Here we are at the last of my contemporary romance marathon (a little behind when I read it due to Sorcery of Thorns). At this point I’m going to have to search pretty hard to find some more cute/light romance reads since I’ve grabbed quite a few of the ones I’ve heard or known about, oops. After this the June reads begin, and those are filled with fantasy and imminent danger more than cute romance coming into play. Maybe that’ll be a good thing to break it up a little, but I’m going to miss these stories for sure.
Charlie is about to have one of those best weekends she’s been looking forward to for a while. Everyone in her family will finally be back together, and her sister is getting married. It’s the kind of weekend that looks like everything will be amazing, up until it isn’t. For one thing, the estranged brother that hasn’t spoken to them, or visited in more than a year is showing up, the wedding planner has not only gone awol, but has also mixed up different bookings. So everything that was once smoothly set in place and ready to go are now showing up messed up, terrifying the bride to be, and throwing the wedding party into madness.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
This is definitely a story of showing that even one of the most put together families can have problems and drama. Nothing is ever as it seems, and boy do the problems come out all at once in this scenario. When we are first introduced to the Grants it’s under Charlie’s perspective, so everything does look pretty perfect. It’s all about the love of her siblings, even the trouble making ones. Both parents are quirky, but loving, and Charlie comes across as the ever helpful sibling/daughter. All of this changes though as things start to not go according to plan. Slowly, we learn that Charlie fixates on her family, letting anything outside of it slip through her attention, theirs not only a misunderstanding between her brother and mother, but a major trespass into personal life. Regardless of the illusion of perfection, or everything seeming to fall apart, this family is still there for each other even when its dysfunctional, which of course is what family is for.
As far as character development and growth Matson did a great job with the family members, especially as far as comparing their actual lives to what Charlie had thought was going on. She wasn’t living in a fantasy world, but there was definitely some putting people on a pedestal. For some she still thought of them in terms of her favorite memories, and with others she was skewed by her own version of events, never looking into what had happened. I was surprised that even some of the characters I had originally thought would be skipped in development got a chance toward the end to show who they really were, or at least made us realize our main character may have thought they knew them and truly hadn’t. Part of me wishes that the last part of that surprise development had meant maybe learning a little more about that person and not just simply walking away, but I’d say that was still minor.
This novel did a great job mixing in a whole host of issues, and panic inducing stress into its storyline. I was surprised by how easy a read it was, and loved the moments that happened with the family. Where I felt like it got the three stars though is in its handling of the above mentioned character, since it just outlines that she hadn’t really known them, and that they weren’t aiming for the same things that she was. I would’ve loved to see a little more development through this beyond just for her. After so much with that character, it just felt cut short. The other bit that pulled this back to a three star was in its timing of showing that Charlie was fixated on her family, which I will say she was. Where I disconnect is that her friend gets angry at her when everything is escalating, and we are all just supposed to go, ‘oh yeah she’s been only focusing on the wedding’. She did focus, but to be fair it isn’t like things are going perfect. There is also a lot of pressure being put on her by the adults to fix everything on the wedding front. She is about to go to college, and yet she’s the only one that can fix the cake, officiant, and other issues? It sounds like the parents had stuff going on, but I still have a hard time believing they had zero knowledge that their youngest child was taking all that on and having panic attacks. Other than those things, this was a very fun book to read, and seeing how it all comes to an end was amazing.