Synopsis from the back cover of the book:
EVERYONE LOVES A BRIDESMAID
Except Maddie, who’s perpetually asked to be one.
EVERYONE LOVES A WEDDING
Except Maddie’s best friend, who’s getting divorced.
AND EVERYONE LOVES THE WAY MADDIE’SHAPPY BEHIND THE SCENES
Except Maddie herself.
One best friend is in wedding countdown while the other is heading for marriage meltdown. And as Maddie juggles her best chance at promotion in years with bridezilla texts and late-night counselling sessions, she starts to wonder – is it time to stop being the bridesmaid?
In Lindsey Kelk’s works where female characters dominate the fictional world, Always the Bridesmaid also holds such stance. While I often immerse myself more in love stories / romance, I still find myself drawn into Lindsey Kelk’s books, and this book is no exception.
The story introduces us to Maddie and her two best friends – both at different stages in life which eventually puts Maddie in a complicated and confused state of mind – as they embark on this challenging journey of this so-called life. Reading through the things that Maddie goes through, I don’t know how she manages to remain sane. Her worries and struggles range from her family to love life, to friends to work – basically everything! As her story unfolds, I’ve wanted to find out what happens next. And boy, what an interesting turn of events the book has become.
Maddie works in a company where they specialize in organizing events. Her relationship with the boss of their team drives her crazy. And I can’t deny that I feel bad for Maddie. Every time her boss appears in the book, my blood begins to boil and I have this urge to pull her hair. Her boss keeps pulling Maddie down and destroying her self-esteem. Hence, when a job position opens, Maddie has been presented with events-organizing opportunities to prove that she deserves her new position.
Her story doesn’t end there, though. In the midst of Maddie’s adjustment period, Lauren hires her as her wedding planner to her upcoming wedding. As she juggles between work and wedding planning, there’s also Sarah to be worried about. Maddie has to put on a friendship hat and comfort Sarah as she goes through divorce phase. I really don’t know how Maddie ends her day with all those things happening. Even as I write these parts, I feel stressed. On the brighter side, I’m definitely entertained by the men that entered Maddie’s life. Is it Will or will it be Tom? One thing’s for sure, though, her love story helps me gain an insight that our true love might just be right around the corner, or even just right under our nose. With a little nudge, everything will fall into place.
I’m truly impressed by Lindsey Kelk’s portrayals of her characters in this book. The characterization is realistic enough that range of emotions are felt during the span of my reading – from giddiness, happiness, and laughter to sadness, bitterness, and anger. It’s as if I’m also involved in the story. There are moments when I want to warn Maddie of her actions or at other times, just being there for Maddie as a friend. Lindsey Kelk manages to capture the essence of a human being in her characters. There are flaws and imperfections, and yet she maintains the fun in the story.
Indeed, there’s never a dull moment in this book. I’m spellbound by Lindsey Kelk’s narration as the story is written in detail with a right amount of wit, humor, sweetness, and seriousness. I can easily visualize the story in my mind. The dynamism in the characters also helps me empathize with them and easily feel their emotions. While there’s a bit of a love story in the book, Lindsey Kelk never disregards the importance of women. She is able to portray the different sides of women – the happy-go-lucky, good sides to the bad, bitchy sides. Nevertheless, as we’ve seen them at their worst, Lindsey Kelk shows the strength in their personalities on how they’ve recovered from occasional fall-outs. At the end of the day, I love the outcome of the book and who Maddie ends up with is a great satisfaction to me. Always the Bridesmaid does not disappoint. I’ll definitely look forward to more of Lindsey Kelk’s books.