Amanda's Wedding
by Jenny Colgan
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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With a friend like Amanda Phillips, who needs an enemy? Amanda is a twenty-something school acquaintance of Melanie and Fran. She pops into their lives every few months to remind them how inferior they are to her and her set of very-important London friends. The trio used to play as children. Then Amanda's father became filthy rich and Mel and Fran were left to mingle with the commoners.

Now the girls are all grown up, yet they periodically keep in touch. Amanda calls one day and meets Mel and Fran for drinks. Amanda has big news: she's getting married. Her husband-to-be is Fraser McConald, Melanie's old college crush. On the surface, nerdy Fraser seems out of Amanda's league. It turns out he has a title and a castle, which is exactly what Amanda looks for in a man.

After exercising all her insults, Amanda rushes off leaving Mel and Fran to contemplate their very common lives. Mel's ex-boyfriend Alex dumped her for a trip to America ten months ago. The closest Fran has ever come to a relationship is a string of one-night stands. Between them, they have no chance of accomplishing anything near the status of their bitchy friend.

Amanda's Wedding details the events leading up to the dreaded nuptials. The bride-to-be is more interested in publicity and castle refurbishing than loving her own fiancé. On the other hand, Fraser is unable to see her for the witch she is.

Mel and Fran recruit a small covert team of friends to stop this doomed union. The squad includes Fraser's brother Angus, who sees right through Amanda's shallow intentions. Fraser's stag party and Amanda's hen party (equal to the American bachelor and bachelorette parties) are hilarious. Readers will anticipate the coming nuptials as much as Mel and company are dreading them.

Under the sabotage plot, there are a couple of side stories involving Mel. Alex returns from America and Mel blindly takes him back. Frustrated readers stand by and watch their heroine mess up her life. Wonderful, sweet Angus shows interest in Mel, but you'll have to read the book to see if anything develops.

Though titled "Amanda's Wedding," Colgan's story is really about Melanie's life during the planning of Amanda's wedding. Mel is a more confident, more entertaining version of Bridget Jones. Sadly, she spends a great deal of time catering to Alex when she should be sorting her life or plotting revenge against Amanda. Fortunately, any flaws are canceled by the events leading up to and during the wedding.

The author's comedy background is exercised as the players trade amusing and insulting one-liners. The novel is set in London, so a British/American slang translation book may be necessary. Many jokes refer to British pop-culture and might get lost on Yankee readers.

Female readers will enjoy this book more than males. Why? Because all women know someone like Amanda. Read the story with twisted pleasure and see the witch gets what she deserves.

Amanda's Wedding was a hit in Britain, making it an impressive debut for Jenny Colgan. Her second novel, Talking to Addison, is even better. Though both novels fall into the Bridget Jones-type chick fiction category, Colgan's stories are different and definitely funnier. Amanda's wedding is the ideal novel for those craving something naughty and nice. Bitchy Amanda may get everything she wants, but she can't stop a satisfying ending to this must-read tale of romance and revenge.

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Also by Jenny Colgan
Talking to Addison
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