What happens when a friend breaks the one rule that should never be broken?
Best friends Bella and Poppy are living the dream – Notting Hill glamour, Shoreditch lofts, exclusive parties and drop-dead gorgeous men. But sometimes living life to the max catches up with you, and even the strongest friendships can be pushed to the limit.
Poppy, Bella and their friends spend the summer having as much fun as they possibly can – from the hedonistic escapades of Ibiza to doing Glastonbury in style. But amongst the laughter come tears, betrayal and backstabbing and one devastating decision threatens to bring it all crashing down. And, once the sunglasses have come off, Bella is forced to question if her lifelong friendship has been broken beyond repair.
The perfect escapist read, Revelry will have you laughing, crying and gasping with shock."
I will be honest and admit that it was 100% the book cover that sold me on reading this book. It's simply gorgeous and looks like a great summer read, so when I received a review copy, I was thrilled and eagerly started it, hoping for a great novel of partying summer nights in Ibiza. Well, that wasn't exactly what I got, and to be frank, I was pretty shocked by the content of the book. I've read hundreds and hundreds of chick lit books, but none of them quite shocked me in the way this book did - and I've read the Fifty Shades trilogy! I'm not a prude or anything, but I confess I did find several aspects of this book to be uncomfortable reading, and I'll explain why.
The book follows best friend Bella and Poppy. The women are enjoying a wonderful summer break on the island of Ibiza with their lovers and friends. When they return, they set about their next trip to Glastonbury festival altogether, and it is here things begin to change. The friendship between the pair soon starts to fall apart, much to Bella's upset and confusion. What is it that Poppy has done to break down the friendship almost irretrievably, and will the friendship circle for the group ever be the same again? They party all day and all night, but when the dust settles and they sober up, maybe Poppy and Bella's lives aren't as perfect as they'd like to have believed.
First of all, I have to say the title is perhaps a tad misleading. Whilst there is a bit of partying and revelry going on, it pretty much all happens in the first quarter of the book in Ibiza and Glastonbury, then it settles down to be a normal story if you like, following the characters in their day to day lives and dealing with the trials and tribulations they have to come up against. I was expecting a lot more of the Ibiza party scene or just more partying in general than what actually went on in the book. The characters all seemed a little depressive, not enjoying themselves, instead intent on destroying themselves or each other through various means and they all seemed a mess. Lord tries to cover some more serious themes, such as rape and Alzheimer's in the book, yet these fall to wayside in the wake of the more shocking side of the book, which for me was the drug use. The book was readable in the sense that I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened, but it was more for a conclusion, than a compulsion to want to get to the end.
However, what shocked me most about this book was the prolific drug use, and the added inclusion of alcohol in almost every scenario in the book. Now, I'm not naive and know that people enjoy a drink socially and on their own too, but the people in the book seemed to rely on it to get through the day, get through the dramas and seemed not to do so well on it, and couldn't recognise what was going on. It seemed to me a sad state of affairs that these mucked up people relied so much on alcohol and drugs to enjoy themselves. The copious drug taking scenes, mentions of drugs and the blatantly relaxed attitude towards them was worrying, and I didn't enjoy any of these scenes at all. I don't think there's any call to normalise drug use like this, and found it worrying how much the characters used the drugs as a catch, in particular Poppy.
I found the book a bit of a struggle to read, and I can't honestly say I enjoyed the experience of reading Revelry. I found the drugs scenes hard to read, and the sheer amount of them in the book was slightly ridiculous and unnecessary. It was also unpleasant to read the actions of these characters on drugs. None of the people in the book were likeable, all very selfish, and although I felt marginally sorry for Poppy due to her personal circumstances, this was wiped out by her other actions in the book. The only character I remotely liked was Poppy's other half! I found Lord's writing style was quite good, she creates a good and realistic setting for the characters, and makes the characters believable, but just for me, not likeable. This isn't the sort of book I would look to pick up again, I wasn't left happy and smiling afterwards, just sad and somewhat depressed myself. A pity, a book that shocked and surprised me for all the wrong reasons.
You can buy Revelry as a paperback or an eBook now.