ARC Review Round Up | When You Get the Chance and Bad Luck Bridesmaid

Posted January 19, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Review Round Up | When You Get the Chance and Bad Luck BridesmaidWhen You Get the Chance by Emma Lord
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Macmillan on January 4, 2022
Also by this author: Tweet Cute, You Have a Match, Begin Again
Format: eARC (320 pages) • Source: Publisher
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Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream to become a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super-introverted dad, who after raising Millie alone, doesn’t want to watch her leave home to pursue her dream. Not her pesky and ongoing drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not the “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm, always at maddeningly inconvenient times. Millie needs an ally. And when a left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do. She’s going to find her mom.

There’s Steph, a still-aspiring stage actress and receptionist at a talent agency. There’s Farrah, ethereal dance teacher who clearly doesn’t have the two left feet Millie has. And Beth, the chipper and sweet stage enthusiast with an equally exuberant fifteen-year-old daughter (A possible sister?! This is getting out of hand). But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one, without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

I will never not request a new Emma Lord book! I adored her two previous releases and therefore had high hopes and expectations for this one. I’m not a big fan of musicals or theater-oriented books, generally speaking, so I wasn’t entirely sure Millie or the premise would be for me. However, the whole concept of Millie trying to track down her mother and figure out who she is? That’s right up my alley. That factor plus the author made this an easy NG request.

Yet again, Emma Lord nails it. This book was a really nice reading experience. Millie was a bit much (with her drama and Millie Moods) but every time she crossed the line to “annoying,” she would fall back to the “endearing” side soonafter. She definitely had a flair for the dramatic but that was a fun part of her personality in the end. I like how Oliver balanced her out and how naturally they moved away from enemies.

Books like this make me wish I liked NYC more – what a fun place to grow up and have the freedom to explore. (I get too nervous in the city lol).

The search for her mom (basically a spin on Mama Mia, apparently – something I haven’t seen!) was a really interesting plot point and went in directions I didn’t expect – and some that I definitely did! I loved the relationships she did have: her dad, her aunt, her best friend, her potential moms… everyone felt very fleshed out. The ending was adorable and the journey made it all worth it.

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Review Round Up | When You Get the Chance and Bad Luck BridesmaidBad Luck Bridesmaid by Alison Rose Greenberg
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Macmillan on January 11, 2022
Format: eARC (320 pages) • Source: Publisher
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It’s official: Zoey Marks is the cursed bridesmaid that no engagement can survive. Ten years, three empire waist dresses, and ZERO brides have walked down the aisle.

After strike three, Zoey is left wondering if her own ambivalence towards marriage has rubbed off on those she loves. And when her building distrust of matrimony culminates in turning down a proposal from her perfect All-American boyfriend, Rylan Harper III, she and Rylan are both left heartbroken, leaving Zoey to wonder: what is it exactly about tying the knot that makes her want to run in the opposite direction?

Enter Hannah Green: Zoey’s best friend, who announces that she’s marrying a guy she just met (cue eye roll). At a castle. In gorgeous, romantic Ireland, where Rylan will be in attendance, and Zoey will be a bridesmaid. It’ll be fine.

Okay, the woman definition of fine (NOT FINE).

Determined to turn her luck around, Zoey accepts her role and vows to get Hannah down the aisle—all the while praying her best friend’s wedded bliss will allow her to embrace marriage and get Rylan back.

But as the weekend goes on, Zoey is plagued with more questions than answers. Can you be a free spirit, yet still want a certain future? Can you have love and be loved on your terms? And how DO you wrangle a bossy falcon into doing your bidding?

I went through a few years where I was constantly a bridesmaid in multiple weddings. It’s always a fun time for the most part but every bride has different expectations for what they need from you… and it’s super expensive. I was SO burnt out on weddings and bridesmaid duties by the end of 2019. During that busy bridesmaid period of life, I generally refused to read books involving weddings or bridesmaids…. and now that it’s all over (including my own wedding last year), I’m down to read these books again. And thank god, because I usually liked them!

BAD LUCK BRIDESMAID sold me from the beginning. Three weddings as a bridesmaid, three friends who didn’t make it down the aisle. Zoey is convinced she’s the reason for these failed weddings. After all, she’s never cared about finding love and commitment from someone. She even turns down her great fiance when he proposes. Cue the regret. During an overseas wedding that her ex, Rylan, will be at, she determines THIS bride will make it down the aisle, and hopefully she’ll figure out what the hell is wrong with her.

This was truly a bizarre reading experience. I was pretty addicted to it and loved the first half of the book. Once she gets to Ireland after breaking up with Rylan though… things went off the rails. I will be the first to tell you that imperfect, messy characters are totally fine by me. People make mistakes and usually I can understand. I generally did for this one. However, the ending really threw me for a loop. It’s really hard to discuss without spoiling everything but I will just say: don’t go into this thinking it’s a classic romance or even romantic comedy. There are some amazing parts and very fun writing (I’d definitely read this author again!) but seriously… embrace the mess and take the romance label with a big grain of salt.

All in all… I mostly liked this but I also kind of hated it. It was a quick read from a new author I’m interested in reading more from, but I’m glad I had skimmed a couple of reviews and knew to lower my expectations a little bit.

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