Review: 'The Baby & the Bride' by Laura Barnard (2014)
Poppy and Jazz’s lives sound perfect on paper. Jazz has a new baby and Poppy’s getting married. But their realities are very different.
Poppy must strive to keep her cool new job with crazy hours, while trying to keep Ryan happy. Before she knows it her wedding has got out of control, thanks to her mother, the runners at work are bullying her, her parents are in financial difficulty and she’s doubting everything and everyone she ever knew.
Meanwhile Jazz is struggling with motherhood, something a credit card won’t fix. Why won’t this baby give her a break? Will Jazz be able to cope before she loses it?
And will Poppy make it down the aisle? Will Ryan even be waiting?
Last year I received the opportunity to review Laura Barnard’s novel ‘The Debt & the Doormat’ (click here to read my review). On the 1st of March 2014 the sequel to Laura’s debut novel was released, titled ‘The Baby & the Bride’, and once again I was lucky enough to receive a review copy (thanks so much, Laura!). I was curious to step back into the world of Poppy, Jazz and the other already familiar characters and see what they would get up to this time around, especially since the title of the book promises two big changes in Poppy and Jazz’s lives!
Poppy and Jazz have been best friends for a long time and they are both facing important new stages in their lives. Jazz has just given birth to her first child and she is trying to deal with life as a single mum, but she is having some trouble figuring out how to take care of a baby on her own. Poppy is getting married to her boyfriend Ryan, but she had no idea planning a wedding would be this hectic, especially when her mother tries to put her own stamp on absolutely everything. Poppy and Jazz are both trying to do the best they can, but will Jazz get the hang of being a mother and will she really have to do this alone? And will Poppy finally be able to start believing Ryan loves her for who she is, so she can make it down the aisle?
‘The Baby & the Bride’ is the sequel to Laura Barnard’s first novel, ‘The Debt & the Doormat’ and I have to admit I enjoyed this book more than its prequel. The story begins a few months after the ending of the first Poppy and Jazz book, and two important developments have taken place: Jazz is a mum, and Poppy is engaged to her boyfriend Ryan. These were both fun storylines and I enjoyed reading about all the crazy things that happen to Jazz and Poppy while they are both figuring things out. The author decided to write from both Jazz’ and Poppy’s point of view, which resulted in a good mixture of both storylines. Most of the supporting characters also return in this book and they really added their own touch to the story, such as Ollie and Poppy’s mother (who made me laugh out loud several times with her antics). Mainly because of this, I do believe this book should be read as a sequel and not as a stand-alone and I advice to pick up ‘The Debt & the Doormat’ first.
It took me a bit of time to get into the story, even though I was already familiar with the characters and their background stories. I personally thought there was quite a lot of swearing in the first few chapters, and the book still included various spelling and grammar mistakes, which was a shame. As soon as I was able to look through this, I ended up enjoying the fast-paced chapters and found myself wondering what would eventually happen to Poppy, Jazz, and their friends. ‘The Baby & the Bride’ is a quick and fun read with an enjoyable cast of characters at its core, and I’d like to thank the author for giving me the chance to review it!