Monday, 22 October 2012

Review: Emailing Allie by Julie Lawson

Release Date: 25th October

Huge thanks to Cyder Press for sending me a copy to review

My name's Julie Lawson - I'm an HR Manager at BMT Publishing. Nearly six months ago my est friend, Allie Rainsbury, left the business.
Recently our MD sent a memo asking all BMT employees to clear their Inboxes and, since I had access to Allie's emails after her departure, I set about reviewing hers.
Her adventures were so entertaining that I didn't want to stop, let alone destroy them forever - instead I am determined to share her story with you.
As a new year dawns, Allie needs various questions answered. Among the most urgent are: Where is her future leading? Why are relationships so complex and confusing? Can she get through a day without five cups of tea? Hilarious, touching and unique, Emailing Allie delves into the life and loves of 31-year-old Allie Rainsbury. Through emails sent to her best-friend Julie, the smooth-talking David Marshall and the enigmatic Scott Cooper (to mention but a few) we are taken on an frenetic, funny and uplifting journey that charts her daily challenges both inside and outside the office.

Emailing Allie is a fun chick lit told through a ‘diary’ of sorts – Allie’s inbox and sent mail tells a brilliant and funny tale of the last year of her life. The romances, the intrigues, and the many, many cups of tea.

I loved how the story is told through the emails that Allie sends and receives, it gave the whole book a real lift and made it a light fun read. It never got bogged down in too much detail, but when as a reader I wanted more detail, for example when Allie had been on a date, there was always just enough to satisfy. It’s a novel that very much relies on the reader’s imagination, and because I picked this up when I was having a bit of a reading slump it was really nice to breeze through a book that was on the whole light and not weighed down by too much detail and explanation. I also loved how we as the reader never actually see any of the key scenes, they are always told back through someone else’s eyes, and sometimes the details were unbearably slow to come out – details please! It felt like I was there, being copied in on all the emails and living vicariously through someone else’s gossip and I loved it.

You immediately get a sense of who Allie is, and whilst I felt a little bit strange and voyeuristic reading her emails, I quickly became so immersed in the story and just wanted to find out what happened, that I stopped noticing that it was someone’s personal emails.

I loved the humour, the lighter moments and the way that characters were constructed. A lot of the draw for me remains in the brevity and quick pace that the emails opened up.

It wasn’t all fluff and giggles though, I wasn’t expecting some of the darker and more emotional elements to creep in, but they did and added a certain weight to it that I actually really enjoyed and helped to balance everything out.

The one thing that I wasn’t as fussed on was the love triangle. It was quite stereotypical of the genre, and the rest of the book was such a fresh and entertaining concept I really wished that the romance could have been too. I also really struggle with the actions/attitude of one of the men in the triangle, but then I suppose that is always the way, people looking into a relationship can see how awful some people are being, whereas whilst you’re involved in it you don’t see it. So yes, I think it showed the relationship really realistically, but it still didn’t make it any more fun for me to watch – it was like watching someone walk out in front of a car and not being able to do anything about it.

It’s the sort of book that you can read in one sitting, or dip in and out of over a few days. Light but with some heavier undertones to give it a little more substance, but filled with brilliant humour, fantastic characters and a great heroine, I loved ‘Emailing Allie’ and will definitely come back to it again. For anyone after a bit of a lighter read, or fans of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, ‘Emailing Allie’ is a must read.

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