Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory: This Y'all Queen?

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All Things Burn by Jodie Slaughter
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A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other... 

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
The Wedding Date is right up there with Queenie as one of the most disappointing books I’ve read from a black author to date.

This love story felt haphazardly put together as if put together in a rush--a semblance of a romance novel written by someone that can't possibly understand the structure of a novel.

This attempt barely meets the mark. By barely I mean it missed; like it didn't even try.

Alexa and Drew meet in an elevator. On their way to their respective destinations, the elevator gets stuck. They settle in for the wait by engaging in the dullest, unconvincing exchange. A lot of readers found it cute, but I think it only proved Drew for the asshole he was. The most disturbing part of the exchange is his insistence on having the cheese and crackers in her purse. As if they’d been in the elevator for hours and he was pushing toward starvation. He even went to snatch the treats from her bag like a thief in the night. (I knew he was Satan.)

I sighed, because what is privacy? When the elevator is finally up and running and they're out, Alexa is barely holding onto her underwear. Drew, on a moment of whimsy and bravado, asks Alexa to be his date for a wedding he can barely stand the idea of going to. She agrees.

This sets off a series of events that can only be described as pure foolishness and fu**ery. Alexa goes to the wedding, and it is there the author throws in the monkey wrench of racial tension. Black issues? Check. It was unnecessary and unconvincing.  Why did Guillory include this? I assume it was for a realistic edge. However, it didn’t work. Even the characters seemed confused by their forced micro-aggressive and sudden racism.

You can’t make fetch happen, Guillory.

We're then subjected to insecure Alexa.  Alexa is steeped in self-hate. Every criticism and insecurity is attached to the dislike of her “black” features. Her curvaceous frame was a point of dissension. Hopes of a slimmer frame should not be an affront to one's "blackness."

 Alexa attributed every curve to an African American flaw, and she couldn’t stand it. It was used as a point of reference whenever insecurity came along; particularly while in the presence of the white women she saw as competition. At every turn, Alexa was beating me over the head with her internal debate of how do I compare to white women? Let me count the ways. It was exhausting. We all face insecurities, that’s realistic—but Alexa was insecure about every damn thing. Get help, Beloved.

As well as the internal debate she had whenever she was around Drew: Did he like her for her? Did he see her black flabby body and get disgusted? Did he prefer the creamy skin of white women to her brown Beyonce skin? (Her description, not mine.)

If he got up to get a condom for their awkward discomforting sex sessions, she would question his loyalty and desire for her. If I had to question a relationship this often, I’d be gone. But, not good old Alexa. She held onto her f*** boy white lover, with a grip to rival the jaws of life. And, I was confusion.

If Drew blinked at her, her panties would overflow. All the while, all he's doing is slinging his white peen at her, keeping her mouth full, and doing the bare minimum. If we're being totally honest he didn't do anything.

 I’m still not convinced he’s all that good looking. I know for sure his sex skills are even more lackluster than his character's existence. He often asked Alexa what she wanted in the bedroom. It was less about being considerate and more about boosting his tiny male ego. Okay, Napoleon.

Alexa and Drew had a lot of sex, in painful and dismaying detail. The author delves fully into the act only to jump back out of it like she woke Daddy, and got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. The in and out of the scenes was awkward and would have been better left off the page and to the reader’s imagination. We all know Drew had wack bedroom skills. You’re not fooling us, Jasmine.

Speaking of Drew, his character just sucked. He was a fu**boy (see: weak or contemptible man.") Outside of admiring Alexa for her curves, he seemed incapable of interacting with her like a human being. When he tried to talk to her, he stumbled over his words, like English is not his first language. When talks turned to race, he got even more empty-headed and couldn't figure out how to respond. What a winner. Guillory dipped and battered Drew in white privilege and ignorance. She wanted to convince us that this was okay. It wasn't.

Their relationship is what I imagine an unhealthy interracial relationship to be like. Alexa’s insecurity with her blackness in the face of his comfortable whiteness spoke to inner issues that can’t be fixed or addressed in this book. Alexa reads like someone who hates herself. It was such a juxtaposition to the Alexa in the sheets and the Alexa in the office. One who gorged on donuts, and fought for inner-city youth—for reasons revealed much, much later in the book. But, also the same woman who wept at the thought of her sex buddy leaving her for a white woman, or any woman, at whim. Drew is/was a clueless airhead. He cannot manage his emotions, his peen or common sense.

When he threw Alexa on the bed and then jumped in after her; I damn near lost it. What are you five?

Don’t get me started on the donuts and burgers, and fries they insisted on eating at every rendezvous.

These characters are juvenile and had the depth of a Poland Spring bottle top. They deserve each other. May they forever battle in the game of, “Am I too black for you?" for the rest of their fictional days. This is the goofiest romance I’ve ever read.

Even without all of those feelings, the story is flat. The characters lack depth and personalities. There is no backstory of which to speak. Also, what is a plot?

Honestly, this book has more wrong than it does right. To put it frankly, Jasmine tried me. I'm not going to recommend this, but proceed at your own risk. Maybe fu**boy is your love language. Who are me to judge?

Regardless of what you decide, leave me out of it. I want nothing to do with this book.


  1. Yep. This is basically what I thought while reading this book and is a huge part of the reason that I haven't picked up anything else from her. I thought the romance sucked and Alexa's insecurities and Drew's stupidity didn't make sense considering they both held positions of power in their professional lives. I get insecurities but their shit was over the top. I just...yeah, I got nothing. This review was well written, thanks for sharing it!

  2. I read this review again and laughed so hard. I liked this one at the time, but I'm pretty sure I won't like it if I re-read it after my experience with her last two books!

  3. OH SNAP.

    I've been waiting for this review. Yes. I'm so happy.

  4. I honestly haven't heard anything good about this book from those I trust. Just doesn't sound like a book I would enjoy. I really would struggle with this especially with the unhealthy almost toxic elements in their relationship. Definitely going to pass.

    Your review was hilarious, blunt and refreshing!!