Jessie ♥ NYC is the second novel from author, Keris Stainton. It is published by Orchard with a release date of 7th July and the book is 240 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC for review.
Jessie and best friend Emma are about to go on the holiday of a lifetime and one they have always dreamed of. A whole summer in New York. Hoping to get over her ex boyfriend after a very upsetting break up and to spend more time with her mother, who now lives in New York, Jessie couldn’t be more excited. The whole summer awaits these two best friends who dream of adventure and magic in such an amazing city.
Finn lives in New York. His best friend has an amazing girlfriend and Finn knows this only too well. He wants her for himself. At a time when he is at the end of his tether, Finn needs to get his mind off of something that he knows he cant have. This is the story of two people from completely different places and lifestyles and how their lives combine in a twist of fate.
What I thought
I loved, loved, loved Keris Stainton’s debut novel, Della Says: OMG so when I received the ARC of her newest book, I was extremely excited and although I had books I should have read before this one, I couldn’t help myself and picked it up anyways. The book is told in alternating POVs from both Jessie and Finn, written in third person.
From the off, I was hooked. Jessie’s voice is a strong one and warmed to her immediately. Full of passion and excitement about New York, I couldn’t wait to take this journey with her and to see what she was going to end up getting up to. Jessie’s reasons for wanting to go to New York are three fold: it’s been her dream for a long time, she gets to see her mum and also to get over her ex boyfriend. Each reason was justified and explained well. Jessie has strong feelings about her mum and the divorce of her parents so even before she had arrived in New York, I was anxious to meet her mum and to see what she was really like. After Jessie’s break up, all she wants to do is run away and reinvent herself and this is something I could completely identify with. I ran away to Canada after a break up with a boyfriend and stayed there for some time.
Finn was a lovely character. In love with his best friend’s girlfriend, he has no idea how to act around her, and him, anymore. Finn also has much more going on than I had originally expected in the form of family problems and their expectations of him. In this regard, he could identify with what Jessie was going through when they finally meet and get to know each other. As a character, Finn was interesting and very charismatic. He was sweet, caring and really wanted to do right by other people, even if it meant suffering himself. He was definitely a guy I would have gone for myself if I had been in this situation.
The best friends of the story, Emma and Scott are just as fabulous as the main characters. Each have their own distinct personalities which are different to that of their friends. This mix of personalities and senses of humour was great and no two characters were too similar in any way. Each had characteristics that anyone could relate to. This book isn’t full of teenagers though. Jessie’s mum plays quite a large role and has quite an impact on the events in the story. While different to Jessie, they also shared similarities so I enjoyed seeing how they were alike and also how they weren’t. Finn’s parents and grandmother play a large part in his life and his actions and again, I loved seeing how different they all were to him.
Something which Stainton seems to have a knack for getting perfect in her books is the portrayal of teenagers. The language used is real (even if Stainton had to tone down a couple of parts) and I always like to see this in YA books. Teenagers do use some bad language and speak a certain way and it isn’t very often that authors get this exactly right. Keris Stainton, however, does. I hate to see teenage character speaking so rigidly due to authors being worried about the wrong use of language but here, the language used is spot on. Because of this, along with great characterisation, I could completely picture myself in Jessie’s situation.
Jessie ♥ NYC is full of references to pop culture and while this should date this book, I don’t think it will. When I think of New York, I think of Friends, When Harry Met Sally and Sex In The City. Keris Stainton knows her subject well and includes so many interesting facts about these TV shows and films, all set in New York. As the book got going and Jessie and Emma began pointing out certain things about each place they visited, I found myself playing along and seeing how many scenes from different things I could pick out. I have to say that I was quit pleased with myself and know 99% of what was mentioned. Jessie ♥ NYC is a great summer romance which will appeal to more than the YA market. With amazing characters, realistic events and language and a romance utterly perfect, I cant recommend this book highly enough. I could easily read it over and over again!