Rating: 5 Stars
London Can You Wait by Jacquelyn Middleton is a book about timing, perfect and imperfect, and how sometimes the tough decisions are the ones that eventually get us to our happily ever after. This book is the sequel to London Belongs To Me; so if you haven’t read the first book, or you just like reading reviews and you haven’t read my review for the first book, I recommend you stop reading now and go do that first. Okay now with that out of the way let’s get to talking about this book because I loved this book.
Alex loves Mark and Mark loves Alex, but is love enough?
With a tag line like that I knew going in that this book was going to be a tearjerker and boy was I right. I wish I had been wrong, but this book ripped my heart out and didn’t give it back until the bitter end. In fact, I spent a third of this book in sick anticipation of the anvil dropping, a third of it a teary, heartsick mess, and a third of it loving the author and her story more than words can express. Rollercoaster ride of emotions is an understatement for what this book did to me.
At the end of London Belongs To Me, Alex and Mark were together, the evil witch had been slain, Mark’s career was taking off and Alex was well on her way to becoming a successful playwright. This book picks up after that and Mark is a big workaholic star while Alex is lacking inspiration and hasn’t written or sold a play in ages. The two are 90% long distance and trying to make things work. But when everything around you seems to be saying it isn’t gonna work, at one point do you just walk away? This is the question Alex is left to ask herself as her career, her relationship, and her anxiety spiral out of control.
Okay so this book is hard to review without giving spoilers because Middleton does such a good job of putting her story together so that even when you know what’s gonna happen you feel like your heart is in your throat. I spent the whole book rooting for Mark and Alex because I loved them so much from the first book. These are characters that are easy to get attached to and I definitely did.
Needless to say Alex and Mark are not together for a large portion of the book. I don’t even feel like that’s a spoiler because it’s obvious from the blurb that everything isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows between them for a whole book due to the stress they’re both under. That being said, this book did an amazing job of exploring the feelings of despondency and lingering desire left behind when you’re forced to let go of someone who was like another piece of your heart. It also illustrated quite elegantly and plainly the way friendships can be strained when a couple falls apart but also how friendships can last even through hard times.
Freddie, Simon, Henry, and Lucy, plus a few assorted others, were just as lovable in this book as they were in the first book. And without the wicked witch of London there to torment everyone with her over the top villainy I found this book both more enjoyable and more believable. In fact this book doesn’t really have an physical villain so much as an emotional one and the fact that Middleton not only chose that route but made it work so well was impressive.
This book also explores more deeply themes of mental illness and trauma. Both Alex and Mark are dealing with struggles that are extremely internal. Middleton explores these themes in a poignant and believable way. At no point are either of them magically cured of their illnesses but they both learn healthy ways of dealing with what they’re feeling and what they’ve been through. Invisible illness is just that, invisible. This book delves into these issues deeply and pragmatically in a way that I both respect and love.
In Summary, London Can You Wait is a sequel that far surpassed the first book and the first book was pretty good so that’s saying something. It’s a book filled with believable characters who you won’t be able to keep from falling even more in love with. It explores mental health in an honest, realistic way. And it begs the question if love is enough to conquer all or if sometimes it’s more complicated than that. A stunning five star read by an amazing indie author I cannot recommend this book enough!
P.S. This book does something at the very end that I normally hate and find sappy but in this book, with these characters, I loved it and it made me cry! Read the book and let me know if you can guess what it is!
Until next time, stay passionate and excelsior!
Featured image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michalo/