Jessie Hearts NYC by Keris Stainton (review copy) - Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.
New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.
They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they find each other? From Amazon UK
I really enjoyed Keris Stainton's first novel, Della Says: "OMG!", so I was really looking forward to trying her second. Unfortunately, I didn't love Jessie Hearts NYC as much as I would have hoped.
Stainton is one of those authors who is a huge part of the blogosphere; not only has she been involved with a number of bookish blogs, she also interacts with readers and other authors on Twitter quite a lot (@Keris). So she's one of those authors I consider to be "one of us". Because of this, it's really difficult to write what is a less than glowing review for a book by someone I really like. But I guess we can't like all books.
Jessie Hearts NYC is a dual narrative, with Jessie and Finn getting their own point of view in alternating chapters. I wasn't the biggest fan of Jessie. I didn't find her very believable. There was just something about the way she responded to things that didn't feel right to me - they weren't the responses I would have expected, or the way she responded wasn't what I expected, like laughing when I couldn't see anything funny. On top of that, I also found her to be quite naive and just a tad selfish. Maybe it's my age (god, that makes me feel old!), but there were certain things that were going on in the story that just seemed so obvious, yet Jessie was clueless. And everything her mother did, she looked at those actions or words on how they effected her, seeming to completely forget her mother has her own life, and that the world doesn't revolve around her. In some situations, I could understand her feelings, but in general... I just didn't like her.I have read books where characters were similarly naive and selfish, but I just had a really hard time with Jessie.
Finn, on the other hand, was perfect. I found his story the most believable, but also the most interesting. He was completely real, he reacted in all the ways I would have expected him too, and he was just so lovely, despite his mistakes! He was such a sweet guy, and despite his feeling for the wonderful Sam, he always tried to repress his feelings as she was his best mate's girlfriend - though that didn't work much, he tried. His heart was definitely in the right place, he just screwed up a little. Like with Jessie, he also has some issues with his family, and I found his story, working out who he is and what he wanted, and dealing with that to be really lovely. He was just such a cool guy!
I'm not sure I can really say much more without spoiling the story. In all, Jessie Hearts NYC wasn't a bad book, I really enjoyed reading Finn's story. As I really loved Della Says "OMG!" and I've heard that Stainton's third book, Emma Hearts LA, is her best novel, I'm really looking forward to giving it a go despite not being all that keen on this one. Please read a few other reviews before deciding whether or not you think Jessie Hearts NYC is for you, don't base your choice on my review alone.
Thank you to Orchard for the review copy.
Published: 7th July 2011
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Keris Stainton's Website