I love reading novels written by authors from the Stateside, they offer a unique and fresh perspective and are somehow more honest and frank (no offence meant to British writing). An amazing new writing talent to watch out from the States is Jill Knapp and if you are a fan of Sex and the City and Rom Com movies, then you will absolutely love ‘Chase’.
‘Chase’ is the story of Amalia Hastings, a 23 year old Jersey Girl, who has moved to Manhattan to study in NYU but is finding the life and men in particular, fickle in her newly adopted city. The reader is also introduced to Amalia’s close friends Cassandra and Olivia who have ‘man problems’ of their own. Cassandra is oblivious and on occasion tolerant of her boyfriend Bryce’s wandering eye, but how long will it be before she wakes up to his misdemeanour’s? Meanwhile, Olivia is having a clandestine relationship with a man who may be out of bounds for her.
I really enjoyed reading Amalia and her friends’ story and this novel provided a keen insight into the Manhattan culture. Also, what made the book unique for me was the ending (you, dear reader must read the novel to find out what it is).
Amalia is a strong heroine, period. She learns a lot of life lessons throughout the novel and faces one relationship catastrophe after another. When her boyfriend of many years, Nicholas decides to break off their relationship, straight after her birthday, in the aftermath of a huge fight, she is left feeling lost. This leads her into an ill-advised relationship with her classmate and friend Michael, someone who she has found attractive for a long time. An added complication is that Michael already has a girlfriend and appears to be leading Amalia on.
As a reader, you know where all of this is headed but kudos to the writer for creating a heroine who makes the mistakes that anyone would make in the situation described and but rises through all of this, battle scarred and bruised but wiser and determined to pursue what she really wants in life. She is unashamedly honest, forefront and a true realist. She makes mistakes but she is not scared to admit to them. She is proud of what she is and likes to keep it ‘real’. I especially like one of the scenes in the novel, where she tells her ex-boyfriend exactly what she thinks of his pretentious new attitude and lifestyle!
Most of the men described in the novel are not very likeable….however there are more instalments in the Chase series which I am definitely looking forward to reading to know more about the adventures of Amalia and her friends and hope that we will see male characters as amazing as the female ones!
This novel is well worth reading and gets a well-deserved four and a half stars from me.
Watch out for Chase, out this summer, being published by Harper Impulse.