The Wedding Party is a 'chick lit' novel by Sophie King. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2009 and so it is fairly recent. I bought my book as part of a 3 for £5 offer at The Works and so I mainly bought the book as ....yes I went and judged the book by it's cover and also due to it's low price. The book is currently available to buy from Amazon from as little as 1p which I think is excellent value for money.
~ * Plot (according to the blurb on the back of book)* ~
"Monique and Geoff are old enough to know better but with stars in their eyes, they've decided to tie the knot - with help (hindrance?) from Geoff's grown-up daughter, his ex-wife, a distracted vicar and a wedding planner with L-Plates. Will The Couple Make It Down The Aisle?"
First of all, when comparing the blurb 'before I read the book' and 'after I read the book', I can confirm that the blurb is slightly misleading as it gives the impression that the book is all about one couple (the book does focus a lot on them, although it does focus on other characters just as much). However, I enjoyed the book that much, that this was certainly not enough to put me off the book, although just thought I would warn those of you who have not read it yet.
I found the plot to be highly interesting; it is very busy with lots of events (big and small) taking place. The plot is fast paced which I loved as I find that there is nothing worse than a plot which 'hangs around' too much - the fast pace kept the book 'alive' and meant that it was 'moving on' all the time. The book is very 'lively' and easy to read.
I found the plot to be a lovely, pleasant read. It is quite dramatic, whilst at the same time being very heart warming. I liked that the book is very 'normal' in the terms that it features every day things such as (the school run, work, family life etc). So there is definitely something for everyone to relate to in this book. The book also focuses on 'serious events' such as one of the characters in the book has a stroke and another is in a coma. I found that there is a lot to learn from the book, including; life is precious.
I loved the ending where we found out what everyone was up to. I thought that the way they 'laid this page out' was very creative. I found this part to be very informative as it answered all questions about that characters that the readers are left with at the end of the book. I do think that some of the things some of the characters went on to do did seems a little bit far fetched (some things seemed a bit dramatic considering the 'normal lives' they had lived throughout the rest of the book). However, having said that, I would rather know what the characters were up to (even if they were far fetched) than not know at all and being left wondering what had happened to them.
I found the book to be incredibly hard to put down. I had lots of 'I can't wait to find out what happens next' moments as the book is very addictive and when I wasn't reading the book I was thinking 'ooh when will I have a chance to pick it up again'. I found it very easy to fly through the book and I could go through quite a few chapters in one reading session and an hour or so would have flown by in that time.
I wasn't really sure why the book is called 'Wedding Party' as there are a lot more things going on in the book and not just a wedding party. I did wonder if a wedding was necessary, however after giving it some thought, I thought that actually the 'wedding' gave the book a bit of meaning and helped add drama and tension to the story.
~ * Characters * ~
Major characters include...
Geoff - Husband to be of Monique, Ex-wife of Helen, Dad to Helen and Adam
Monique - Geoff's Bride to be
Becky - Magazine Editor - Daughter to Geoff and Helen, Husband to Steve, Mum to Daisy and Ben, Friend to Janie
Janie - Becky's friend
Mel - Vicar, Husband to Richard, Mum to Amy and Josh
There are lots of characters in the book; both major and minor. Although, surprisingly, despite the large amount of characters, I still managed to keep up with 'who was who' and not once did I have to ask myself 'ah who was that again?' as the book was so self explanatory and made it easy.
I liked that the characters are of different ages and from different backgrounds. We have teenagers, young people, middle aged people, elderly people, families, single people, etc. The book features 'people from all walks of life' and I think that is why it is so easy to relate to, as everyone can relate to at least one character in the book.
One thing which I loved about the characters was all normal they all are; they are just normal people living their normal lives. One thing which I found interesting about the characters was that as a reader, you expect them to be a 'typical stereotype' although they turn out to be completely different. The characters may seem 'perfect' but when the plot 'zooms in' on them, you find out that they are not. I think the lesson to be learned here is to not judge people until you have got to know them.
I found the majority of characters to be likeable (apart from Monique! I wasn't that keen on Becky either). They are very normal characters who are all easy to relate them. They don't turn out to be like you would expect a 'magazine editor' or 'vicar' either. The characters are very easy to relate to. I actually felt as though as I had got to know each character really well. I also had a clear 'picture' of what each character looked like. The characters are very believable - just like real people. I also liked how each character was linked to each other in one way or another.
It was hard to pick a favourite character as the majority of them were so nice and likeable. I liked that the story was told from each characters points of view. Not only did this keep the story alive and keep it interesting, but it also helps us, the readers, get to know the characters, whilst at the same time letting each character tell their side of the story. When reading the book, I found that whatever the character was feeling, I as a reader was feeling too - even I was feeling a little 'panicky' as the wedding was fast approaching! Haha!
I would have preferred if the bit about Monique's past was more dramatic than what it actually turned out to me. I was actually very excited and couldn't wait to read the 'juicy gossip' about what she had been up to in the past. Although, when I read about it, I thought 'oh is that it?!'. So I was a bit disappointed about that part, although it wasn't nothing major and certainly not enough to put me off the book.
I was really impressed with the characters; there is a wide range of them. I thought that they were all 'well thought out' and I got to know each character very well. I liked how the book was written to make us feel sorry for even the bad characters. By the end of the book I felt as though I knew the characters as though they were real people - it was sad saying goodbye to them at the end, although did feel that the plot had 'run its course' and so it would not be necessary for the book to carry on into another one.
~ * Style of Writing * ~
I had never read a book by this author before. Come to think of it, I am not sure whether I had even heard of the author before and so as is expected with a book by an unfamiliar author, I was not sure what to expect with this book. However, there was no need for concern as it turned out that I ended up absolutely enjoying this book from start to finish.
The book is very smoothly written; the words flow easily and there is nothing forced about the writing at all. I like that the book was fast paced however I did find some parts a bit confusing at times. For example a certain character would be doing something, then on the next line it would be like 'the week after' - and so I felt that the book 'jumped scenes' a lot which took a while to get used to.
I liked that the story was told from different characters (Helen, Becky, Janie and Mel) points of view as it made the story interesting whilst helping us get to know the characters. It also broke the different plots for each character a little bit and always left on a (oh my god, what happens next?) moment, but you would have to read on through a few other characters 'bits' before you got to find out what happened next, but in that time the next character would also have an 'oh my god what happens next' ending to their chapter. This I felt kept the book interesting.
The book consists of lots of short chapters which are straight to the point which I loved as I find that there is nothing worse than a book where the chapters drag on and on and on. I also liked how the plot was set just a few months before the wedding, with the 'next' chapter and the chapter after that getting closer to the wedding with chapter titles such as (6 months to go, 3 months to go, one month to go, one day to go). It actually got me quite excited about this wedding.
All in all, as you can see from my points in this review, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I cannot...I repeat....cannot wait to read another book by this author.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x
I was recently lent quite a large stack of books and The Wedding Party by Sophie King was one of them. I had a quick look through the pile and decided on this book first. I am certain I have read other books by Sophie King but I can't remember which ones so I didn't choose this book because of the author.
I didn't read the blurb on the back before I started so I had no idea what to expect but must say that I was left feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing.
The book follows the story of four main characters and their lives and relationships in the run up to a wedding. Each chapter centres on one of the characters in turn although because of their intertwined relationships the other characters do pop up throughout the book.
The main characters are Becky who is a career obsessed mother of two, Helen who is Becky's Mother, Mel, the vicar and Janie the wedding planner and Becky's Best friend. The wedding that the whole story hangs on is that of Geoff and Monique, Geoff is Becky's father and Helen's ex-husband.
The story is easy enough to get into and read but I did find myself losing track of how the characters were connected and even who they were at the beginning. None of the characters found a particular place in my heart or my imagination and were neither particularly likable nor displeasing.
I did find myself getting into the book but it was more the expectation that something might happen. I felt that the book was all build up and then the outcome was a little hurried and disappointing. I only finished reading the book about a week ago but for the purposes of this review I have found myself thumbing through trying to remind myself of exactly what it was all about.
I felt that the end was a bit of a letdown and everything seemed to be neatly tidied up in the course of the final chapter. The big wedding that the whole book referred to was glossed over and although it didn't turn out how the bride expected she went from bridezilla to very accepting and didn't make a fuss. The bride was portrayed as someone quite sinister throughout the book but this never really developed and was then forgotten completely so I am not really sure what purpose she had in the story.
The book could easily have been written without the need for the wedding as it could have simply delved deeper into the lives of the main characters and their relationships.
Not the worst book I have ever read, but I don't think it would win many prizes.
I would say this is a great summer read, one for the beach or the plane, but it is quickly forgotten.
Ever since reading Sophie King's first novel, I have looked forward to reading her latest offerings. The Wedding Party is her latest instalment so when I spotted it on Amazon I quickly threw it into my basket for a treat.
Anyone who has read anything by Sophie King will know that she divides her novels up by characters. Each chapter switches from character to character. I wasn't sure I would like this style of writing, worried I would lose the plot literally, but over time I have realised that the style of writing is unique and actually easy to follow.
Knowing what you're getting from King I think helps the reader to understand and get involved in the plot quicker than if you didn't know what was happening.
The Wedding Party focuses on the planning of a wedding. The wedding is taking place between Geoff and Monique, neither of which are focused on as the main characters. Somehow this doesn't matter and you still learn plenty about each of them and travel with them up to the main event at the end of the book.
Helen is Geoff's ex wife. We meet Helen early on in the book and learn that she is quite confused and probably happier on her own than in a relationship. I think Helen is portrayed as wishing she could be happy on her own but at the same time being drawn to the wrong men for the wrong reasons. Helen is a gardener and she proves to be a string link between the characters that intermingle between the other characters in the book because of this.
Becky is Helen and Geoff's daughter. She has a busy career and an unhappy nanny who looks after her two unruly children. With a long suffering husband who also travels too much for business, the family is in huge danger of drifting apart. Becky can't quite manage the balance between work and family life.
Mel is the village vicar. I found Mel to be quite a strange character to start with and kept forgetting who she was and why she was in the book. This was a shame as I found she tended to encourage me to forget the plot slightly.
Mel's teenage daughter Amy has an accident at the start of the book and spends the duration in a coma. This of course brings all kinds of emotions from Mel as well as trying to stay a focused vicar and look after a stroppy teenage son, and vacant husband.
Janie is one of Becky's oldest friends and never seems to get anything right. You do feel very sorry for Janie straight away and follow her as she tries to get a weddings and funeral business off the ground. Alongside her pensioner friend Marjorie, we see the ups and downs of Janie's business and personal life.
There are a lot of characters in this book despite only being four main chapter characters that we flit between as a reader. Each character does seem to merge with everyone in one way or another, whether that is in the present or past.
I found this easy to understand as a frequent reader of King, but I do think in this book she hasn't written to her strengths. There were a lot of unbelievable scenes where I knew that wouldn't happen in reality, but for some reason was happening in this book.
With the main event and focus of the book being the wedding of Geoff and Monique, we have to travel through the nine months leading up to the wedding learning new things about everyone's lives, and see if they actually will end up getting married at the end.
Overall this novel hasn't been as good as others, but I still found it easy to pick up and put down again so it makes for a nice easy read.
Price: £4.55 Amazon