yet another exciting, soul-touching and enlightening contemporary tale, ...And a Happy New Year? which is the final book from Bourne's bestselling young adult series, The Spinster Club. Lottie, Evie and Amber is back again after leaving for their respective colleges for Amber's house New Year's Party. This novella is a complete joy ride filled with laughter, good humor, tender love and also with few secrets and heartbreaks. And this book is the best way to say goodbye to our favorite teenage characters who rocked the whole series for the past two years with their journeys and adventures in a grown up world.


Synopsis:

Evie, Amber and Lottie are having a new year party to remember.

For the first time since leaving college, all three girls are back together. It's time for fun and flirting, snogs and shots.

(And not tears or tantrums or terrible secrets)

Because everything's going great for these girls - Spinster Club for ever! Right?



Amber has planned to throw a New Year's party at her house as her father and her siblings are away. So Amber has invited all of her friends, including her two bffs, Evie and Lottie, while the later is enjoying supposedly enjoying her life in the big city of her dreams in London. But Amber is hiding away a big secret from her best friends, although her boyfriend has insisted her on telling the truth to Evie and Lottie, Amber fears that it might ruin their friendship. Lottie is all set to go back to her hometown, especially she is all excited to see her long-distance relationship boyfriend on New Year's eve, also not to mention she would get to see her two lovely best friends. But Lottie too is holding back the truth about her life in London and in college, and also about her ignorant boyfriend, and she is sure that her friends do not need to know the truth about her not-so-happening life in London. Evie is the only one who isn't too excited to leave her mentally sick boyfriend to attend a party to meet her bffs, but the problem is her friends do not know the truth about her mentally sick boyfriend. And spilling the truth might make her friends judge about the relationship and Evie is not yet ready to hear the truth. So what happens when these three girls meet after such a long time with so many secrets? Does it really leave the question mark after wishing "Happy New Year" to one another.

This is the final book from the series and the fans of the series gets to say a proper goodbye to their favorite characters, Amber, Evie and Lottie who made this whole series an exciting whirlwind adventure through friendship, feminism and love. This book is bound to leave a sweet lasting impression in the minds and hearts of the loyal and devoted fans. This book is exclusive for the Spinster Club girls and readers who have been following the journey for the past two years, so if any one plans to read this novella, then they must grab the previous three books to get an insight on the character's development through the three stories of their lives.

The author's writing style is fabulous, really crisp and intense that will easily make the readers feel the emotions and the tension of the real-life social drama, eventually that will keep the readers hooked into the story till the very end. The narrative is absolutely free-flowing and is laced with hilarious yet sarcastic dialogues and often with evocative ones that will make the readers contemplate with the voices of the each and every characters. The pacing is really fast, as the story moves swiftly through the point of views of Lottie, Evie and Amber respectively.

The characters from this novella are well developed and are laced with enough realism to make them look believable in the eyes of the readers. The main characters, Amber, Evie and Lottie, has grown up a lot in this novella through ups and downs and challenges from the previous three novels and in this novella, their maturity reflected through their demeanor. The characters have evolved so despite of their indifferences they have learnt to comprehend with the negative situations and that will make the readers respect them a lot. Even the supporting characters are extremely charming and pleasing to read about their trauma and indifferences.

The author has addressed the problem of mental health quite sensitively through lots of understanding and compassion that will make the readers contemplate the real pain of mental illness from their hearts. Feminism plays a background role in this novella but the center stage is taken by the importance and value of true bond of friendship, that is depicted with not only realism but also with lots of emotions.

In a nutshell, for me, I would like to revisit this whirlwind and compelling journey of Amber, Evie and Lottie more than once, as it is hard to let them go, and it is a must read for the fans of The Spinster Club series. So its a wrap for Amber, Evie and Lottie, but they will stay forever in the hearts of their fans.

Verdict: A highly absorbing, sensitive and soul touching novella.

Courtesy: Thanks to the publisher from Usborne Publishing for giving me an opportunity to read and review an early copy of this book.
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Author Info:
Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women's rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves' acting ability.
Holly's first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the 'Normal' series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.
Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.
Visit her here



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