Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (11 April 2013)
There are six months left of Emma Reiss’s twenties…and she has some unfinished business. Emma and her friends are about to turn thirty, and for Emma it’s a defining moment. Defined, that is, by her having achieved none of the things she’d imagined she would. Her career is all wrong, her love life is a desert and that penthouse apartment she pictured herself in simply never materialised. Moreover, she’s never jumped out of a plane, hasn’t met the man she’s going to marry, has never slept under the stars, or snogged anyone famous – just some of the aspirations on a list she and her friends compiled fifteen years ago. As an endless round of birthday parties sees Emma hurtle towards her own thirtieth, she sets about addressing these issues. But, as she discovers with hilarious consequences, some of them are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…
Having read (and loved) All The Single Ladies in February 2012 (you can read my review here), I was a little bit nervous when The Wish List was next on my tbr pile.
I have to be honest from the very beginning and share that it totally lived up to my expectations! Right from the prologue I was hooked and, apart from having to work, this wasn’t ever out of my hands for long. This is going to be one of those reviews that is really difficult to write because you just can’t capture in its entirety how the story made you feel.
Narrated in the first person, Emma is such a strong lead that you really do get caught up in the countdown to her 30th birthday.
In the prologue we get to know the kind of person Emma is. The result of this scene leads to some hilarious scenes a little further into the story.
It’s during the spa weekend with best friends Cally and Asha that we find out about ex-boyfriend Rob. We get to meet her sister Marianne and there’s intrigue surrounding why she’s now in a different relationship and given up her high maintenance modelling life in London and moved to Edinburgh. The list is discussed and we find out what actions are on there.
Emma’s job as a programmer with Little Blue Bus Productions and her boss Perry adds a lot of humour and tension to the story!
Rob is such the perfect guy he doesn’t really have any substance! Matt is the hot hunk with a difficult emotional life.
With Emma in pursuit of completing the actions on the list, her complicated love life and work life; Cally and the mystery of her son’s paternity (and her lack of interest in the opposite sex); Asha in her difficult situation; her dad on dates from the dating agency – all leading us to some hilarious and heart-warming situations. Add in the loss Emma feels from the death of her mother when she was 6 and we have a story that is full of laughter and hilarity, and of course the opposite emotions of despair and tears.
The scene that prompted the most laughter for me has to be the morning after the aborted overnight camping (although there are of course others that aren’t far behind). The scene that broke my heart is the gift that Emma’s dad gave her on her birthday.
The evening of Emma’s birthday party is just perfect. Having been through trauma during the day, it was just perfect in so many ways.
The epilogue ended the story with a flourish
You can read an extract of The Wish List on Books and the City.
I would like to thank the publishers, Simon & Schuster for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.