Monday, February 18, 2019

book thoughts: The Wedding Party and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Last spring I read Jasmine Guillory's debut novel, The Wedding Date, mostly because the bookternet was so excited about it. I don't typically read romance, but body-positive interracial romance with smart people intrigued me. And I liked the book. When I reviewed it on Litsy, I said, "A fun, sexy, mostly smart romp. Both main characters are annoyingly insecure at times, but part of that may have been the audio performance, which was okay but distractingly breathy at times. I finished it in print and actually preferred that." Clearly my opinion about the audio performance is unpopular, as it was nominated for an Audie. Last summer, at ALA, I saw Guillory speak as part of a romance panel (that added more than one title to my TBR) and was excited to learn The Proposal features one of the supporting character from The Wedding Date, Carlos, as a main character. (The third book, The Wedding Party, will feature Maddie and Theo, Alexa's best friends.)

Despite getting a copy of The Proposal at ALA last June, I didn't move it to the top of my pile until Reese Witherspoon picked it for the February Hello Sunshine pick. Once I started it, I devoured it in less than 24 hours. I was instantly drawn to Nik, the main character, and I want her to be my friend. While The Proposal is definitely a romance novel, it's also a wonderful portrait of female friendship. Nik is close with her two best friends from college, and both their in person and group text scenes remind me of my own best friends from high school.

As a novel, The Proposal is more accomplished. I appreciated its fast-paced storytelling, but I also was deeply emotionally invested in the characters. I laughed out loud. I sobbed. I loved this book so much, and now that I have an egalley of The Wedding Party (out July 16, 2019), I'm debating how long I can wait to dive in and spend more time with these characters.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (The Wedding Date) and 4.5 out of 5 (The Proposal)
Length: 335 pages
Publication date: January 30, 2018 & October 30, 2018
Source:  library

Want to read for yourself? Buy The Wedding Date (Kindle edition) and The Proposal (Kindle edition).

Challenges: Reading Women (romance or love story), Pop Sugar (should be turned into a movie), Litsy A to Z, and Hello Sunshine.

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