I Heart New York

by Lindsey Kelk

Book Review By Gemma E McLaughlin

This review is of the first book in a series of 10 following the same main character, of which the final book was published this year. It’s much lighter than what you normally find in recommendations for young adults, and though I see there is a place for miserable teenagers with unnaturally good looks and magical powers of some form, I do like a bit of variety. With all the wonderful things I’d heard about the series, and my belief that romantic comedies are the only acceptable kind of book to read during summer holiday, my mind was practically made up for me.

The story follows Angela Clark, a woman in her twenties living an rather bland life in London. After a bad breakup with her fiancé at her best friends’ wedding and an oddly amusing and relatable sort of chaos, she is forced to make some kind of change, for better or worse.

She makes the last-minute decision to fly to New York with nowhere to stay, no plan and half the money from the joint account she had once shared with her fiancé. When Angela arrives at a hotel, entirely unsure of how long she’ll be staying, or whether she could have come in the first place, she finds an unlikely friend in the hotel’s concierge (and everyone’s dream best friend) Jenny Lopez.

Jenny guides Angela though her first few days in New York with a lot of shopping, a makeover and a few new friends along the way. It’s not long before Angela settles in and finds herself dating two men, the rich and charming Tyler, and Alex, the lead singer of an indie band she’s been listening to for years.

The book follows her finding her way in New York, trying to decide between Tyler and Alex, and blogging about it on the website of a trendy magazine, all while maintaining a hilarious relatability that makes her feel like a close friend who has just stumbled into this glamorous situation.

It’s difficult to make something that is so exciting and wonderful feel like a funny story being told to you by someone you’ve known for years, and keep it warm and easy to settle into, but Lindsey Kelk has managed it over and over with grace and humour. All throughout I couldn’t decide whether to cry with laughter, or with frustration at not being in New York or generally not being Angela Clark.

I adored this book and can’t wait to read the others – and I urge anyone with a love of New York, cheesy romcoms or even perfect leather Marc Jacobs bags to read I Heart New York.