Review: 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' by Joanna Bolouri (2016)
Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends, an amazing car and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, batshit crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex… but he's nothing she can't handle.
Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it's going really well. So well, in fact, that this year Emily is hoping to take him home for Christmas to meet her family. Finally she won't be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity looks from her younger married siblings.
But when Robert breaks up with her a week before Christmas, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan (in exchange for one month's rent and the use of her convertible) Emily is determined to take Robert home for Christmas come hell or high water, even if it isn't the real Robert…
I love Joanna Bolouri and I'm not afraid to shout it from the rooftops! Her novels 'The List' and 'I Followed the Rules' (click here to read my review) were both brilliant and funny reads with great characters at the centre, and I've been eagerly anticipating her next release. Because of this reason her Christmas novel 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year', which was released in October 2016, is without a doubt one of this year's festive releases I've been looking forward to reading the most. Pretty high expectations, I have to admit, but I have a feeling Joanna will be able to live up to them without too much trouble...!
At the age of 38, Emily is pretty happy with how things are going for her. She really enjoys her job, has some great flatmates, lives roughly 400 miles away from her crazy Scottish family, and has a lovely boyfriend named Robert. In contrast to previous years, when the holiday season was always filled with annoying questions about her love life, Emily now hopes to bring Robert with her to Scotland to show him off to her family. But when they suddenly break up, Emily knows she needs a back-up plan to get her parents off her back; a good one. Luckily her neighbour Evan is willing to help her out with that. But will Emily be able to fool her family or does this Christmas have other things in store for her...?
If you're looking for an incredibly entertaining and laugh-out-loud chick lit read to get you in the holiday spirit, there's no need to look any further because Joanna Bolouri's 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' is the book for you. Joanna Bolouri has done it again, and I even have the feeling her novels are just getting better and better as we go along. Protagonist Emily immediately won me over, and I just loved reading about her life and all the situations she found herself in. She's determined to impress her family with her boyfriend this Christmas, but when she and Robert unexpectedly break up, the only solution for Emily is to go for a back-up plan starring her annoying but handsome neighbour Evan. The chemistry between Evan and Emily is undeniable and I loved any scene with the two of them in it.
A lot of us know what it's like to visit family for Christmas; having a delicious Christmas dinner, playing games, making fun of each other... Joanna Bolouri really managed to transfer this feeling onto paper, with the added nerves and pressure. The novel managed to give me that holiday feeling, which I absolutely loved. Joanna Bolouri's writing style is really funny and sharp, and she has become one of my favourite authors of the moment. If you're a fan of Tracy Bloom or Mhairi McFarlane, definitely pick up this book; you won't be disappointed. All in all, 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' is an incredibly enjoyable, fun and festive read that I loved from the first word until the very last!