18 April 2012

J'adore New York by Isabelle Lafleche

J'adore New York by Isabelle Lafleche.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Chick Lit.
Publication : 2010 by Harper Collins.
Catherine Lambert loves fashion and the law. One of only three applicants, out of a pool of thirty, selected to transfer from Edwards & White's Paris office to its Manhattan headquarters, and the only one assigned to the corporate group, Catherine is determined to continue impressing her bosses with her diligence and legal prowess. Meeting the firm's billable hours quota means long days and short nights, especially when two heinously spiteful secretaries are conspiring to undermine Catherine's reputation and efforts to please both the firm's clients and partners.

Making matters worse, one of the firm's particularly powerful and obnoxious clients propositions her, actually referring to her as his "favorite little lawyer." When she refuses his advances, he accuses her of becoming intoxicated at a charity event and embarrassing him, several colleagues, and their wives. His behavior places Catherine into a quagmire and threatens to derail her career.

Things start looking up when yet another client, Jeffrey Richardson, seems to show genuine interest in her. But is he too good to be true? She is just starting to believe that she might be able to "have it all" when Jeffrey requests that she engage in unethical conduct on his behalf that could ultimately lead to her disbarment and serious consequences for the firm. Did Jeffrey ever really care for her or was she merely his means to a financial end? Yet again, Catherine finds herself at a crossroads, questioning her career choices to date ... and what shape she wants her future to take.

First of all, I have to start by thanking the author, Isabelle Lafleche, for sending me a review copy. I live in India and it's not cheap to ship anything here. It was really generous and kind of the author to agree to sending me a copy without hesitation.

It was the cover, more than anything, that made me really want to read J'adore New York, isn't it gorgeous? Of course, the blurb pulled me in too.

Catherine Lambert is an attorney working at Edwards & White's Paris office. When a spot opens up at the corporate office in New York, Catherine jumps at the opportunity. Out of 40 applicants, only 3 were selected and Catherine was one of them.
Excited to have her dream come true, Catherine's determined to prove herself at the New York office and hopefully, make partner soon.

J'adore New York isn't so much about fashion but more about life and survival at one of the big New York law firms. Although at first, I was overwhelmed by the number of characters in the book and also too many things happening too soon that made me go 'okay, wait a minute, what's going on?', that soon changed.

I guess New York is a the big leagues, no matter what your job is. Catherine's the victim of mind games, office politics and general bitchiness from her colleagues and she has to deal with it all while deciding what kind of life she wants for herself. I really enjoy Lawyer talk, I always have and Isabelle Lafleche's created some pretty interesting and entertaining clients and cases in this novel, right from the sleazy pervert to a money laundering fraud. During Catherine's short stay in New York, she faces all kinds of crap and it makes her question her life and choices and the book is about her journey towards finding love and happiness.

I really enjoyed the different, big cast of J'adore New York and I liked that each of them were unique and had very different personalities like Rikash, Antoine, the bitchy assistants, Harry, Nolan etc. All of them really.
Rikash is totally a unique and easily likable character. There was this moment where he gives Catherine his cure for hangovers and I burst out laughing. I'm not sure if others would find it hilarious but I had NO idea that 'Gatorade and Dosa' could cure hangovers and it was just such a funny thing to say.
Rikash definitely played the charming gay Indian guy pretty well!

If I had to point out specifically what didn't appeal to me about this book, it would have to be the romance. I get it, it's all different in New York. Though I loved the chemistry between Catherine and Antoine in the beginning, I was let down at the end as I expected more and it got a little too sappy for my taste. The big, romantic gestures came out of no where and too soon in their relationship (although 'too soon' was near the end of the novel). Rikash and Catherine's friendship/relationship was the strength of the story, followed by the law firm drama. They're also the reason I could stay up late to read the entire book so quickly.

J'adore New York is a made-for-movie book that has a bit of Devil Wears Prada, some Sex and the City and a lot of Wall Street all in one package that makes it a fast, enjoyable read. If you enjoy Chick Lits based on life in New York, then J'adore New York definitely gives you a feel of what it's really like in the Upper East Side.

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