Max Jennings is in a bad mood. It’s not anything you did; it’s just that secrets from her past make it her natural state of being. But she’s not going to talk about it or share her feelings, so don’t bother asking.
Max’s bad mood means that very few people actually truly understand her or know that her secret dream is to be a pastry chef. When a rare opportunity to work for world-famous Avis Phillips presents itself, Max jumps at the chance. Avis and her staff aren’t stingy with the tough love, so Max spends every spare minute practicing her craft. As she bakes brownies and custards, cookies and galettes, she builds an unlikely friendship with a man she once loathed and finds herself falling into something she’s spent the last six years avoiding. Will she let her painful past stand in the way, or will she muster the strength to forgive herself and realize her full potential?
One of my new favourite authors who I discovered last year is the fabulous Rachel Hollis. Rachel is the founder of Los Angeles-based event planning firm, Chic Events, and her first novel ‘Party Girl’ was released in 2014. I was incredibly lucky when I managed to get a review copy of ‘Party Girl’, because I ended up falling in love with both the novel and Rachel Hollis’ writing style (click here to read my review). Fortunately, ‘Party Girl’ was just the start of the ‘The Girls’ series and the second part, ‘Sweet Girl’, was released yesterday by Lake Union Publishing and I couldn’t wait to read the book. This is without a doubt one of the 2015 releases I had been looking forward to picking up the most, so when I finally received the review copy I couldn’t sit down with it fast enough and hoped I would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed ‘Party Girl’!
Max Jennings is a twenty-something who appears to be in a bad mood wherever she goes. Pushing people away and hiding herself from the outside world seem to be her specialty, so there are not many people who actually know the real Max. Ever since she was a little girl baking cakes with her mother in their home, Max has dreamt of becoming a pastry chef and owning her very own bakery. So, when well-known chef Avis Phillips offers Max the opportunity to work in her kitchen, Max can’t shout ‘yes’ quick enough. However, it is not easy just jumping into the world of pastries and cakes without any professional experience, and soon Max finds herself trying to juggle her dream, her other job, her friends and family who are starting to get worried about her, and this new guy in her life whom she can’t seem to get out of her mind. Question is: will Max finally be able to let go of her demons and start chasing her own dreams?
Another simply fantastic read by Rachel Hollis which I didn’t want to put down but also didn’t want to finish! ‘Sweet Girl’ is the second part of the ‘The Girls series’, but can definitely also be read as a stand-alone. I do highly recommend picking up the first part of the series as well, ‘Party Girl’, because I personally really enjoyed already knowing the characters and what they have been through together. The protagonist, Max, is a great but complex character; she has been through a lot which has changed her as a person and how she looks at the world. Next to that, she’s a diabetic whose passion in life is baking. Max is an incredibly realistic character and together with the other characters such as Landon, Miko and Taylor, she really managed to win me over with her story and I simply couldn’t get enough of it.
Rachel Hollis’ writing style is a true joy to read; it’s well-paced, easy to get into, detailed enough, warm, funny... I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s also clear she did some research to make sure she knew what she was writing about, such as what working as a pastry chef might be like. The book just had everything I look for in a great read: a relatable and easy-to-warm-to group of characters, a fascinating plotline, and a fantastic writing style to get lost in. I really hope Rachel will treat us to a third part of the series and I already can’t wait to pick up her next book. ‘Sweet Girl’ is a fantastic, well-written, thoroughly entertaining read; I honestly can’t recommend it enough to other chick lit fans, you will hopefully enjoy this as much as I did!