April 17, 2014

Love and Chaos - Gemma Burgess

[This is the second book in a series, though you don't necessarily need to read these in order. Check out my review of the first book Brooklyn Girls!]

Love and Chaos - Gemma Burgess
Love and Chaos by Gemma Burgess
Series: Brooklyn Girls #2
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher, for review (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Wild child and secret romantic Angie wakes up in a hotel room with $3,000 and no memories of the night before. Her best friends aren’t talking to her, she can’t get a job in fashion, her parents are divorcing, and she’s about to turn twenty-three. And life is about to get much worse.

Brooklyn Girls: Love and Chaos continues the story of our five favorite grads sharing a brownstone and starting out in New York City through Angie’s eyes. On a journey from private jets and yacht parties to dirty subways and hipster bars via crazy storms, flash floods, and retail jobs from hell, Angie discovers who she is, what she wants, how she’s going to get it —and a crazy little thing called true love.

Meanwhile, her roommates lives are imploding, too. Coco’s self-medicating and self-loathing, Pia’s breaking up and cracking up, Madeleine’s finding her voice and Julia might—just might—have met someone she can actually date. (from Goodreads)

After professing my love for Brooklyn Girls last year, it is no surprise that I was looking forward to reading Love and Chaos. Gemma Burgess hits it out of the park yet again, with a vividly told tale. Complete with emotions and situations that I found easy to identify with, Love and Chaos has certainly earned a place as one of my favorite reads this year.

This second installment of (mis)adventures is narrated by Angie, the wild child, the party girl. I was worried I wouldn’t connect with her, since she and I are basically polar opposites. But I shouldn’t have feared – Burgess managed to make Angie easy for me to identify with by writing about familiar situations, particularly the hunt for a “dream job”.

Sure, Angie is brash and frank. She’s impulsive, and prone to the flee instinct in lieu of staying to fight. Her partying habits, and tendency to drink too much, made me wrinkle my nose a time or two. But all these things are a result of her upbringing, especially the way she understands love and craves it for herself. This isn’t an excuse, however, just an explanation.

It may appear that Angie isn’t the most likeable character, but that’s not true. Angie is also a talented designer, to whom fashion is like breathing and style is as natural a facet of her personality as breathing. She is loyal and extremely protective, with the capacity to fight on behalf of her friends. She can be brave, and funny, and also the kind of person who just lights up the room. My favorite thing about Angie? She harbors a secret stash of romance novels that she enjoys reading.

Apart from the five girls still living together in Rookhaven, the one other thing Brooklyn Girls has in common with Love and Chaos is the search for a job. While Pia was unsure of what she wanted to do, Angie has known that she wants to be involved in fashion. It’s a competitive industry, especially in New York, and the novel chronicles Angie’s journey to finding her way to a job she loves. I seriously thought this part was the easiest of all to relate to – the constant trying and failing and trying again, settling for a job just so you can pay your bills, feeling hopeless because nobody seems to want to give you a chance. Burgess wrote it well, wrote it real, and I think many readers will feel the same way I did.

Clearly, reading Love and Chaos was no hardship. It was fun to tag along with Angie as she goes through life, through the good moments and the not-so-good ones. The extremes to which her misadventures went to made me decidedly uncomfortable (and angry on her behalf), but it also felt fitting that she would end up in these crazy dead-ends because of her actions. I loved it all – the drama, the gasp-inducing twists, and the appearances of the other girls.

The Brooklyn Girls series is seriously one of those series that I feel is underrated. It’s written so well, even though certain turns of events might be a little over the top (which is not a bad thing at all). Plus, the five friends – Pia, Coco, Julie, Madeleine and Angie – are seriously awesome to read about!

I might not have done the best job of book pushing Brooklyn Girls last year, but rest assured I’m going to fix that after reading (and loving) Love and Chaos. Obviously, I highly recommend these two! In particular, they’re good reads for fans of chick lit, books about friendship and books about self-transformation and self-discovery.


  1. This sounds really good! I haven't heard much about Brooklyn Girls (although I *think* I remember seeing Rachel and your reviews for it), but now I'm really curious. I love books with 20-somethings and the whole finding yourself / a job, etc. Excited to add this to my TBR!

    1. I'm thinking you should read Brooklyn Girls + Love and Chaos back to back! They're fun chick lit reads, and obviously, it's even more awesome they're set in New York. I do think that some people might find them a bit lacking, but I love them so.


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