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July 16, 2019
Alexa is getting married, and her two best friends, Maddie and Theo, couldn’t be happier for her. Even though they both know they will be in the wedding, unfortunately that doesn’t change the fact that they despise each other. Maddie sees Theo as a pretentious know-it-all show-off, and Theo sees Maddie as a superficial, fashion-obsessed princess. Alexa knows her friends aren’t fond of each other, but so long as they both swallow their pride and show up for her, she believes it will all work out.
After an engagement party one night, though, Maddie and Theo accidentally take their relationship to the next level. Amazingly, their drunken escapades are super hot and satisfying to each of them, and now they’re both…confused. Telling Alexa what happened is out of the question, so they decide to figure it out themselves. No way they’ll hook up again (right?), but since it was all pretty fantastic, at the very least they will need to reevaluate what they think of each other and decide how to stay chill and handle their awkward relationship until the wedding is officially over.
I’ve only read one other book by Jasmine Guillory, The Proposal, and it was just an okay read in my opinion. I started The Wedding Party with an open mind and a “just have fun” attitude, and I had a more positive experience. The book is light and fluffy, nothing too serious, and with just the right amount of steam. It’s almost completely centered on the sexual tension between Maddie and Theo, but I really loved the moments when Guillory explores issues of gender and race—for example, when Maddie talks about her job as a stylist and how difficult it can be to style women of color in a way that is true to their personalities without being “too much!” for a whitewashed business world. It was interesting to hear Maddie’s perspective.
One thing did drive me a little crazy about the book. It made no sense to me why Maddie and Theo couldn’t just tell Alexa about their relationship. I get that the secrecy adds tension to the story and makes it more tortured (and therefore more emotional). But it wasn’t necessary or really even believable, and I had a hard time getting past it. The book is still fun and engaging, but this odd dynamic made the story seem contrived and, eek, kinda lazy.
In short, you might have to suspend belief a bit while reading The Wedding Party. It’s still entertaining, just not up to the five-star standard.
Thank you to Net Galley and Berkley for the ARC!
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