Friday 11 December 2015

Book Review: Brooklyn Girls: Coco by Gemma Burgess.

Product details:  
Publisher: Quercus.
Paperback, 288 pages.
Release date: November 5th 2015.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: New Adult
Series: Brooklyn Girls  #3.
Other Books in Series: Pia, Angie.
Overall Series Rating: 4 out of 5.
Source: Purchased.

Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it's time to break bad.

Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education - and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it's up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.

You’ve met Drama Queen Pia and Wild Child Angie. Now, meet the little sister of the Brooklyn Girls bunch. Coco has always been the sensible one: a home bird who likes to read a lot and bake cakes, as opposed to partying it up and playing at living real life ‘Sex and the City’. Lately, though, Coco has been feeling at odds with the life she’s been living: a life which she sometimes feels has been foisted upon her by her controlling father and older sister, Julia. When Coco catches her boyfriend cheating on her it’s the final straw. Coco decides to take a stand, and make a change. Welcome to Coco Russotti version 2.0: Good girl gone bad.

Life as a bad girl, living wild and free and without responsibilities certainly has its perks. First up, Coco ditches her job as a pre-school assistant: a job that she has zero passion for. It helps that Coco doesn’t have to fork out for rent in NYC, thanks to the brownstone she and her Julia inherited, but she still needs to find a new job, in order to fund her new party-heavy lifestyle and whatnot. It just so happens that a job lands in Coco’s lap in the form of bartending at a run-down whiskey bar, run by a sexy Irish guy called Joe. I pictured Aidan Turner as Joe while I was reading this book, and you can thank me for that later! Anyhoo, I think Joe was my favourite of the guys in the Brooklyn Girls books – although I also have a penchant for Sam and his love of movie marathons. Joe is very well written. I believe that Gemma Burgess is married to an Irish guy, which is why I guess, she got this Irish guy –and all his Irish idioms- just right! 

Coco and Joe have an undeniable connection, but Coco is determined that she’s not getting serious with this guy. After all, she’s a hard-drinking, wild child party girl now and she certainly doesn’t have time for a boyfriend. What she does have time for is a friend with a whole lot of benefits, and pretty soon, that’s what Joe and Coco are getting up to in their spare time (and in the dingy bathroom at that run down whiskey bar, no less! Girls gone wild, indeed!) Obviously, her feelings run deeper than Coco admits to herself. At heart, Coco is just not a no-strings kinda girl. But will she realize this before it’s too late? Joe is not the kind of guy to stick around forever – especially not if he feels like he’s being played by a girl who has no real feelings for him. Hey, guys get hurt by this kind of thing too, you know!

Of the Brooklyn Girls we have met throughout this series (Unfortunately Julia and Madeline are not getting their own books) I personally related most to Angie (I totally did the party thing in my early twenties), but Coco is very much a universal every girl and I think that a whole lot of readers will relate to her. Coco has a lot of hang ups and insecurities: at the heart of the matter is the fact that Coco has always been underestimated by her  well-meaning but domineering father and hightly motivated, successful older sibling. Wrap somebody up in cotton wool for long enough and convince them that they are not capable of success, and eventually they’ll believe it. In order to succeed, Coco needs to believe in herself, even when so many people in her life doubt her abilities. 

Coco’s journey throughout this book is heart-warming and laugh out loud funny at times. Her story will definitely makes you smile. But it might make you cringe too – at memories you’d rather forget. I’m talking mammoth hangovers and cringeworthy drunken texts! Been there!

I had a blast reading the Brooklyn Girls series, and I’m sad to see it end. I would love to revisit these girls a little further down the road to see how they are getting on with life, love and everything. For now, no further books in the series are planned, but the good news is that Gemma Burgess has turned her hand to screenwriting and has a dramedy called ‘True Love’ in the works at ABC. Hopefully the show gets picked up, and we can all tune in!

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