Book Reviews Always the Bridesmaid May 22, 2017

I could write this review by just saying that this book is absolutely brilliant and leave it at that, but it would be pretty boring. I read The Single Girl’s To Do List by Lindsey Kelk about 5 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it – witty, hilarious and fun. I’ve had a couple of her other books on my shelf for a few years but I like to read different books and change authors so I never got back to Lindsey’s books. Then came my event management career and a huge love of wedding novels, so of course I read all of that genre on my shelf first. 2015 arrived and Lindsey obviously knew how to get me to read her books again – she wrote one about weddings! Cue Always the Bridesmaid – one of the best books I have ever read!

For a start, I know I love a book A LOT when I read it in the day time. I don’t know why but I only ever read at night before I go to bed (probably because reading makes me tired), so the fact I didn’t put this book down says it all. I just loved it! Lindsey Kelk has written an accurate and hysterically funny account of an event assistant’s take on the events industry and being a thirty-one-year-old. I don’t know what it’s like to be thirty one, but I’m learning what it’s like to be an events assistant that’s for sure! I’ve also heard many stories about the events industry and worked with quite a few people in events now so I feel I have a good idea of what I’m talking about and what to expect in my career.

Maddie has worked at an events company for ten years. In those ten years she has worked for her horrible boss, Shona, working all hours of the day and night. It’s clear that Maddie has experienced a lot in her job over these ten years, and HR believe it’s her time for a promotion. Of course Shona disagrees and every other aspect of Maddie’s life becomes extremely dramatic from thereon too. Maddie has the important role of bridesmaid to play at her best friend Lauren’s wedding. Their other best friend, Sarah, is also being a bridesmaid – and she’s getting divorced! Alarm bells are now ringing for the reader as you wonder how on earth these three girls are going to juggle all of these eventualities. Maddie must also learn to juggle men as Will and Tom enter her life – the biggest question here is who is good and who is bad? Plus, why can’t Maddie’s family understand how hectic her life is and support her?

In true tradition, it’s possible that Maddie may have to experience some of the hardest days of her life before she experiences some of the best. Lindsey Kelk creates a funny and inspiring character in Maddie and writes some truly exceptional mishaps that could happen to any of us (but they always happen to Maddie). I particularly love this book as it portrays the events industry very accurately: we don’t have weekends, we work any hour of the day to keep our clients happy, we do some pretty horrible jobs sometimes, and it’s really tiring and emotional. I could go on but I do actually love my job, really!

Other books that I have read about weddings and events refer to the industry as a fairy tale with the role of event manager being a walk in the park. I can say that’s definitely not the case! The industry is amazing and rewarding, however it’s hard work and certainly isn’t the “dream job” that people believe it to be. I’m so happy that an author has got this aspect correct and said it as it is! Lindsey Kelk’s writing style in Always the Bridesmaid is extremely witty and sarcastic at times which most women can relate to. This suits the industry perfectly and allows us to relate to Maddie even more as we’ve all experienced some of the things she goes through too. Also documenting Maddie’s journeys and experiences is her bridesmaid journal to which we read snippets of throughout the book. This adds a light and refreshing feel to the book and I love quirky things like this as it breaks up what would otherwise be an ordinary book with standard chapters. There are also fun text messages and social media updates at the end to explain questions I had after reading the final chapter. Lindsey’s writing is contagious in the sense that you want to read more. She is inspiring, new and fabulous at what she does. I’m secretly hoping that this won’t be the only book about Maddie and her events world!

Rating: *****

If you’ve read Always the Bridesmaid what did you think? Have you read any other books by Lindsey Kelk or do you have any recommendations? As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for discussions or suggestions!

Happy reading,
Liz x

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