* Prices may differ from that shown
Another book in the Annie Valentine series. I have read all the books in the series and it is just the kind of books that I like to read. It is the fluffy kind of books that I like and although I do like to read, I don't read all serious or heavy books. Just something that is a bit fun and takes my mind off things.
Annie worked as a Personal shopper in a fancy department store. Annie loves fashion and is good at picking out the perfect clothes for people and Annie has had a good customer base and she is very likable. Annie had a brief Television stint but that didn't work out as planned so Annie is looking for a new challenge I feel and this is where this book comes in.
Annie's business partner Svetlana is setting up her own company called the "Perfect Dress", but although things seem to be all set for this business to be a success Svetlana contacts Annie to see if she will help her - The only problem is that Annie will have to go to New York. I guess Annie doesn't see that as much of a problem. Imagine being in such an amazing city with all that shopping opportunity, but Annie now has family commitments with her husband Ed, teenage daughter, younger son and now twin babies. Can Annie leave them behind for a short while and go help her friend out? Also if Annie was to go away would she be able to resist temptation and not go mad racking up bills on her Cards while buying all the nice clothes?
I do like this story as although it is still all about Annie, I feel that we get to know the other character a little more as well. Not to spoil the book but Annie does end up going to New York and it is good to read about her adventures over there. I've been to New York before and it was nice to read about Annie and her daughter in the city. I don't feel that it is the strongest book in the series due to the story, and I felt a little at times that bits were perhaps padded out, but still a good book and a little more about Annie's life.
A recommended read in the series.
New York Valentine is 2011 novel by female writer Carmen Reid (author of the 'Secrets at St.Jude's' series for teenage girls). Without wanting to give away the plot the book is about personal shopper Annie Valentine who goes on a trip to the big apple with her teenage daughter Lana to help rescue her friends' failing dress business. Whilst in New York Annie and Lana fall in love with the city and face typically unrealistic, only happen in novels, dramas.
This book is typically chic lit and in my opinion quite poorly written. I felt myself getting slightly worked up at the constant repetition of the word 'darlin' by Annie and also her slightly demonic once again constant asking of 'is everything ok?', 'is everyone fine?' I felt the book was slightly repetitive the whole way through but I rather enjoyed the twist near to the end of the book (I won't reveal it on here.
The idea for the story, a woman visiting New York and falling in love with the city etc etc isn't really all that original and doesn't compare with the fabulous 'I heart New York' by Lindsey Kelk of a similar storyline. However it isn't all that bad and I would recommend it as a light read ( I finished it in a few nights), it becomes quite easy to read it quickly as the chapters are relatively short. It would be a perfect poolside read for your holiday if you want said light read. If you can get it cheap from a charity shop like me, then it is worth invest a pound or so even if you will never read it again.
Annie Valentine is back, and this time things are feeling a bit different for our favourite fictional fashionista! Annie thought her TV show "How Not To Shop" was going well, but when it's suddenly dumped by the channel without warning, Annie feels like she is up the creek without a paddle. When her business partner Svetlana comes calling with a problem with the "Perfect Dress" business, Annie knows she has to do what she can to help out. However, she also knows this means that she has to leave her lovely husband Ed and twin babies at home while she jets across the world to New York City with teenage daughter Lana in tow. Can Annie bring herself to leave her young family, and be miles away from them, all the while enjoying the shopping capital of the world?
Amazingly, this is the fifth book in the "Annie Valentine" series by author Carmen Reid, and I still look forward to the release of a new Annie adventure each year. I wasn't overly keen on the first in the series, The Personal Shopper, but I feel the books have got better as the series has progressed and now they are certainly ones to look out for on my releases calendar. The fifth outing sees Annie Valentine, a superb chick-lit character who a lot of women will be able to relate to, jet across to the other side of the world New York. I've been lucky enough to visit there twice, and so it was great to read about one of my favourite cities in the world again!
Annie Valentine seems happily settled at home, she's married to her husband Ed, with her four beautiful children and her own shopping TV show as well. I love Annie's eternal optimism - she knows how lucky she is to have her lifestyle, but she also knows she has to lose a few pounds so she doesn't get spotted in the same old comfy dress again and again! Annie is a character that a lot of women will be able to relate to - she works hard, she runs a family life and of course, she loves her shopping as well. I really warm to Annie every time I read a story about her, but at the same time, when I pick up an Annie Valentine book, it's like I've not stopped reading them, it's like picking up a book about an old friend!
I really like the fact we see a lot more of Annie's teenage daughter Lana this time around. She is present in all of the previous 4 books, but we've never really got to have her as a main part in the story, she's more in background, but she is definitely a character that I liked a lot. Lana is a typical teenager - a bit embarrassed by her mum but we can how she has grown up through the book. Lana in the book this time around is fun, she loves fashion and most of all she loves New York, and it's nice to have a younger character in a main role of the book. Ed appears a little bit as well, and is just a good as ever, and I loved that we saw more of the ever mad Svetlana too.
The book mainly takes place in New York City (as you may have guessed from the book title!) and for those of us who are lucky enough to have been there, it'll certainly being back lots of memories! Carmen Reid has clearly done her research - she takes a lot of big landmarks and makes Annie and Lana tourists visiting them so we get to see them through their eyes and this is fun. It was nice to read about New York, but at the same time, Reid introduces us to the not-so-nice side of NYC we don't always see, the back alleys and dumpsters than Annie ends up in through various things that happen, and it certainly creates some good comedy moments. The setting of New York works really well as it's one of the big fashion capitals of the world, and it only seems right Annie Valentine makes a trip over there too!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's another great outing for Annie Valentine, and I like that Reid is keeping the series fresh by taking Annie to other places, and bringing other characters like Lana more to the front line, which also adds a fresh perspective to the reader as well. Annie is a great character who leads the book so well - she's a character the reader will love and warm to, and therefore we care that Annie makes a success of her life and her business. The storyline about the failing business and Annie's keen-ness to revive it keeps the book moving along at a good pace, and gives it an aim at the end, but it's the journey along the way I really enjoyed. Definitely recommended if you are a fan of the Annie V books so far, but also recommended if you're not - it'll make you want to read them all!
ISBN: 978-0552163170. Published by Corgi in January 2011. Pages: 384. RRP: £6.99.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com
Thank you for reading.
When I first started reading 'New York Valentine' by Carmen Reid, I was not altogether convinced that I was going to enjoy it. It seemed a bit frivolous and silly and all of the main characters appeared to be shallow and obsessed with fashion labels. However, never liking to give up on any book, I persevered and read on to the end. I am very glad that I did as I actually ended up really enjoying this book.
The main character is an almost middle aged woman called Annie Valentine. I soon realised that Carmen Reid has actually written a number of books about Annie, such as 'How Not to Shop' and 'The Personal Shopper', which I had not read. At times there were a number of references to events in these other books but these did not matter too much as most things were explained and I don't think that you need to have read the books in sequence in order to enjoy this one.
At the start of 'New York Valentine', Annie is successfully presenting a TV series entitled How Not to Shop. Unfortunately though, the plug is pulled on the series and Annie is left wondering what to do with her life. That is until her friend Svetlana tells her that her daughter Elena's fashion business Perfect Dress has run into difficulties and could Annie go to New York to help sort everything out. It seems an ideal opportunity but it would mean leaving husband Ed, teenaged son Owen and her year old twins, Mickey and Minnie for at least a month. However, she is drawn towards the excitement of New York and it would mean that she could take her seventeen year old daughter Lana and spend some quality time with her.
So off Annie and Lana head for New York where they are soon caught up in the challenges of rescuing Elena's business as well as both falling in love - Lana with an unscrupulous cad named Taylor and Annie with New York itself. However, whilst they are caught up with the glamour and excitement of the city, things are not well at home and Annie realises that Ed is going to need her help too. She is torn between doing what she most wants and what she knows she should.
As I mentioned earlier, I was not sure whether I would enjoy this book, but the more that I read, the more I started enjoying the story and getting to know the characters. I really loved seeing how the women set about saving Perfect Dress and seeing how resourceful they could be. There was a real problem solving approach which I found fascinating and really wanted them to succeed. The other storylines were quite entertaining too and Ed's crisis back in the UK was most unexpected. Towards the end of the book I really had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.
I think one of the reasons why I did not like the book at first was because I failed to warm to Annie. She seemed too obsessed with designer labels (Gucci and Prada mean nothing to me) and I could not identify with any woman who would go off and leave her small babies whatever the reason. However, she grew on me. I liked her resourcefulness and her integrity and in the end she did seem to get her priorities right after all.
'New York Valentine' is a light and easy read and is likely to appeal to those readers who also enjoy Sophie Kinsella's Shopoholic books. The story is good enough to make you read on and there are a few unexpected twists too. Most of the characters are quite entertaining although I feel that you only get to know most of them on a superficial level. It's definitely a book worth considering but do bear in mind that this is part of a series of books and it might be worth reading some of the earlier ones first.
The book is currently available on Amazon for £4.40 (April 2011).
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.curiousbookfans.co.uk