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24 April 2015

Review: 'Thirty-Three Going on... Girlfriend?' by Becky Monson (2014)

Julia Dorning thought she would die a lonely spinster. That was until nine months ago, when her world was turned upside down. Now she’s got a dream career as a bakery owner, and a relationship with handsome Jared Moody—a life she never thought possible. 

Just as she’s starting to feel comfortable in her new life, Julia is invited to battle it out on national television making cupcakes. An amazing opportunity, if she can muster up the confidence to do it, that is. Then, out of the blue, Jared goes and throws a rather large wrench in their relationship causing Julia to have to make some big decisions.With her two trusted confidants off in wedding la la land, Julia is on her own to figure everything out. 

Left to her own devices, will Julia be able to work things out for herself? Or will she make a disaster of it all?

In 2013 I was contacted by author Becky Monson and got the chance to read and review her novel 'Thirty-Two Going On Spinster' (click here to read my review). I really enjoyed the book (which is a great read for chick lit fans) and was excited when Becky told me she was already busy working on a sequel. At the end of last year Becky contacted me with the news that the sequel, 'Thirty-Three Going On... Girlfriend?', had been released and I was once again lucky enough to receive a review copy! I looked forward to once again diving into the world of main character Julia Dorning and reading more about her life after the first part of the series, while keeping my fingers crossed I would enjoy the novel as much as I did the first one!

** If you plan on reading the first part of the series 'Thirty-Two Going On Spinster' in the future, please be aware that there might be some spoilers in the review below!**

Thirty-three-year-old Julia Dorning finally feels her life is going the way she had always hoped it would. She is incredibly happy with her handsome boyfriend Jared, she has her dream job owning her very own bakery, and things are good with her family and friends. Then, to Julia's complete surprise, she is invited to be a contestant on her favourite TV show 'Cupcake Battles.' Julia knows it is an amazing opportunity she has to take with both hands, but at the same time she is trying to deal with a few other things. Both her sister Anna and best friend Betsy are getting married and need Julia's support, and Jared is spending more and more time away from home for his job. Julia tries her very best to deal with everything that's going on, but will she really be able to manage it all on her own without making a mess of things?

The decision to write a sequel can be a tricky one. Is there another story to tell with the same characters? Won't it feel too forced? In the case of 'Thirty-Three Going On... Girlfriend?' this is definitely not the case, because Becky Monson has managed to write a thoroughly enjoyable second novel focussing on protagonist Julia Dorning, giving the reader the chance to join Julia at a new and exciting stage of her life. I love Julia and I'm sure many other female readers will warm to her and relate to her just as much. She's a bit of a dramaqueen and tends to overthink everything, but these are the things that make Julia Julia, and I was definitely rooting for her from the very start. 

The book includes several story lines and is quite fast-paced, so it managed to keep my attention throughout and I didn't want to have to put the book down but finish it in one go. In my opinion, Becky Monson's writing has become even better and I might even dare to say I enjoyed this novel even more than its prequel! It has everything a chick lit novel should have and I definitely recommend it to any fans of the genre. I do recommend reading the first part of the series first, but I guess it can also be picked up as a stand-alone novel. Overall, 'Thirty-Three Going On... Girlfriend?' is a fun, light-hearted and entertaining read which I enjoyed from start to finish. I can't wait to get my hands on Becky Monson's next release and will keep my fingers crossed, hoping we will be treated to another novel soon!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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