the day’s finally arrived! Today is our stop on Claudia Carroll’s blog tour for ‘Meet Me in Manhattan’. We are soooo excited and simply couldn’t wait to share our thoughts of this wonderful and magical read, which without a doubt is high on our list of TOP 10 Christmas 2015 reads (list which we are working on still as we got more new festive releases to read, and which we’ll post in December). Now, read our review and I STRONGLY advise you to head to amazon and immediately grab a copy, because you’re missing out on such a fabulous book. Also make sure you visit the other tour hosts for more thoughts on this book.
Oh, and do come back with your comments after you read it, I just can’t wait to chat more about it with you!
In a New York minute, everything can change …
You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …
But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.
What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy ending!
* Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review *
Together with Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern and Cathy Kelly, Claudia Carroll is probably one of the most well known Irish chick lit authors. Generally, I find Irish fiction fascinating, but I’m absolutely blown away by the talent of the authors from the chick lit/women’s fiction genre. It’s like, they should be classified separately, giving the (usually) predictable chick lit genre a completely new spin.
Ms Carroll is an amazingly talented author who knows how to deliver a good, fun and clever rom com with just the perfect dose of fresh humour. Her characters simply want to jump off the pages, you feel them so real.
Being familiar with Ms Carroll’s writing and the knack she has for creating these amazing, romantic stories with a HEA we so desperately wish to happen in every romance book we read, I admit that I had high expectations for ‘Meet Me in Manhattan’. But this book exceeded them all and actually completely blew me away!
The story is centered around Holly, who’s single and trying herself in online dating. She finds it much easier and more comfortable, considering she works long hours as a researcher for a show. She’s a hard working lady, despite the cuts in her company, she’s still doing whole 8 hour job and doing her best to find her own path to success. However, the long hours are not the only reason why’s she’s turned to online dating.
She meets an adorable man online, who seems to be just the perfect guy for her. He’s stable, romantic yet not in a cheesy way, affectionate, and in a short time span she feels this strong bond between them. From the site, they move on to exchanging numbers, though he does all the calling. His voice is the first thing she hears in the morning, and the last thing before bed. He sounds dreamy and seems like Holly is slightly falling for him. But there’s a catch, she’s from Dublin and he lives on the other side of the world, in Atlanta, USA. Will their relationship succeed? Is there any chance of a progress in relationship when two people live so far away from each other? And what happens when she finds out Mr Perfect is not exactly who he says he is? What if Holly’s about to ‘give him some of his medicine’ and show him no one messes with her?
Oh, what a brilliant, clever, fun rom com this was! You’re immediately hooked and totally immersed in the story you even forget about the time or your other commitments. I read it in about 5 hours, yes that fast! It’s so addictive and unique in so many ways.
One of the most fascinating things is the fact that it had so many twists which, I repeat, you rarely see in chick lit. Without putting any spoilers, I can only say these twists took me completely by surprise! WOW! The story took a completely new turn and I seriously had no idea what would happen next. The pacing is unbelievable! Things continue happening and they simply flow, pulling you deeper and deeper into the story. Another thing which I loved is one of the messages it sends about the online dating. As fun as it might look like, one could easily get burned. We all have to admit the dating culture has changed quite a bit in the last decade or so. With the constant use of internet and social medias just popping out of nowhere, and the constant chase for security and money, so many single people turn to online dating. Which comes with its perks but also perils.
As for the characters, they were simply amazing! So unique and memorable, I honestly think I will be looking for Holly in every next chick lit book I read. And don’t make me go into the vivid descriptions of Manhattan…oh dear lord, it’s like you step into this machine and are immediately transported to Manhattan, breathing and walking on these streets and looking at the monumental architecture you only ever see in your fave rom coms. It was really one of a kind, magical experience. It’s like I visited the States without ever leaving the comfort of my sofa. Simply unbelievable!
And yet, despite having that strong feel-good factor, my eyes were teary on several occasions. It was at those moments that I felt Holly’s personality even more, really got to know her and her real reasons why she dreads Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, though the story is happening during the holiday season and you get to feel all the magic in spending Christmas in the city that never sleeps, it’s not the typical Christmas read. At least, not according to me. It can definitely be read and enjoyed no matter the season, but if you want my opinion, this time of the year with Christmas fast approaching would be the perfect timing.
If I had to sum up this book in only one word, it would be BRILLIANT! Perfect rom com which I pray to god is made into a movie because it sure deserves! It would be AMAZING to see it on the big screens and I have no doubts it would be a hit! I’ve read many chick lits, many of them were good and made me laugh and forget about all my problems. But this book..it’s something else. It’s more than that, it’s like the perfect anti-stress therapy you need to fully relax, and once you finish it you feel all refreshed. I kid you not! I shall call it ‘The Claudia Carroll effect’ from now. Simply brilliant, this is a book not to be missed! Big fat five stars only because I can’t give it more.
My rating: 10/10
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claudia was born in Dublin, where she still lives.
She wrote her first novel, HE LOVES ME NOT, HE LOVES ME in the dressing rooms of RTE studios, when she was meant to be learning her lines. It was published by Transworld in 2004 to critical acclaim and became an instant bestseller. In 2005, she followed this up with THE LAST OF THE GREAT ROMANTICS, another bestseller.
Then, the following year, her third book, REMIND ME AGAIN WHY I NEED A MAN was published and then optioned by Fox TV for a series in the US. This meant that Claudia could quit the day job and concentrate on writing full-time. The only job, she reckons, where you can wear pyjamas, stare out the window all day, and still get paid.
In 2007, she published I NEVER FANCIED HIM ANYWAY, another bestseller, which Wendy Finerman (CBS) optioned for a movie. Wendy’s previous credits include THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA and PS, I LOVE YOU. Claudia is currently hassling producers for a walk-on part and very cheekily hoping they might throw in a free outfit too.
In 2008 she published her fifth novel, DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET, then in 2009, she followed this up with IF THIS IS PARADISE, I WANT MY OLD LIFE BACK, which is now available in paperback and which has been optioned for a film by Canyon Creek Productions.
In 2009, Claudia was very excited to move publishers to Harper Collins (Avon) and published her first book with them, PERSONALLY, I BLAME MY FAIRY GODMOTHER, in 2010, also a bestseller.
All her books are published by Harper Collins in the US and all are widely translated.