I finished reading Elly in Bloom by Colleen Oakes last night.
What would you do if you had to design your lover's wedding?
Surrounded by lush flowers and neurotic brides, chubby 32-year old Elly Jordan has carved out a sweet little life for herself as the owner of Posies, a boutique wedding florist in St. Louis. It’s not bad for a woman who drove away from her entire life just two years ago when she found her husband entwined with a red-headed artist.
Sure, Elly has an embarrassingly beautiful best friend, a terribly behaved sheepdog and a sarcastic assistant who she simply calls “Snarky Teenager”, but overall her days are pleasantly uneventful. As a bonus, her new next door neighbor just happens to be an unnervingly handsome musician who has an eye for curvy Elly.
Just when she feels that she is finally moving on from her past, she discovers that an extravagant wedding contract, one that could change her financial future, is more than she bargained for.
With the help of her friends, staff and the occasional well-made sandwich, Elly bravely agrees to take on the event that threatens to merge her painful history with her bright new life, and finds herself blooming in a direction she never imagined.
Elly’s voice, both charming and hilarious, will appeal to those readers who have been looking for a new voice in chick-lit, and will give women of all sizes the realistic heroine they’ve been waiting for.
Elly in Bloom followed the typical chick lit pattern--girl gets heartbroken, girl overcomes struggle, girls falls in love again. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, I like my chick lit books to be like that! So this fell right into the area that I enjoy.
I do have to admit that not everything was great for me though. I didn't need to know how sweaty Elly was every 5 seconds. She was overweight...in the south...I got it the first couple of times. And I thought the part with the ex was a little too far fetched. Not really gonna happen.
But there were so many things I liked. The cast of characters were great. (Well, I didn't really see the appeal of Issac but at the end I got her attraction to him). But Kim is the perfect best friend--stood up for Elly and was just there when she needed her (and her hubby was absolutely adorable!). The Snarky Teenager was hilarious. Yes, maybe she was a little more cruel than necessary but I found it funny and I liked that she did have a soft side. Keith. Yum! I want one of his sandwiches! And Sunny...there's a part of me hoping that maybe she'll be around in the next book too, as a motherly figure.
I'm a sap but I loved reading about the wedding details. I'm a sucker for weddings and wedding planning so all of it really intrigued me. And I'm interested to see what's going to happen in Elly in Love!
I gave this book a rating of 3.5/5.
*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free by the publisher for a honest review.