Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis

This is my first Stacey Ballis book, and I'm sure it won't be my last.  She is firmly under the "chick lit" moniker, but her character Sophie is a refreshing change of pace from the typical lovelorn heroine I've read in other chick lit novels.  I am a big fan of novels where women are faced with rebuilding a life whether it's due to a job loss, or a loss in their romantic life.  I want women to know, even if it's just by reading a novel, that we can continually remake ourselves, and find happiness and strength in moving past a rough patch in life.  

Okay.  I'm off my soapbox!  You've got to feel bad for Sophie:  it's her wedding day, she's spent $70,000 on her wedding, and her fiancee never shows to the wedding.  He doesn't even send her a note.  Instead, guests at Sophie's wedding see on social media that he has eloped to an island paradise with a thin, moneyed woman that is the opposite of Sophie.  Crushed, but being brave, Sophie instead invites everyone to enjoy the food, the band, and the venue.  Sophie throws herself into her party, and unfortunately, pictures flood social media, and she's humiliated.  Sophie is a well-know pastry chef in Chicago, and her plans to open a restaurant with her ex-fiancee were big news, and her humiliation is complete.  

Months later, Sophie has lost her job, sold her condo, and is living with her lively grandmother Bubbles.  She's in debt up to her eyeballs, and burned a few bridges professionally with her bad attitude.  Seeing a sign in the local neighborhood bakery, she starts working part-time, with an eye to getting back into the pastry world in Chicago.  But life, of course, has a way of throwing curve balls, and Sophie is about to get a few tossed her way.  

There is a lot of plot going on in this book.  There is Sophie's relationship with Bubbles, her relationship with her parents, who have been together for 40 years of unwed bliss, her budding career at the local bakery (which is threatened by a new entry into the neighborhood), and there is the annoying son of the owner--Mark, who wonders why Sophie is even bothering to save the bakery.  I found Sophie refreshing because she isn't a size 8, she enjoys food with no feelings of guilt, and instead of jumping into a big job and career change right away, she takes the time to sift through her feelings to decide where she wants to go next with her serious pastry skills.  And most of all, I love the family dynamics between Sophie, Bubbles, and her parents.  Chicago is a big part of this novel, and I always have a soft spot for the city in which my family made home for three generations.   

There's much more going on in Sophie's life, and you'll get the title pretty quickly.  I did feel there was almost too much going on in the plot and in Sophie's life.  I was exhausted!  And it seemed that the end was pretty quick, after many pages of Sophie's life moving a bit slowly.  I would have liked an epilogue.  

Thank you to Penguin-Random House for an advanced copy to review.  

Rating:  7/10 for an enjoyable novel about restarting life, being resourceful, enjoying food and loving the people in our lives.  

This book will be available May 3rd in paperback and e-book format.  


  1. Oh wow! I feel so bad for Sophie! I do want to read it though because turning lemons into lemonade is necessary for everyone at some point, huh? Good review!

    I'm a new book blogger and would love to connect with other book lovers. Hope to connect more :)


    1. Your blog is gorgeous! I have blog envy :) And yes, what I did like most about Sophie was her ability to keep looking ahead, even after becoming a bit of a disaster and messing up her life with some bad choices.

  2. Great review! Last night at my reading group meeting we discussed The Girl on the Train, a book I mostly was annoyed by. I felt that it glorified the weak female preyed upon by a nasty male syndrome. This one is more what I look for in a female protagonist. But the cover?

    1. I know, Judy! The cover does do the job of luring a reader to pick it up. And yes, there is a dog in the novel with a rather interesting name...and the dog on the cover does play a part, but not until you're nearing the end of the story.

  3. That sounds like such a terrible way to get stood up at the altar. Ouch!