Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Review: "The Wedding Writer" by Susan Schneider

Summary from Lucky Quinn writes up weddings for one of the hottest bridal magazines. And it wasn’t easy to get there. From humble beginnings, she outsmarted her way into the center of New York’s glamorous magazine industry – making up for her background with a sharp mind, whip-thin physique, and ceaseless ambition.

Then, in one day, her life is utterly transformed; two of the magazine’s major competitors fold, and Lucky is named Editor-in-Chief, replacing the formidable, but aging Grace Ralston, who had been at the magazine’s helm from day one. Grace taught Lucky everything she knows, but now it seems that she taught her too well…

As the ripples of Lucky’s promotion spread, the intricate lives of four women begin to unfold. Felice, Your Wedding’s elegant and unshakeable Art Director is now being shaken for the first time by troubles at home. Sara, the Fashion Director, is famed for her eagle eye for fashion trends and exquisite hair. But, for all her know-how, “the Angel of Bridal” has never come close to starring in a wedding herself – she’s picked the dress, but where’s the groom? Grace, recovering in the wake of her sudden, humiliating fall from power, must learn to accept herself – and love – after a life dedicated to fulfilling other women’s dreams. And, through it all, Lucky begins to discover just how lonely the top really is.

I don't know about you but I love reading bridal magazines. I'm not a huge fan of the wedding shows on TV but give me a copy of Modern Bride any day. Even old issues are still fun to go through and have tons of useful information. I had a year subscription prior to the year I got married and I've kept all those issues. I still pull them out every now and then for "light reading." Therefore, I was really looking forward to this book which gives the behind the scenes look at what goes on in putting together one of those magazines.

The book is written in the present tense. This might be a bit hard to get used to in the beginning. However I soon found myself pretty much ignoring the tense and actually reading the book in third person past tense which didn't really affect how I viewed the story at all. The story focuses on four women who work or have worked at Your Wedding. I felt that it was a bit awkward at how each women was presented. The chapters would list the name of the woman whose POV we were looking through but then halfway through a chapter it would shift to another woman. This got very confusing at times because I kept mixing up characters and couldn't figure out who exactly was the focus of a chapter. I do wish that all four women actually had time in the book to get together as a group. They splinter off into sections but are never together as a whole.

I still enjoyed learning about Lucky, Grace, Felice and Sara. Throughout the story we learn more about their characters and what led them to working at the magazine as well as their lives outside of their work. They aren't always likable characters, in fact there are times where I sighed heavily due to annoyance at them. However, they all have scenes that show a different side of them that they keep hidden from the rest of the world. Lucky particularly stands out to me, as she has a very dysfunctional family and her relationship with her mother is not a healthy one.

For those readers that are into shows like Say Yes to the Dress or Bridezillas, there is much to squeal about in this book. Schnieder goes inside the wedding industry world as we learn about dresses, shoes, cakes, dining ware, etc. It's fun to be in the photo shoot for the cover of the magazine or attend the fashion shows where the magazine learns about the latest fashions in bridal couture.

Even if you're not into weddings and all that sort of talk, this was still a fun book to read. It's a light read but it's quite informative as well. One thing I found very interesting is how women who were in an authoritative position seemed to treat women below them. Not that you should be giving freebies to your own gender, but it seemed that most of the women felt that they had to be harder on other women and not to men. I also enjoyed learning more about the magazine business. It's a good read when you're in the mood for the not so heavy and a great escape from the hard things in life.

The Wedding Writer by Susan Schneider is published by St. Martin's Griffin (2011)

This ARC was provided by a publicist

I'm able to give away two copies of this book provided by the publisher. To enter, you must fill out the form below. This contest is open to US and Canada entrants only. Winner will be picked Friday July 1.

PLEASE use the form only to enter the contest. For any comments about the book, review, etc. please use the comments link at the bottom of the post. All information must be filled out correctly or else your entry will not count. (ie. you must use FULL name and list your mailing address). Your info will only be used for this contest and will be deleted after the contest is over.


  1. I saw this in an email goodreads sent suggesting summer releases and thought it looked interesting. Good to know/be forewarned about the tense/POV shifts, that can be very confusing in a story...definitely think this would be a fun, summer no-brainer read :o)

  2. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Sounds like a poorly constructed novel, but I'll admit I haven't read it yet. Is it supposed to be teen lit? Hard to see an adult liking it.


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