Manhattan by Ronni Cooper
When Was It Released?: 22nd December 2011
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publishers in exchange for a review. Thankyou
Who Published It?: Sphere
Number Of Pages: 433 pages
Sometimes, I come across a book that I am sure I will enjoy, but I'm a little reluctant to start. Theres never really any reasoning behind it, other than thinking that I am not going to enjoy it as much as I perhaps would other books in my TBR pile. Well, before I picked it up and started to read, Manhattan was one of those books. Once I started reading, I soon realised that the old saying of "you should never judge a book by its cover", could not have rung more true. (Not that I don't like the cover, I actually do!)
Manhattan centers around three women; Raine, Mei Ling and Stevie who all own the hottest nighclub Manhattan. The story centers around their lives before the nightclub and how they came to be in that position. Raine, was born in Brooklyn and clawed her way up from the bottom to become the queen of the city. Mei Lei. a high class madam, whose American dream started out as a nightmare. Lastly, Stevie, once the lead singer in one of the biggest rock bands, she has now fallen from grace with a secret that could destroy her .Now all three women are about to discover that payback is the biggest bitch of all.
Manhattan, is a novel filled with drama, glamour and the outrageous, reminding me a little of a Jackie Collins novel. The storyline and the characters were so different from the lives of most normal girls, yet you know events like this and people like these, really do exist. I was instantly transported into the lives of Raine, Mei Ling and Stevie from the very first page. The novel is split in narrative, alternating between each of the characters, which gave a real insight into each of their lives as well as their true feelings. The story mainly focuses on each of these women's past and how that led them to where they are in the present day. I really enjoyed learning about each one of these women, and even though who the story is told from changes throughout the nove, it still flows easily and quickly. The music knowledge that Ronni Cooper has, and injects into the character of Stevie, was fascinating, making me feel as though I could have been in the 80's along with these rock bands. I felt this added another layer to the novel that perhaps would not have been there without the depth of the music knowledgeI will warn any readers that do not enjoy any explicit content within their novels, for example sex scenes, that perhaps this is not the novel for you. Ronni Cooper is very frank about exactly what each of her characters get up to, which adds another layer of gritty reality to the novel, which some readers may not enjoy.
Usually, when reading a novel that is told from the viewpoint of more than one character, I find I like some characters more than others. In the case of Manhattan, however, I found that I loved each of the characters as much as the next. Raine is such a strong, independant woman, who even though she has many difficulties and tradegies in her life, still manages to pick herself up and continue on with her life. Mei Ling, may appear vunerable at first, but once it becomes clear the extent of the horror she has been through in her life, her strength really shines through. I found Stevie to be the most relatable, even though she becomes the most well known of the three women, she still stays grounded and most like the normal girl she was in the beginning of the story. I really felt true emotion for each of these characters, while they are all strong, beautiful women, they each have their own inner demons to contend with. At times I felt like crying along with each character as they struggle through the hard times in their lives.
Manhattan was a novel that I always expected to like but never expected to love. This is why I was so pleasently suprised with how much I truely enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was so intriguing, intense and fast paced I found myself unable to put Manhattan down, telling myself I would read just one more chapter, before finishing the entire book in one sitting. . If you are apprehensive in any way about reading Manhattan than I suggest you pick this book up straight away, because trust me you will not be dissapointed, and if you already have the book then move it to the top of your reading pile. Trust me, Manhattan is going to blow you away.