All I Want For Christmas by Joanna Bolouri Book Review

Friday, 11 December 2020

Title: All I Want For Christmas
Author: Joanna Bolouri
Pages: 368
Publication date: 1st October 2020
Publisher: Quercus

The blurb
What if the love of your life was your best friend's girlfriend, and you were the one that set them up?

When Nick loses his job and is dumped by his glamorous but demanding girlfriend, he is forced to grudgingly accept work as a Santa at a local Christmas grotto. As his friends are getting married or promoted, Nick spends his days being terrorised by unfriendly elves and cried on by snotty, spoiled children.

Then he meets 4-year-old Alfie. All Alfie wants for Christmas is for his mum, Sarah, to be happy again. Moved by the boy's selfless wish, Nick arranges a date between Sarah and his best friend, Matt. But as Sarah and Alfie become part of all their lives, Nick realises that happiness for Sarah and Matt might mean heartbreak for himself.

Another Christmas read and the first book I've ever read by Joanna Bolouri! I wasn't too sure what I was expecting from this book, but I was hoping for a cute, Christmassy read that I could just switch off and get stuck into, and this book definitely gave me that and it's clear already that Bolouri is fab at writing rom-coms - it really did hit the spot!

The premise of the story was so simple and not overly complicated, and that's exactly what I was looking for. The story was just very endearing and the characters personalities really shone through. The plot isn't extremely gripping and there are no major page turners, but there was enough depth to make the friendships and relationships feel credible and the sarcasm throughout was great and that's exactly why I flew through it. In fact, there were some one liners that genuinely had me laughing out loud, and I don't think I've done that in a while!

I particularly loved the relationship between Nick and Matt and their friendship never seemed forced or fake, and the relationship between Nick and Alfie was just adorable. The love triangle between Sarah, Nick and Matt was realistic and very believable and I enjoyed reading how Sarah was diplomatic and thoroughly genuine in her emotions. In fact, I really liked Sarah, and found her to be believable and likeable and that goes a long way for rooting for characters in books. Given that the narrative was led by Nick, it was Sarah I was rooting for all along, and if there's one thing I would have liked to have seen more of, it would be her backstory; Bolouri gave her quite a tragic history and I would have liked to have read a bit more about that, perhaps through a conversation with Nick - I just feel like it would have made her a completely solid character and I would have been rooting for her more than I already was.

Whilst the story was simple, it was therefore a bit (okay, a lot) predictable, but I honestly don't mind that, like I mentioned, I wanted something that I could switch off too and not think about too much, and this was the perfect book for that. This is one of those books that I can imagine being turned into a really lovely, simple and slightly cheese Christmas film and I wouldn't be completely mad if it did!

This is the first book I’ve read by Joanne Bolouri but I understand she has written many chicklits, and I will most definitely read more by this her after being thoroughly entertained with All I Want For Christmas.

Verdict: ★★★

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