Monday 5 January 2015

Review: A Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan

Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it's going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together.

After all, don't they say it takes a village to raise a child?

Review: wow-everything that could possibly happen in this novel did! Seriously, if you're looking for new drama every few pages this book has it all. I have to admit, it was a little too much drama for me in this case but I still enjoyed the novel overall. I wasn't a massive fan of the second book in this trilogy but I preserved and gave this one a go but I really think this serious would have been better remaining as just one book. Rosie Hopkins Sweetshop of Dreams was one of the my favourite novels but the subsequent sequels just didn't really do it for me and I'm not sure they really add anything to the whole Rosie Hopkins story...

The events in this book were all believable in themselves but altogether I'm not sure they could've happened to Rosie Hopkins. I love the storyline with Rosie and Stephen and their little family but the other events in this story really didn't grab me at all.  Rosie is a lovely character and I really admired her strength in the first novel but I felt in this novel she lost herself somewhat, bowing down to what others and Stephen wanted her to be. Stephen also goes back to being the sullen character that he began as in the first novel when he had come so far and I just felt that this was a shame for him! 

There is the issue in this novel of Rosie possibly having to move house and away from the village that has made her so happy and I think that this really took some of the magic out of the whole Rosie Hopkins story because this was the village that really changed her life. There were some real magical moments in the book, like Tina and her impending marriage and some bridges built with Stephen and his family, there are others that were truly lovely but I don't want to include any spoilers! 

Overall I wasn't overwhelmed by this novel but it was still an enjoyable read. It has a great catch-up section at the beginning that means even if you haven't read the other novels in the trilogy, you should be able to jump right into this one and it will work as a standalone, there is certainly enough going on that it could be a trilogy in its own right, I would definitely recommend giving the original novel a go first though if you get the chance! I enjoyed this book but it wasn't particularly Christmasy and it didn't live up the expectations that I have for a Jenny Colgan novel. This won't out me off other books by this author, but if another Rosie Hopkins sequel comes along, I won't be buying it. 

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