Review: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – Abby Clements

Cover of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements

Title: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe
Author: Abby Clements
Publication date: October 25, 2012
Publisher: Quercus
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-78087-662-7
Length: 362 pages
Genre: Chick lit
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Synopsis

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel used to be inseparable – but their lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Now thirty-five, they have all but fallen out of touch; glamorous single girl Laurie is based in London and dedicated to her career in fashion; Rachel seemingly living the family idyll in Yorkshire.

But when Rachel’s mother-in-law needs urgent treatment in London, and disasters at work and in her love life mean Laurie needs to flee, a house swap falls into place. Soon gentle Rachel is far from the village bake sales, braving the city’s mean streets while trying to keep her marriage and family together; while Laurie attempts to work an Aga, befriend the wary village locals – and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home for Christmas?

My thoughts

If you’re looking for an easy and charming read for the Christmas season, look no further – Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Abby Clements’s debut novel, will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit. It’s a light and entertaining read that would make a perfect Christmas present or a great read the week before Christmas Day. Even though it’s only October and snow, Christmas trees and fairy lights are still nowhere to be seen, Laurie and Rachel’s story made me feel like I was sitting in fire-lit living room with the lingering smell of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg filling the air. On top of a witty storyline, the book has a festive, cheerful atmosphere which I really enjoyed.

While lots books from this genre tend to be quite predictable, I was relieved to find that Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is not one of them. There are so many chick lit books out there (usually about love triangles) where you can figure out the ending before the book has even started but Clements’s book was definitely a pleasant surprise. The plot was very well written, full of twists and turns and I seriously couldn’t predict what would happen next. The characters are likeable, the plot is original and very enjoyable and I’m not exaggerating when I say I read it in one day. Also, in addition to the fact that the book has a stunning (and very sparkly) cover which I absolutely adore, it also includes two bonus Christmas recipes that are featured in the story. How creative is that?

The book has a third person narrator but it’s divided into two parts – one chapter is about Rachel, the next one is about Laurie and so on, which I particularly liked about this book. Laurie is a brilliant character and she even reminded me of myself a little bit. She’s the typical city girl who lives on takeaway food, whose cooking skills are limited (or let’s just say non-existent) and whose countryside surviving skills are even worse than her ability to cook. Now, give this woman a pair of high heels and designer clothes clearly unfit for the countryside and put her in a cottage with no central heating or anything remotely modern and you’re guaranteed a real good laugh. Laurie’s attempts to fit in this small community is hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed this side of the story.

The only thing I wasn’t particularly keen on was the writing itself. While I enjoyed the plot, I found dialogues and some descriptive parts rather bland. It’s not as bland as to put you off and as I said I loved the book itself, but I do think it could have been better. And by better I mean a bit wittier, funnier or more realistic in terms of how the characters talk to each other and how the third person narrator tells us what’s going on in their minds. For there were times when I was trying to put my finger on what was missing and the only explanation I managed to come up with is that it’s a bit… simple and fluffy. Something was missing for me and I think it was that extra bit of spark, humour and realism from the writing and the dialogues. At the same time, it has a very warm and festive feel to it which is always a plus.

All in all, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is a great debut and a light, entertaining read for winter nights. I would recommend it if you like this genre or if you’re looking for some Christmas reads. And don’t forget to try the recipes after reading the book! That’s exactly what I’m planning to do. :)

Teaser

‘Not even half seven yet, Laurie,’ the young security guard teased her. ‘Don’t you ever get a lie-in?’
‘Big day today,’ she said, swinging open the glass door of her office, latte held tight in her other hand. ‘If I’m lucky I might get some sleep next week.’
Laurie crossed the empty entrance hall, winter sunlight streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and stepped into the waiting lift.


Rating:
*Many thanks to Quercus for sending me a copy of this book*
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33 Responses to “Review: Meet Me Under the Mistletoe – Abby Clements”

  1. Pragya says:

    Ah, this does sound like a good read and recipes, wow. Will you make some and share the pics with us here, Vicky?

  2. This looks adorable. Thanks!!
    Gina – Hott Books recently posted..Review: Her Surprise SisterMy Profile

  3. This book sounds awesome! I’ll definitely be giving it a try!
    Natalie Allan recently posted..The 12 Days of NaNoWriMo – 7 – Exercises for the ImpatientMy Profile

  4. It sounds so cute and really perfect for xmas. I will give it a try if I find the time. Great review Vicky! :)
    Veronica Morfi recently posted..Chain Letter (Chain Letter #1) by Christopher PikeMy Profile

  5. Marian says:

    This sounds really good! The cover really catches my eye too.

  6. Bonnie says:

    This one is definitely going on my list. I’m a sucker for Christmasy stories and this one sounds like a real treat. Great review! :)

  7. Beautiful cover, awesome review.
    Shane @Itching for Books recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday #19My Profile

  8. Melissa says:

    Not even Halloween and you’ve already given me the Christmas bug! I think I am ging to try to read 75% Chrsitmas themed books in Dec to satisfy my “cinnamon & candy cane tooth”
    Melissa recently posted.."On Cats & Witches", Guest Post & Giveaway with Author Joe AugustynMy Profile

  9. Jade says:

    I’m already beginning to consider Christmas reads and this one sounds like a good one to put on the list. I’ve always been fond of the fish out of water scenario, and it seems to conjure the right mood for Christmas time. Nice review.
    Jade recently posted..Throwback Thursday (Halloween Edition): Point HorrorMy Profile

  10. I’ll have to grab this one for sure. I can’t wait to start my Christmas reading.
    Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic recently posted..Last Book to Give You a Hangover?My Profile

  11. I love your site and am ecstatic to honor your hard work with the One Lovely Blog Award. My post with the details here: http://ajarndtbooks.blogspot.com/2012/10/winner-of-one-lovely-blog-award.html
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog recently posted..Winner of the One Lovely Blog Award!My Profile

  12. I can’t wait to start this one.. or any of my others but that’s beside the point. Glad you loved it! :D
    If you love the idea of recipes, you really have to pick up Jenny Colgan’s Cupcake Café books – they’re brimming with recipes and I can’t WAIT to try some of these great baking ideas! Eeh Christmas!
    Hannah @ Once Upon A Time recently posted..[Review] In The End by Alexandra RowlandMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      *runs off to Goodreads* Yes, I think it’s such a clever idea! I love cookies/biscuits/small and easy cakes so I must check this one out! :)

  13. Okay this is now #1 on my Christmas reading pile after reading your review. I can’t wait! I’ve heard some people say they connected with Laurie more and some with Rachel so I’m looking forward to seeing which one I fall under :)
    Jess Hearts Books recently posted..Review for The Diviners by Libba BrayMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Yeah, they’re quite different :) I won’t say I didn’t like Rachel but I definitely preferred Laurie. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  14. No predictable plot and a real Christmas feeling. I don’t read a lot of these type of books, but this sound like a book I could try! :) Thanks for sharing!
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted..Review 59. Ruth Frances Long – The treachery of beautiful things.My Profile

  15. I am such a sucker for holiday themed books..and as you know I am not a huge contemporary theme..but if you stick a holiday in it..i usually love them. This sounds sweet and thank you for a wonderful review!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry {review-giveaway}My Profile

  16. Elaine says:

    Oh my gossssh, it looks like the sweetest read! Something like pure vanilla bean gelato. This is definitely going into my TBR pile for the holidays when I need a book that won’t suck me in, destroy my mental stability and make me M.I.A. I was waiting for your review of this book and now I’m really excited for it! Thank you for this :)
    Elaine recently posted..Review: Archangel’s Storm by Nalini SinghMy Profile

  17. This is the readathon book, right? Sounds good :) I really think I will read some Christmas book around Christmas :P :) Maybe I will pick this one! :) Great review Vicky! ;)
    nea barabea (@neabarabea) recently posted..Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens ReviewMy Profile

  18. [...] me that she’s actually a fantastic author that I need to read more of. And Vicky reviewed Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements which sounds like an adorably festive read which I’m really looking forward [...]

  19. JennRenee says:

    I am starting my to read Christmas list. This one sound like it needs to be on their. thanks for the review.
    JennRenee recently posted..Review: Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones by by Christopher KrovatinMy Profile

  20. Farah says:

    This sounds like a great read! and i really love the cover! so romantic! Great review dear!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf
    Farah recently posted..Blog Tour of Gravity by Melissa West – Review & Favorite quoteMy Profile

  21. [...] even in summer. Today’s nails were inspired by Abby Clements’s Christmas novel called Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, a book that I reviewed last month. Its cover looks very sparkly and it has all these shiny gems on [...]

  22. [...] perfect for the holidays. The Christmas Bake Off is a short story from Abby Clements, whose novel Meet Me Under the Mistletoe I reviewed back in October – and it also includes two bonus recipes of cinnamon cookies and [...]

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