Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review & Giveaway: The Week Before the Wedding

By Melissa Amster

**Giveaway is now closed**

Planning a wedding usually carries its share of stress and chaos. There's a reason some women turn into Bridezillas, after all! In most cases, we take about a year to find the perfect dress, venue, DJ or band, cake, invitations, etc. In the case of Emily McKellips, there are only a few months to plan her dream wedding, leading up to a very long week before she takes her vows with the man whom she is supposed to spend the rest of her life. Of course, complications get in the way. It wouldn't be a wedding otherwise!

Emily made some mistakes in the past and one of them is about to catch up with her, right before her wedding day. While she and her fiancée, Grant, along with both their families, are spending the week leading up to their wedding in Valentine, Vermont, an unexpected visitor shows up....Ryan, her ex-husband from ten years ago. When she last saw him, he didn't have his life together at all. Now he's a successful movie producer, scouting a location for his next film. What are the odds of him being in Valentine right before Emily's nuptials? In the meantime, there are conflicts between the mothers of the bride and groom, and Grant's career is taking away focus from their special week. It's not helping that Ryan wants her to give their relationship another chance.

In The Week Before the Wedding, Beth Kendrick creates an adorable story about a topic I'm not normally keen upon....women revisiting relationships with past loves (or vice versa). To me, it's a clichĂ© topic, even though I'm sure it's something that women think about, all those "what ifs?". This is only the second novel I've read from Beth, but I definitely plan to read others that she has written. (I already own a few of her past titles.) She gives a genuine voice to her characters, making them interesting and easy to relate to. Meanwhile, she kept me guessing throughout the story, given that one part of me wanted her to go on with her wedding and have the life she was striving for while the other part of me was charmed by the man her ex-husband had become. I could definitely see how conflicted Emily must have felt. I loved all the secondary characters who played a big role in the story. Emily's best friend, Summer, was quite a wild child and I know that Beth's next novel is about her, so it will be interesting to learn more of her story. The mothers were great and I loved what a contrast they were to each other and how Emily felt put in the middle of trying to impress her soon-to-be mother-in-law and not offend her own mother. Even the town of Valentine played a big role in the story, as it gave off a cozy and quaint small-town feel. It reminded me of the weekends I'd spend in St. Joseph, Michigan over quite a few summers. And, of course, we can't forget about the dog! Anyone who loves dogs will definitely love Ryan's golden retriever.

The only "complaint" I have is that things seemed to wrap up too neatly, but that's to be expected in fiction. I definitely recommend The Week Before the Wedding for an entertaining summer (or anytime of year) read.

Given that we're still doing "CLC goes to the movies" for International Chick Lit Month, I just had to cast this novel. (Who am I kidding?!? I will cast novels anytime the mood strikes!)

Emily: Isla Fisher (I pictured her the moment the story opened and that image carried throughout)
Ryan: Charlie Weber (I was watching 90210 around the time I was reading this novel and he was playing a big role at the time, so naturally I pictured him...)
Georgia (Emily's mom): Julianne Moore (Given that she's supposed to be somewhat young and have red hair, this just works. I could see her pulling off this role, given the diverse actress she is.)
Bev (Grant's mom): Fiona Reid (She played Ian's mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Grant: Chris Pine (He just has that guy-next-door success story look)
Summer: Anna Faris (She's a lot of fun to watch and I could see her fitting this role well)

Thanks to Penguin for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have a copy for one lucky US reader.

How to win:
Please tell us your favorite movie about a wedding (or favorite wedding scene from any movie).

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.

US only. Giveaway ends May 28th at midnight EST.

More by Beth Kendrick:




51 comments:

pascale said...

Four Weddings and a Funeral, OF COURSE!!!! Terrifically romantic movie.

I have heard of this book and think it sounds great.

pascale.poitras@verizon.net

Book Mama said...

I loved Runaway Bride :)

mengel2@nycap.rr.com

JROSEN60 said...

27 Dresses!

jrosen60@gmail.com

S.Sabia said...

I love the movie Bride Wars. To me that movie is not about romantic love but about the love between best friends.
This book is already on my to-read list but I want to read it even more after your review! sfsabiaATgmailDOTcom

khuchel said...

I've always liked My Best Friend's Wedding...always a sucker for a fun romance! And a new book! :-)

kbhuchel@gmail.com

Suzanne said...

Always loved My Best Friends Wedding... loved the scene in the restaurant where they sing "Say a Little Prayer"...

suzannefine @ yahoo.com

Maureen said...

Four Weddings and a Funeral is my favorite.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

My favorite wedding scene in a movie is the wedding in Love, Actually! Ahhhh, so sweet. I just love it!

missamberljohnson at gmail dot com

Jovon Tucker said...

Favorite wedding movie of all time has to be MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING for sure! I love the cast and the characters! I think it's hilarious and watch it kind of regularly, lol.

My email: mrsjtucker2012[at]gmail[dot]com

Summer Grinstead said...

I would have to say Steal Magnolias. All time favorite.

sumsum085@aol.com

Jessica said...

All I can think about right now is Runaway Bride. =]

Thanks1
-Jessica M
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

Jess Bair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonnie K. said...

Four weddings and a Funeral is hilarious.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

TinaB said...

I love Steel Magnolias and Wedding Crashers!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

Nova said...

i love "While You Were Sleeping". it is mine and my daughter's most favorite movie. another good one is "The Sweetest Thing".

sparkle40175AThotmailDOTcom

Mary Jo Burke said...

Father of the Bride. Elizabeth Taylor is stunning.

Hailey Fish said...

My Big Fat Greek Wedding. :)

Beth Kendrick is a favorite of mine and I'm looking forward to her newest novel. :)

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I love the Father of The Bride movies!!

I follow via GFC, Facebook & Twitter

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Ingeborg said...

Father of the Bride starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

My Best Friend's wedding.

Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

susieqlaw said...

My Best Friend's Wedding

I watched it twice while studying for exams. So good!


sendsusanmail at gmail dot com

Kim Pinch said...

I love Hugh Grant so Four Weddings and a Funeral is my favorite.

kumquat8 at hotmail dot com

holdenj said...

I really like Four Weddings and a Funeral! Thanks her new book looks good!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Lea said...

'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and '27 Dresses' and 'The Wedding Date." Love wedding movies.
leaasman(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Bridesmaids, hands down!

Mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail.com

karenk said...

'father of the bride'

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
karenk

Linda Kish said...

My Best Friend's Wedding

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Chrissy TheEveryFreeChanceReader said...

"Father of the Bride", "My Best Friend's Wedding", "The Wedding Planner"

So many to choose from!

everyfreechance@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Father of the Bride

melinda.garza15@yahoo.com

Kimberlyindy said...

I don't know if I can pick just one. Love the Wedding Date, Father of the Bride, old and new, and 27 dresses.

kdfieldca(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jilleen said...

The Wedding Planner - but I really like Father of the Bride and 27 Dresses.

Jill at Seaside Book Nook

Seasidebooknook at yahoo dot com

rubynreba said...

I loved Bride Wars.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Gail Demaree said...

I love Wedding Crashers and The Wedding Singer both had funny wedding scenes...Oh and Meet the Parents....gaildemaree@att.net

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Steel Magnolias.

suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Four Weddings and a Funeral...love Hugh Grant!

SuzyQ4PR(at)aol(dot)com

bn100 said...

the wedding date movie

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

DD said...

Princess Bride! "Mawwiage is what bwwings us togevah today!" Best wedding line.

dawndennis66611 at yahoo dot com

Katherine Ivan said...

I'm a fan of "Father of the Bride" ... the 1950 version with Liz Taylor and Spencer Tracy.

Thanks for offering this giveaway!

kateivan (at) aol (dot) com

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite is the wedding scene from Sweet Home Alabama. Thanks for having the giveaway.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

faithspage said...

Father of the Bride is a favorite, and Runaway Bride (I love what she says to him when she proposes)
Follow on fb, twitter, and gfc

kyfaithw at aol dot com

Erica said...

The original Father of the Bride. Such a great movie. The remake was OK but the original was wonderful.

Can't wait to read this book!

wordywon at gmail dot com

Bridget O'Neill said...

Bridesmaids of course! I mean, Wilson Phillips! I LOVED "Hold On"!

Anonymous said...

Love Actually the wedding with the doves

dstoutholcomb said...

Father of the Bride

cindy r said...

I LOVE THE WEDDING SINGER!
But I have to say it is too, too funny watching Rachel Adams in the Wedding Crashers when her sister is saying her vows to her husband to be. Those lines are just so pathetic! I'm shocked she JUST giggles! writeoncindy@yahoo.com

Doris Abramson said...

One of my total favorites as well---an Officer and a Gentleman!
Thank you for this opportunity!
Doris Abramson
doris.abramson@gmail.com

Kristi Rogers said...

I have 2 favorite wedding movies, the first being "Bride Wars" with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway. I thought it was hilarious! My 2nd favorite was "Wedding Crashers" it was funny and my cousin was in it. I can't wait to read "Week Before the Wedding". My kindle pooped out on me, so winning a copy would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

Love actually...so cute!

rachhyatt@gmail.com

Jess Bair said...

WHOOPS - I forgot to leave my email on my last post, so again;

Silly, I know, but I love the wedding scene at the end of the movie Hitch, where they dance crazily like weirdos! I can so see me and my future finance (he's gotta be and love funny!) dancing like that at our wedding!

jessbair15@gmail.com

Connie said...

I am definitely adding this to my Wish List. Novels about wedding are always so funny and I cannot wait to read this. Great author too!

Connie Fischer
conniecape@aol.com

Melissa said...

Thanks to everyone for participating and telling us your favorite wedding movies.

Thanks to Penguin for sharing the book with our winner, who was chosen by Random.org from all entries with contact info (one per person).

Congrats to Rachhyatt!