Friday 1 August 2014

Book Review: Brooklyn Girls: Angie by Gemma Burgess.

Product details:
Publisher: Quercus.
Paperback, 303 pages.
Release date: March 6th 2014.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: New Adult
 Series: Brooklyn Girls  #2.
Other Books in Series: Pia.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Broke. Brokenhearted. Bored.

Angie James is lost. A regular poster girl for Generation Screwed, life aged 22 isn’t exactly what she expected. Shouldn’t she feel a little more together by now?

In the Brooklyn townhouse she shares with her best friends, Angie knows she should be happy. Instead, she presses self-destruct. Over and over again. Until the people she loves the most seem more distant than ever, and the bottom of a vodka bottle is easier to face than the future. It’s going to take a lot to find her way back . . .

Who knew adulthood would be so damn grown-up?

To the casual onlooker, it might look like Angie James has her life all sorted out.  An ‘It’ girl who knows all the right people, and goes to all the right places, Angie has a wardrobe to die for, and, you might think, a bank account fitting of her social status. Not so. With her twenty-third birthday looming, Angie is broke; she’s also unemployed and is fast becoming dependant on her good friend Vodka to get her through the day.  Angie knows that things have to change; random hook ups with guys she doesn’t know and whose names she can’t even remember the morning after have left her feeling empty, used. She knows she’s better than that. She knows the life she wants is out there, somewhere. She’s just not quite sure where –or how- to find it.

Angie’s story is the second instalment in the Brooklyn Girls series by Gemma Burgess, and if you loved the wild ride that was Pia’s story, then you’re in for another treat with Angie James. Unlike Pia, who I didn’t hit it off with right from the start, I liked Angie immediately. Figures, I guess, because Angie was my favourite character in the first book too. So, let me recap: Angie is Pia’s best friend –they went to boarding school together – and share everything. But when we meet Angie she’s feeling pretty much alone in the world; her parents are divorcing and Pia is so loved up with boyfriend Aidan that she exists only on the fringes of Angie’s life these days.  It’s not until Angie escapes near disaster on a yacht involving some questionable men and a whole lot of Class A’s, that she turns to her Brooklyn girls for help; but while Pia, Julia, Coco and Madeline (OK, well, not so much Madeline) do their best to help Angie out, they can’t get her the life of the job that she wants.  Angie wants a job in fashion more than anything. She just needs someone to give her a chance.

What she doesn’t need is a distraction in the form of a ‘boat boy’ called Sam. Angie is off men – for reasons you’ll find out all about when you read this book – but after they bond over movie marathons after which they fall asleep side-by-side, Sam is suddenly on Angie’s mind 24/7. But Sam is just a friend, right? And that’s a good thing too – because Julia, sweet, sensible Julia, has completely fallen for him. Yikes!

If Pia’s story was all about the drama (like the girl herself!) then Angie’s story is somehow more thoughtful and relatable: I think everyone has known a girl like Angie – or maybe been a girl like Angie- in their early twenties; you know, the girl who is the life and soul of the party, who can get any guy she wants, and yet, underneath it all – on the rare nights that she does make it home –she’s a little bit sad, a little bit lost, a little bit on her own in the world with no idea of where her life is going. You know that girl? That’s Angie. While I didn’t relate to Pia very much at all, I related to Angie on a number of levels (the fashion-loving thing, obviously – not the vodka for breakfast, guys!) and that’s what made this story a joy to read. I also loved the Reality Bites references in this book: Angie and Sam watch the movie, and later, Angie bites the bullet, swallows her pride and takes a job at the Gap.  Now, any book that makes you want to go re-watch one of your all-time favourite movies over and over again has got to be a good (great!) thing, right?!

If you haven’t already checked out the Brooklyn Girls series, I totally recommend it, the books are bight and breezy, but they deal with those real-life, serious issues too; have a great cast of characters, and a couple hot guys for good measure. Coco’s book is up next, and after all the little sister of the group has been through since this series started, I reckon hers is a story not to be missed.

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