Friday, 12 December 2014

Review: Christmas at Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop by Jenny Colgan

Curl up with Rosie, her friends and her family as they prepare for a very special Christmas . . .

Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish Delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She’s going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can’t wait.

But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what’s best for the sweetshop also what’s best for Rosie?

Treat yourself and your sweet-toothed friends to Jenny Colgan’s heart-warming new novel. The irresistibly delicious recipes are guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit and will warm up your Christmas celebrations.

Cover image

Review: I loved Rosie Hopkin's Sweetshop of Dreams, it was one of the best books that I read last year and so I had very high expectations for this one. Unfortunately my expectations were not really met. I loved revisiting the characters and the settings, especially Lillian but this books had a completely different feel for me to the last book and that just made it a bit of a tricky read. I understand that books need to feel different from one another, the wold has evolved, time has progressed but i was expecting the same feel-good factor as Rosie Hopkins had and I just didn't feel it with this one.

It was great to see all the old faces again and find out how they were doing, what they were going to get up to next but some of the characters seem to have changed beyond recognition, especially Stephen from the big house. He seemed to thaw out considerably in the last novel but seemed uptight and distant once again in this novel. Lillian was a lovely as ever and she has her own love interest in this book, however storyline is very predictable and so really didn't add an awful lot of depth to the overall story for me.

There is a dramatic incident fairly early on in this book and, for me, it just didn't fit with the rest of the novel, it was as if someone else had written that bit or that it had been added in at the last minute, The incident itself had me feel anxious and worried for quite a large proportion of the book and not warm and cosy and comforted like the original novel did. I know I'm comparing again, but i think if you've read the first Rosie Hopkins book then that is something you will definitely do. This book would work well as a standalone though because you are reminded of scenes and story lines from the first book, this could be a little patronising if you've marathoned the two books together however...

I did finish this book and I enjoyed how everything came together at the very last minute and I will definitely be reading The Christmas Surprise which is the third book in this companion series but it just didn't live up to my expectations. Perhaps if you do read this as a standalone or if you're not a big Jenny Colgan fan then this book will hit your festive read buttons but it really wasn't for me and I'm a little disappointed that it didn't seem up to the usual Jenny Colgan standard. There is certainly the right balance of festive cheer versus realistic storyline though and so this book should definitely be read at this time of year!

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