Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Book Review: Spin the Bottle

By Sara Steven

Celeste thought she had long forgotten the sweet, citrusy kiss she shared with Travis during a game of spin the bottle. Splitting her time between her accounts office in super Instagrammable Notting Hill, and her tiny apartment in quirky Exmouth Market, modern-day life is simply too busy for men. Besides, whenever she tries to find The One, it always ends in disaster. From Tinder tragedies to trampolining tribulations, Celeste is starting to think that she's cursed.

But then Travis begins to pop up wherever she goes, and Celeste knows with stomach-sinking clarity that fate has finally caught up with them. Inspired by the idea of fake dating, Celeste is convinced the only way out of this mess is to call the curse's bluff. But will Travis agree to it? And how can she manage not to fall in love? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I love when a book I’m reading makes references to other books I’ve read by that same author! I will be honest–I don’t remember much about Celeste from Bubblegum and Blazers (reviewed here), but I got the impression that she wasn’t as big of a character within that storyline. It makes a lot of sense for this story, considering how much she wants to distance herself from her past. Celeste also visits The Cake Fairies, another book by Isabella May (reviewed here), which was really great and tied in well with the central theme behind Celeste’s motivations in not going back to what her life had been like in her youth. Particularly where Travis is concerned.

I thought it was clever that a game of spin the bottle leads to potential love over twenty-five years after the fact. It was definitely a unique premise, one that haunts Celeste daily. I’d like to know if her best friend, Mel, had been part of the Bubblegum and Blazers crew or not, because I can’t recall Celeste having someone like Mel in her corner. There is a lot of lamenting on how she used to feel like she could rely on Mel, but it’s apparent time has not been good to this friendship. When Celeste lets Mel know how she feels about Travis, there is a lot of contention. Not to mention what Celeste discovers about Mel’s personal life.   

There is often a touch of mysticism within May’s stories, and there is no shortage of that here, either. Celeste is convinced that she and Travis are under a curse, one that sprouted on the same evening as their spin the bottle foray, and the only way they may have a chance of breaking the spell is to pretend to date. It starts out with both characters more than hesitant by the situation at hand, but over time, getting stuck together could be the best (or worst) thing for them. 

It was great to read about the different cultural experiences Celeste goes through, not only in the present time, but when she was young, too. I also loved the backdrop for where the story takes place. I’ve always wanted to go to London, and at some point visit Notting Hill. The story of Celeste and Travis was a fun experience, and a memorable one!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

Isabella May
lives in (mostly) sunny Andalusia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the mountains and the sea. She grew up in Somerset on Glastonbury's ley lines and loves to feature her quirky English hometown in her stories.

After a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at UWE, Bristol (and a year working abroad in Bordeaux and Stuttgart), Isabella bagged an extremely jammy and fascinating job in children's publishing... selling foreign rights for novelty, board, pop-up and non-fiction books all over the world; in every language from Icelandic to Korean, Bahasa Indonesian to Papiamento!

All of which has fueled her curiosity and love of international food and travel - both feature extensively in her romcoms.

Isabella is also a Level 4 Pranic Healer and a stillbirth mum.

Visit Isabella online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Visit all the stops on Isabella's blog tour:

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