Book Review

Book Review : Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton.

Jessie’s just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.

They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they find each other?

I absolutely loved Keris Stainton’s debut novel Della Says: OMG! and was very excited when I discovered that her second book was going to be set in my favourite place in the world, New York City. I know that Keris is another NYC obsessive so as I settled down to read this book I had a good feeling that it would transport me across the pond and I was not disappointed.

The plot follows Jessie who, along with her friend Emma, is going to spend the summer with her mother who moved to New York City when the play she wrote transferred onto Broadway. Jessie is nursing a broken heart, and feels resentful about the way her mother left her behind. It also follows native New Yorker Finn, he’s hiding a couple of fairly huge secrets – he’s in love with his best friend’s girlfriend, and he’s thinking about changing his career path to something he wants to do instead of what his family want him to do. I loved the way these two characters were similar – both of them are dealing with romantic issues and they both have problems with their parents. The two stories alternate through the book, overlapping as their paths cross. I loved the way both of the characters got pretty equal billing, it meant I felt like I got to know them both really well.

I absolutely fell in love with Finn, he’s just so lovely. There’s a section where he talks about the glamour of old New York which confirmed for me that I was falling for him. Jessie is a great character, I loved how excited she was about New York. The situation between her and her mother is pretty strained at times, I liked the way that this was fully explored – Jessie’s reactions felt very genuine to me. I also loved Emma, Jessie’s best friend. She’s definitely the sort of best friend you would want, supportive at the times when you need support but not afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot.

There is another love story contained within the pages of the book, and that is the characters’ (and author’s) love affair with New York City. I absolutely loved all of the mentions of famous sights, and got really excited as the characters visited places that I’ve been to. I also liked the inclusion of pop culture references to some of the many tv shows and films that are set in New York City. I’m sure this book will be encouraging lots of people to consider a visit to New York.

I absolutely adored this book, it’s great fun and just utterly lovely. I don’t know if there are plans for a follow-up book but the ending would definitely allow for one and if there is I will be pushing my way to the front of the queue to read it.

Jessie Hearts NYC is published in paperback by Orchard in the UK priced £6.99.

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