@bookishmadeleine’s Full Review:   I really wanted to like this one, guys, but I’m going to be honest: I struggled. I appreciated what Guillory was trying to do, and I also want to stress that romance is NOT my genre.  There were several things that I very much appreciated – there was a clear focus and dedication to diversity throughout the narrative. The book features people of all races, and it is clear that their races matter, because their identities matter. I really appreciated that it was not another white-washed story, and that the novel, though fluffy, managed to fit in some important points about identity and what it means to be seen in one’s entirety. I also appreciate that in virtually every sexy scene, there is a clear moment of “yes means yes" consent, and that condoms were prominently featured, demonstrating that  sexual protection and consent are sexy . In these ways, I found Guillory’s novel to be progressive and exciting (though full disclosure: this might be my first romance novel so I honestly don’t know what the norm is – I am assuming that Guillory’s decision to depict a mixed race couple, and to prominently feature moments of consent and condom use is markedly different from other novels of its kind, which might be baseless assumption) and something worthy as a piece of writing.  However, I really struggle with the romance genre. I think I just need a little  more  than what was presented – Alexa and Drew’s relationship consisted of eating lots of tacos and donuts (hey, same – no problems here) and an incessant internal monologue (BOTH of them) that basically repeated over and over “but they could not possibly like me; there’s nothing real here; they’re just having fun but there’s no way they like me like I like them; I’m worthless” on loop when honestly there is zero indication in the text that Alexa or Drew feel anything except for love for one another. The conflicts were entirely internal and based on miscommunications, which honestly I just find really annoying. If something can be solved with a sentence as simple as “hey I like you I think we should talk about our relationship” then the conflict feels completely fabricated.  I get that this book is intended to be fluffy. I do. I just got way too irritated with it. I just don’t have the patience for their insecurities, and it got old real fast to listen to them whine. I would never judge anyone who enjoys romance as a genre, or who enjoyed this book, but as for me, this book basically reaffirmed what I already know: romance is not my genre.
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