HarperCollins – Published August 28th 2013.
The question that 23-year old Amalia Hastings wants the answer to is: What happens to men when they move to Manhattan?
Life in the big city gives Amalia a ride she is not expecting. As she tries to find her way on the little island that never sleeps, she discovers she has a harder time navigating through life then she does the streets of Greenwich Village and finds herself truly lost in the complex world of men, graduate school, money, family, and friendship.
She thought she had everything she wanted – a new apartment in Manhattan, a first-rate education at NYU, a group of trusted friends and Nicholas, a boyfriend who she once believed was her soul-mate. But somehow, it isn’t enough.
Stumbling through her relationships, Amalia encounters Michael. An attractive classmate who quickly moves from being one of her close friends, to an inconsistent friend-with-benefits. After all, the only thing consistent about New York is its beauty.
After getting terribly lost searching for love in all the wrong places, Amalia finds herself torn between the possibility of a relationship, and an adventure she’s been planning all along.
She eventually realizes that solely chasing love closes her off to all of the other good things life has to offer. Now she must decide – what is worth the chase?
I received a e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Jill Knapp and HarperCollins.
“What Happens…” is a contemporary coming of age story about Amalia Hastings, a 20-something girl living in Manhattan and attending grad-school. I was so excited to read this as I love anything set in New York. I’m obsessed with the place (flight ticket donations accepted 😉 I will get there one day! ).
Now I have a confession. Chick-lit isn’t always my favourite genre to read. I get tired of the ‘damsel-in-distress’, weak and helpless women portrayed in some books. This novel, however, got me hooked straight away and I could hardly tear myself away from my Kindle. Amalia, Cassandra and Olivia are sassy, strong ladies who, despite having the odd man-related blip, really seem to have their shit together. The lifestyle these girls have made me really wish I was a friend of theirs. Going to expensive clothing stores, flashy clubs and stylish restaurants. Cassie’s high paying job – who wouldn’t want that? The only people I was kind of indifferent to, were Amalia’s housemates, Liz and Christina. There really wasn’t anything likable about them, or even anything to hugely dislike. They were rather bland.
In contrast to the young women in the book, most of the guys (with the exception of Amalia’s brother) act like complete asses. I guess that’s the whole point of the title though. Nicholas, who starts off as the textbook perfect boyfriend, is transformed into a stereotypical yuppie. Bryce just made me want to slap him and Michael was a selfish jerk who seemed to improve towards the end. I look forward to the next book in the series to see how he turns out. Alex, we didn’t really hear much about so I can’t really say if he was any better than the others.
As a main character, I really love Amalia. I got totally invested in her and really related to some of the situations she ended up in. Her break up was very real and raw and I could almost feel her hurting. The confusing situation with Michael is something I think most girls would would be able to empathise with. I even found myself rooting for her when she was sitting exams! I was heartbroken when her parents forgot she was coming home. I had huge amounts of empathy for her there, having useless parents myself (yay for grandparents! 😀 ). The plot flowed nicely and there really wasn’t a part of the book that struggled to keep my interest.The ending made me want to reach into the book and high-five Amalia! She matured so much throughout the year and I think the end was the cherry on top of the cake for her. I could almost hear her humming Destiny’s Child ‘Independent Women’!
I’m going to give ‘What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?’ a strong 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed the story and cannot wait for the next installment of the ‘What Happens…’ series.