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I felt like it this was more like a 3-3.5 star for me, but I rounded it to the four, solely based on the conversation about white privilege.
The wedding date was a cute book. It had more of a chick lit feel, which I liked, but it was being helmed as the romance book black women have been waiting for, and I just don't know about all that...
Alexa and Drew(which he was absolutely forgettable) had a really awesome meet cute, but their lack of communication made the book topsy-turvy. I think because they were in their 30s, it felt immature at times. A lot could've been solved if they'd just HAD a conversation. They lived long distance, so they texted each other, but I would've loved if they talked more, or even skyped so they could get used to each other's voices and relish the moments seeing each other or hearing each other.
They had sex quite a bit, but it was so vague, a lot of it could've been used as devices for having a conversation. I typically like my romances steamy, so it annoyed me I couldn't see what they did to each other, lol.
Alexa was also a safe look for a Black girl to be. She described herself as Beyonce's color several times, and even though she was on the curvier side, she felt safe for me. I look when an author explores darker skin in romance, especially with romances with Black heroines being so fair skinned already, but I may have to wait a little longer considering the state of things.
Drew was kinda corny. I really didn't see that she saw in him. I can't think of a single line, or exchange where I routed for him to get Alexa. The only time I enjoyed his screentime was when they had the white privilege convo, and I only liked it because he LISTENED. White folk tend to talk over or get defensive with these conversations so it was the only real time I liked where the author went with him.
I think I overall enjoyed the book, and it was a good debut for this author but I hope to see something I enjoy more from her in the future.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This book is a perfect example of the genre. The pacing is great, the sweet love story and romcom hijinx hit all the right spots. Best of all, the author does a fabulous job writing POC characters and providing a model for consent-driven sex that's as romantic, spontaneous, and frenzied as one could hope for.
It's a quick read because it's great fun from start to finish. Highly, highly recommend for anyone who enjoys romantic romps without the usual sexist tropes and racist undertones.
The narrator did a great job of matching the playful tone of the book. Janina Edwards' voice is warm and personable, so the immensely likable and bubbly protagonist, Alexa, really comes to life in the audio format.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
It’s so hard to find ‘fluff’ novels which are feminist, and this one tried really hard. I really appreciated that the main character was a high powered black woman in Berkeley and this story included real moments of racism and relationship issues without being too heavy, but it was just so boring. I finished the book, but the second half just felt like homework.
I'm going to say something absolutely ridiculous, and I am fully aware of how ridiculous this is. You're all going to roll your eyes and lose respect for me or something...
But I was a little bored listening to this. Emily thinks I would have liked it more if I'd read it, but I don't know. It's just... as AMAZING as some of the things in this book were (see below), I felt no compulsion to finish this other than because it was an easy thing to finish. I wasn't caught up in the romance, in the feelings.
And here's the thing that's going to make you groan...
Everything was so grown up and mature and realistic. Which I know other people will like, but it just meant that there was no pounding hearts and swooning going on for me. Just...meh... It was all such a lovely idea, with great characters, but meh. And I feel like this has exposed a great failure in me, or shown that I'm not quite grown up enough myself.
But anyway, let's go over all the great things about this book that deserve to be celebrated, yeah?
1. The heroine is a black woman, written by a black woman! Given what's happening in the romance space right now, it's good to see #ownvoices books featuring people of colour.
2. Tying into the race thing, a lot of the things that people of colour have to face is brought up in this, e.g. black women being seen as an 'exotic adventure' outside the norm, asking people of colour where they're actually from, etc. I can imagine it being extremely validating to see this in a book for people who've experienced it, while also being a subtle education for people that might have done these things in the past. (What's funny is that even I could relate because people are always asking where I'm from. I have a script that I whip out whenever I meet new people.)
3. The heroine has a successful career in the public sector, working for the mayor, and is championing a project that could help young offenders. This job is very important to her, and it's not something she wants to give up, especially for a man.
4. There's a lot of body positivity in this. Talks of curves and food (donuts!!!) without any mention of dieting or losing weight. I mean, yes, at times Alexa compares herself to the tall, skinny white women she seems to encounter at gatherings with Nick, but it's less about feeling ashamed and more about feeling out of place amongst all the white women that Nick has previously dated. She's not his usual "type", and she's very conscious of it.
5. As in so many romance novels, things do escalate because the couple doesn't communicate enough, but instead of being an extreme case of the no-can-talk, their lapses in communication were within the realms of normality. If anything, this made it difficult for me because it felt too much like a real relationship, and I already have one of those!
6. Did I already say donuts? Because donuts.
So yeah, many good things in their own right, but I was kinda relieved when it was over.