I was very pleased to be asked by Jill Knapp to read ‘What Happens to Men When They Move to Manhattan?’ in return for an honest review.
Amalia Hastings is a very fortunate girl. She has a boyfriend, Nicholas, a high quality apartment in New York and is receiving a first class education at NYU. She meets regularly with her acerbic best friend Cassandra and their other friend Olivia in a variety of bars. What could possibly go wrong?
Unfortunately for Amalia, her university friend Michael, is beginning to feel like more than a friend and when she fights with Nicholas, life is going to get complicated.
‘What Happens to Men When They Move to Manhattan?’ is high quality chick lit. It is well written and erudite. I especially liked the descriptions of New York as they reminded me of the time I worked there and I could easily picture the bars and apartments. They felt highly realistic. What also makes this extremely good writing is the variety of paragraph and sentence length to keep the narrative flowing smoothly. There were a couple of typos in this proof copy, but they did not spoil my enjoyment of the story.
Whilst the plot is quite low key, it fits well around the major events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day and Jill Knapp illustrates very effectively how emotions can be affected by dates and our expectations of them.
The characters are well rounded and believable. It is the female characters who take the lead in this novel and I thought Cassandra in particular was a triumph. All the women have their secrets, their strengths and their vulnerabilities so that the reader gets to know them as individuals and cares about what happens to them. What happens to the men when they move to Manhattan is that they become in need of sorting out! I also found the dialogue natural and effective.
One element I found awkward was the seemingly American tendency to describe what characters are wearing, often coupled with the phrase ‘to pull it all together’ and frequently matched with what feels a bit like product placement (mentions of Chanel, La Perla, Armani and so on), but this may just be a British reader’s perspective. I did thoroughly enjoy the descriptions of food – indeed they made me hungry!
The novel ends very satisfactorily, but with the reader still wanting more.Will Amalia ever really find true happiness? I think those who enjoy well written romantic fiction will thoroughly enjoy reading Jill Knapp’s ‘What Happens to Men When They Move to Manhattan?