It’s been a while since my last post. For many of us, it’s wedding season. Summer has barely kicked off, and already I’ve attended two beautiful family weddings. I’ve been spending a lot of time offline lately, celebrating with family, spending time with friends, and enjoying how glorious the PNW looks on a sunny day. I’m still reading a ton of books, but I’m waaay behind on my posts. I’ll try to do better these next couple months. No promises.
I’m a sucker for chick lit books (and movies). I find them mindless in a lovely way – like a vacation for my brain. Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date is no different, in that regard.
Alexa and Drew meet on a stalled elevator. Drew is about to attend the wedding of his ex-girlfriend, without a date. After some instant chemistry on the elevator, Drew asks Alexa if she’ll be his date to the wedding. They take it a step further when she pretends to be his girlfriend. Predictably, the two hit it off, and eventually fall in love.
The Wedding Date falls upon the usual predictable trends of its genre. Meet-cute followed by whirlwind romance, followed by unnecessary drama which leads to temporary heartbreak, ending with a romantic gesture, and the inevitable happily-ever-after conclusion. The thing I found refreshing about this book is that the protagonist is a Black woman. The chick lit genre has a lot of white leading characters. It was refreshing to read a love story from the perspective of a main character of color.
Though this book is by no means intellectual, occasionally it digs in a little deeper than the average rom-com story. For example, the weekend of the wedding Alexa asks Drew if she’ll be the only person of color at the rehearsal dinner. It didn’t occur to Drew, a white character, that she might want to prepare herself before walking into a room of all white people. In this, and other such moments, Guillory’s writing shines. She skillfully strikes a balance between occasional serious scenarios, and an overall light and breezy air which is characteristic of this genre.
The thing that stopped me from loving this book, was the male romantic interest. Drew is prone to jealousy without cause, he’s commitment-phobic, and he’s kind of a jerk to his best friend, Carlos. Drew has a lot of growing up to do. I guess it could be argued that he does mature by the end of the book. That didn’t stop his character from annoying me for much of the novel.
Jumping back to the best friend, Carlos, for a brief interlude… If this story were to occur in real life, Carlos would be the gives-you-butterflies-in-your-stomach guy. When Drew is acts like an immature buffoon, Carlos calls him on it. He sees how fantastic Alexa is, even when Drew refuses to see it. He is gentlemanly, and kind. I have a problem with books in which the romantic lead is a giant jerk, whilst a handsome/charming/available character hangs out in the background. I think it’s time to change the outdated narrative that women like assholes. Nice guys are sexy.
My takeaway? If you like romantic comedies, you’ll probably enjoy this book. It’s a good, quick read, with brief moments of depth that elevate the genre.