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on 25 September 2000
Possibly the most disappointing book I have ever read, in a genre that is invariably disappointing.
Drudging through this was a real chore and it was hard to believe that Honeymoon Holt - just an awful character name - and the interchangeable, indistinguishable Ven and Della had been created by the same person that came up with such rich characters in 'This Life'. The difference is the medium - 'This Life' had terrific actors to flesh out the characters. A novel needs textured, orginial writing to do the same and 'Honeymoon' merely serves up cliche upon cliche. The unrealistic, shallow nature of the main characters is so annoying - and the character flaws are so feeble - that the coincidence packed plot looks threadbare. Worst of all, 'Love of Her Life' Alex is a berk and just doesn't live up to his billing.
On the plus side, the print is very big and, of course, Amy Jenkins did create 'This Life' and, despite this novel, she may be able to do it again. If she does, she can be forgiven for 'Honeymoon'.
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on 15 May 2000
Like the other reviewers, I was really looking forward to this book's release because of the intelligent and poignant This Life. What a shock! Honeymoon it was not in my terms. Fluffy, Clueless and about as deep as a girlies' trip to Ibiza. It lacked any descriptions. I mean Honey went to MEXICO and went to the place where her parents died in a plane crash (naturally). But you had to really push those imagination dendrites here. There were no descriptions of the trauma, the scenery or the colour of the fiesta. What REALLY ANNOYED me was the continued use of Imagine..... I felt like I was at the cinema hearing the dialogue but with no picture... The characters are totally unbelievable especially Della who seems to have snogged everyone famous including Leonardo DiCaprio (yeah right, we don't believe that, even in a book) And who was Paul? My final questions are What was Honey's job? What was Mac? How did della meet Leonardo? And most importantly relating to the editing Who was Martha who suddenly appeared? Read the book and see if you agree with me. I think she was originally called Sophie but changed to Martha two paragraphs later. Sorry Amy Jenkins, it was not your best work. Stick to scripts.
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on 8 May 2000
Amy Jenkins created and wrote 'This Life' for BBC2, which was an incredibly intelligent and compulsive piece of viewing. On hearing that Jenkins has written a novel, you immediately picture a huge Dickensian affair of modern London life with multiple characters. Instead of this, we get 'Honeymoon'.
'Honeymoon' is the narrator, and you can't help but groan as soon as you hear her name. One of the most attractive things about 'This Life' was its ensemble cast of men and women. Here you only get Honey as a first person narrator, and you immediately feel bereft. Yep, the portraits of men in 'Honeymoon' are okay, but you don't really get any deep insights into any of the characters. Jenkins is scrupulously fair, mentioning that in the majority of marriage break-ups, it's the women who have walked out. But this is as about as close to real life, or any life, as 'Honeymoon' gets.
Take 'Mac', for example, Honey's boss. He's something big in Hollywood, we're told. But we never really get to see what he does, apart from paying airfares at propitious moments (a lot of the events in the novel seem dependent on the old-fashioned device of Providence). Because Honey is so shallow, you never really get to care about her, despite her sob story of being orphaned when young. Ed, her groom to be, is so anonymous that he could be Anyman. There is the odd bit of humour, but never really enough to make the novel sparkle. Ed is right when he observes that Honey is far from reaching the heights in the hilarity stakes. Everything about this novel is so... comfortable. Honey and Ed arrive in New York by accident en route to their Honeymoon, and Ed thinks nothing about abandoning their reservations in Mexico to stay in Manhattan. Poor little rich kids, you sigh. Even their best friends and employer turn up in New York. Later on, when Honey has to agonise about returning to England... the fact that she does have such a coterie really renders this dramatic choice meaningless.
There are moments of high drama that ultimately fail to get your pulse racing. Jenkins refers to a lot of Cult TV and movies (with Honey ultimately losing all credibility when she claims that Roger Moore was the best Bond), and maybe reading novels is not her first choice of recreation. But you still feel she could have produced something much more meaty than this. The main story is really too girlie to have any great appeal. On the back cover, the legend is 'Fiction: General' which just about sums it up...
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on 10 December 2000
After the brilliance of 'This Life' I dont think I have ever been quite so disappointed at reading a book. I have a feeling this was a novel (in it's broadest sense) that Amy must have written for English Homework when she was 14 years old. Never has a more pathetic crew of characters been assembled. It was a struggle to get through it, like swimming in honey....
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on 13 September 2000
Honeymoon is a book about expectations. About always thinking there is something better -{the 'fairy tale' romance}, and about one girl eventually discovering that the grass isn't necessarily greener. In it's essence this book is a moving story of romance and discovery, and I enjoyed it, in fact I couldn't put it down. But I couldn't help feeling that I should be able to put it down, after all, Ed - probably the nicest character was treated awfully and Honey got off far too easily. Not to mention the annoying analysing sister, and totally far fetched storyline. Yet, I couldn't help but identify with the premise of the story, and the characters and situations made for a fun read.
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on 20 May 2001
From reading the reviews already posted for this book, many people may not bother to read it. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it! It made me laugh and cry. Honey is a very likeable girl, faced with a dilema, whilst she is very fond of normal, loving, reliable Ed, she can't forget her night with the mysterious Alex. A lesson here for anyone who thought that the grass was greener! And most idols fall off their pedestals after you've lived with them for a couple of days!! Excellently written, Amy Jenkins keeps you guessing right up the end as to which way Honey will go. I have recommended this book to all my friends.
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on 2 May 2000
I started reading the book really wanting to enjoy it, since I'm a great fan of Jane Green, Marian Keyes et al. But I was really disappointed. After the brilliance of This Life, I was hoping that Jenkins would bring something new to the genre. Instead, there are chapters and thoughts on relationships that read like watered down 'Come Together' on a bad day. What went wrong? It reads to me as though Jenkins didn't really enjoy writing the book ... There's an underlying tired, hollow quality.
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on 7 September 2000
... I read this through to the end because I couldn't believe quite how awful it was, - after all, This Life was wonderful, truly innovative, witty and compelling, but, yup, it really *was* as bad as I thought. The 'plot' is cliched, utterly implausible, and full of holes. The writing is leaden and boring, the characters one-dimensional, and far from sympathising with the heroine, I just wanted to give her a good kicking...
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on 25 June 2001
I read the first few chapters of this book on my 2 hour journey home one day.. and spent most of it putting the book down in frustration, because I really couldn't get into it. Needless to say, I didn't bother finishing it.
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on 20 April 2000
I wanted to hate this, as I once read an interview with Amy Jenkins and she really annoyed me, but within less than a chapter I was sullenly admitting to myself that the girl's a genius. How she has managed to take such an overworked genre and make it fresh, is beyond me. And how the hell did she get into my head? I kept hearing the small, dark thoughts I keep to myself quoted back at me.
Honey is a very selfish, immature girl but that doesn't stop you liking her - which is always an achievement in literature - and the male characters are great. My only criticism about the book is the way the storyline goes off on one after they arrive in New York. What the hell was that gay bloke there for and why were they all sitting in the bath in the middle of the night? Just daft - I found myself flicking to the end of the chapter to see if it contained the line 'and then Honey woke up' because it was so preposterous. Characters suddenly seem to start whizzing around the globe as if a transatlantic flight take a few minutes (and cost nothing) I think maybe Amy had her eye too much on the film deal while she wrote, which was a shame because her talent is such that she doesn't big farcical storylines - she's great at writing about the small things and I hope her next book is a little more low-key.
But all in all I would suggest you read this book. It's just so much better than most of this kind of stuff.
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