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4.4 out of 5 stars
All I Want for Christmas
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This was a delightful book set out in a diary format covering the two weeks leading up to Christmas. It follows the lives of three different women as they cope with the stresses and strains of Christmas. First up, you have Bea, the owner of the The Honey Pot, a local coffee shop / deli, who is determined to make this first Christmas for her son a happy one. Bea was widowed before her son was born and has been through a lot. She has struggled to come to terms with her loss as anyone would.

Then you have Olivia, a girl born into a very rich family. She gets knocked down outside Bea's cafe and they eventually become good friends. Olivia is struggling to cope with catering for Christmas with her boyfriend's family as they all descend upon her. She also doesn't know how to cope with her boyfriend's marriage proposal and goes a little bit off the rails.

Lastly you have Chloe, the most cold hearted character I have met since Heathcliff. She does not give a hoot about who she tramples on and doesn't understand why her married lover doesn't want to spend Christmas with her. She is the Ice Queen and gets banned from the coffee shop. A few twists and turns later and Bea and Olivia go out of their way to melt the Ice Queen's heart.

I really enjoyed this book. It was realistic but heartwarming at the same time. Don't expect lots of gushing romance and snow filled wonderlands, because you won't get it here. What you will get is real life, real problems buut with a happy ending. Bea was the strongest character in the book and you cannot help but feel a little sorry for her as she came to terms with her alcoholism. It was very much an easy read and one that happily saw me through my congested days from Christmas to New Year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
Three female character's take the lead, Bea owns a deli and is coping very well managing it while caring for her baby son, but where is her husband and how does she juggle cooking for the deli, working and caring for her son?
Olivia is a journalist, reporting on beauty products and is madly in love with her boyfriend Kieran, or is she?
Chloe is having an affair with a married man and between that and her job she really doesn't need anything else in her life...right?
It's the Christmas season and when Olivia get's knocked down outside Bea's shop the three women meet properly for the first time and their stories become entangled.

This tale of love, friendship and Christmas is a must read, each chapter covers a day starting from 14th December until Christmas Day. Within each chapter each woman tells a part of her story. I like this style of writing so this suited me well.The author deals with a certain issue remarkably ( don't want to mention it in case I spoil the plot) and having been in that position I thought she covered every angle with well thought about emotion.

Pretty front cover and helped me get into the festive spirit that I am sadly lacking at present
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 December 2011
I was feeling the need to have some Christmas cheer and while looking on my bookshelves found All I Want For Christmas ... which had been a gift last year and had remained there waiting for me to re-discover it!

We start to get involved in Bea, Olivia and Chloe's lives from 14th December. The scene is set in The Honeypot - we get to know Bea, a little about her customers and the fact that there is something troubling her. Chloe is a business woman and is one of the demanding customers waiting in a long queue.

Olivia comes on the scene next. She writes a column in a number one glossy style mag although her honest review of a product could possibly lose her the job. When Bea brings her into The Honeypot after the accident she sits her at Chloe's table. Somehow their purses are swapped and so begins the weaving of the tale.

Bea is hiding heartache and a secret that is huge. Chloe is a bitch who comes across as very shallow - although of course, there are always reasons behind our behaviours ... and Olivia is an organiser (yes, she has a journal used solely for the purpose of lists) and scared of commitment.

We get involved in their lives until the end of Christmas Day.

All the characters have depth and substance making it very easy to lose yourself in this world. There is no time to be bored as the reader becomes involved in all three lives as they become friends. Even though Chloe starts out as the bitch, we get to see her unwind and relax. She has to be my favourite character because yes, she grows into the woman she is meant to be. The party in The Honeypot on Christmas Day was just the right setting to display her tangled love life.

I wasn't sure as I was reading All I Want For Christmas whether it was actually the right book for the mood I was in. I didn't feel much `sparkle' due to Bea's heartache. That is no reflection on the story itself though as the author managed to provoke quite a depth of sadness in me in relation to Bea. I love a story that provokes intense emotions! But I most definitely had that `feel good factor' once I had finished reading.

An easy read, All I Want For Christmas is book to snuggle up with on these long dark evenings to transport you away from the madness of the season.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 December 2010
This is a fun chicklit read set in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. It's about three women who are all struggling with particular issues in their lives. Bea runs a cafe called The Honey Pot, which she originally set up with her husband Marco. Now she's a single mother and this will be her first Christmas alone with her son. Bea gets to know two women who frequent her cafe. Olivia is recently engaged but is having doubts about whether she wants to get married to Kieran. Chloe is having an affair with a married man who shows no signs of wanting to leave his wife and family. The storyline unfolds in a fairly predictable way, but it still sustains your interest throughout. The Christmas setting does make it particularly appropriate for this time of year, but it's not so much a "Christmas novel" that you couldn't read it at any time.

Amy Silver's writing style will appeal to those who enjoy Jane Green or Sophie Kinsella.

My thanks to reviewer Boof for bringing this one to my attention. I sometimes find chicklit books a bit too dumbed down, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. A "warm and fuzzy" read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2011
I have just finished reading this book and although flat out it took me about a day I really enjoyed it. The book is ideal for reading at Christmas but I would also recommend it for all times of the year especially on your winter or summer holiday. I did chuckle as some things in the book were actually true to life due to the weather we had before Christmas last year... how on earth could the author know? Buy this book, crack open a bottle of wine or a bar of chocolate and sit back and relax.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2013
I read this as part of my 'read only Christmas themed books' in December agreement I had with myself.
I truly loved this book, especially how it was written in diary format. I related to the character's straight away and I loved how different they were from each other, yet they were all brought together and fit so perfecly into each other's lives.
Chloe is the most complex of them with her starting out as a bitch who you really despise (the first meeting Bea has with her I felt my blood boil on Bea's behalf as she rudely chats on her mobile phone!) But it's wonderfut to watch her character develop and blossom.
The story isn't all about the joys of Christmas, there is heartache in there that the Author does an excellent job of provoking such emotion from the character to the reader.
I actually read it more or less in time with the counting down of the diary as it starts twelve days before Christmas so it truly added to the experience.
A must read to settle down to on the cold winter nights.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2011
Really enjoyed this book :) it was cute, christmassy, girly, adorable- such a lovely read. I thoroughly enjoyed the differences between the individual girls, which helped reassure that we all are different but something always brings us together. The plot was intriguing- you always wanted to know what happened with bea and the guy who so obviously adores her, and whether chloe will learn to let go of control and so on. Each girl was different- and that's why i really liked this book. The cafe setting (woo coffee and christmas cake!) and the fact you could relate quite well (coupled with the guys and the leading up to christmas!) all gave it a great edge. I definitely recommend this as a christmas read- i think i read it within 3 days! The front cover is adorable too :D and i can't wait for amy silver's new book about new years eve- that will be fantastic i'm sure. I'm starting to think she's an author to watch (for cosy relatable chicklit!) :D
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2010
Bought this book to have something to read just before Christmas, to feel even more christmassy than I usually do. I was very surprised when I found out it was somehow related to Italy, my homeland, as it was completely unexpected. I'm not very patriotic but I really liked the image of Italy which comes out from the book. Basically the author tells the truth about Italians and Italian customs without predictable cliché - I found particularly interesting the fact that Bea's late husband was from Genoa and not from the South of Italy, as you would expect someone who's such a great cook to be. Even the recipes which Bea uses are correct. Thumbs up for Amy Silver then, great job. And thanks a lot for providing such a lovely reading.
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on 19 December 2014
This is a fab read for this time of year, not only due to the heart-warming and romantic storyline but also because of the layout, with each chapter being a date in December, beginning on the fourteenth and leading up to the big day!

It is written from Bea, Olivia and Chloe’s points of view and follows them through different times each day which really opens the characters up for the reader to get to know and enjoy.

For Bea, she wants to have her first Christmas with her young son. She has been through so much and deserves a fantastic year. After losing her husband two years before, she is now running the café, the Honey Pot, that her and her husband had started together. The previous year was quite a low point for Bea as she sunk into depression and drink, with her mother looking after her son. Which is why this year is so special. As well as this, Bea wants to hold a Christmas party at the Honey Pot on Christmas evening for the people of the neighbourhood, friends and for the lonely to have somewhere to go.

We meet Olivia early on in the story when she gets knocked over outside the café and Bea goes out to assist, bringing Olivia into the Honey Pot and having a chat over a nice, hot drink. This is really the beginning of a great friendship between these two characters. I feel that the author has taken great care with her writing to build these characters up and create a closeness between them. It is written well and is a flowing read which is easy to follow.

Olivia is about to get married to her boyfriend, Kieran. However, when his family comes over from Ireland in the run up to Christmas, she finds that she is having a stressful time feeding and entertaining them, as well as working. Not only this but when Kieran’s family begin suggesting wedding ideas and their future together, i.e. kids, when to have them and how many, Olivia begins to get a little cold feet and doubts whether she is doing the right thing. And, has she really slept with enough men yet?

It is a demanding time for her and she just wants things to remain the same for Kieran and herself. If she pleases him and his family her wishes will never be met. Plus, she knows she will never go through the getting-to-know-you stage again and is this just all too much to bear?

Meanwhile, one of Bea’s best friends, Sam, begins to really get to her. Sam has always been popular with the ladies and it isn’t unusual for him to have a new girl on his arm every week or so. Bea doesn’t really know why he is bothering her so much. They have always been close – only being next door he has looked after Luca, her son, and been there to talk to, lend things to, etc. And she has always known he was one for the ladies. But, Sam seems to be turning up recently when she’s in the middle of something, he seems to be getting closer to her and he gets under her skin at times.

It becomes apparent that Sam has feelings for Bea. This creates a brilliant will-they-won’t-they storyline. Bea knows that Sam has always been there for her, but does she feel that strong about him? And even if she does, she cannot betray her husband, Marco.

And then there’s Chloe. Chloe is introduced as a cold and rude character, having an affair with a married man and not really having much thought for anyone else. When it is first realised by Olivia and Bea that Chloe is in a relationship with a married man, they react quite judgemental towards her, which in turn brushes her up the wrong way. She retaliates by speaking harshly to Bea about her husband, as she sees Bea as the married man’s wife. However, she really doesn’t know Bea’s truth and has judged her completely wrong. But, despite this shaky start, is it possible for a friendship to blossom?

Surprisingly, Chloe was a character I really enjoyed. Even though she has been involved with a married man and comes across quite cold and haughty to begin with, I felt her character made the longest journey and she really is quite nice underneath it all. She seems to come to her senses and realise just how lonely she really is. She doesn’t fit in with her family and excludes herself to an extent from their visits as she is her own person really. I really admire this about her, as it does take strength to go your own way especially when you know it will be a lonely venture.

All I Want for Christmas is a perfect festive, heartfelt and relaxing read, and a reminder that people do have problems but that they also get through them. It is touching, but at the same time leads you into an excitement for the holidays, at the same time as being a relaxing read.
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on 23 January 2011
I read and enjoyed Amy Silver's first book, Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista, and so when I saw this, I thought it would be a perfect light read in the lead up to Christmas.

The story revolves around Bea, owner of a café, The Honeypot, and two of her customers, Olivia and Chloe. The women are at different points in their lives, but are all struggling with relationships in one way or another. Bea, is adjusting to life as a single parent whilst trying to run her café, Olivia is newly engaged but having doubts about marriage and Chloe is a high flying lawyer sleeping with a married colleague.

Bea is the main character and her sections are written in first person, whereas Chloe and Olivia are written in third. Each character seems to get equal time dedicated to them, but I do feel that by the end of the book, Bea is the character the reader knows best and she's the one that is most likely to be remembered.

I found Silver's first book very light and funny with a style reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella. I thought this one - whilst still light and easy to read - was a little more serious and at times it's also a little sad. The characters develop as the story goes on, but on the whole, this isn't a deep and meaningful read, it's just pure chick-lit.

Although set in the run up to Christmas, don't be put off from reading this at other times of year. The focus of this book is more on the women, their families and relationships than it is the Christmas period. This was an enjoyable book and I look forward to Amy Silver's next one.
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