Reviews

The Worst Best Man, by Mia Sosa

mousewitched's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

2.0

barrosonm's review against another edition

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2.0

The more I think about this book, the more I find issues with it. I was originally really excited to read it because the protagonist is Brazilian-American. I believe this is my first time reading a book where my culture is represented. That being said, it’s very obvious this book was written for white American readers. The food and other aspects of Brazilian culture were overly explained.

I think about authors like Elizabeth Acevado and books like Fúria when I think about effective representation of Latino culture written for a broad audience. There is just enough description of the places and cultures that the reader can envision them, but not so much that it feels like a tourist’s travel guide. If the reader is still curious about something that’s being mentioned… google it.

The characters also lacked depth. There was very little growth from any of them. Because the individual characters lacked depth, the relationships also lacked it. I found myself not really caring whether Lina and Max ended up together. This lack of depth also led to a shallow representation of Brazilian culture. It’s so much more than food and samba.

Overall this was an okay rom-com and a forgettable book. Well, maybe I won’t forget the poor representation of my culture so soon.

indie's review against another edition

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4.0

*4.25 Stars*

anessalawrence24's review against another edition

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3.0

Overall i thought the book was pretty good. I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters. I loved the slight LGBTQ+ and POC involvement throughout the whole book. However, some of the steamier parts were almost cringy to read? That is however completely subjective and obviously my own opinion. Not a bad book just not one of my favorites.

crystalsea24's review against another edition

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3.0

Here's the thing. The Worst Best Man probably deserves a better review than I am going to be able to write for it. The fact of the matter is that we're in the middle of a global pandemic, and I find myself struggling to do most of the things I love. For my first month at home after my work closed, I couldn't even focus enough to read. I just worked around my home and garden and played casual games on my phone.

Finally, after about a month of no real reading, I couldn't take it anymore, and I started reading again, slowly. However, even after I was able to pick back up the reading, I found myself struggling to write. By now I have a backlog of reviews to write, for books I finished before and during the pandemic, but not a lot of words to say about them.

But what does this have to do with The Worst Best Man? Well, it had the misfortune of being a book I started prior to the entire world seeming to shut down due to the pandemic, but hadn't yet finished. So it sat unfinished for over a month before I finally picked it up and finished it. So I can't be entirely sure if it was the book or the extenuating circumstances that lost me for so long. The truth is the book didn't seem to be blowing me away prior to the world going mad, which is why I hadn't finished it by the time everything changed. But maybe that was pandemic related too.

I was excited to hear in mid March, as I was about to start this book, that a colleague with whom I share some tastes in reading had read it already. But when I asked her what she thought of it, she said it was just OK. She said that the main character was too prickly, and that her Brazilian heritage, while interested, got fed to the reader pretty heavily throughout the book. I assumed this was just one of the times where our tastes different somewhat and set to reading anyway.

Then I discovered that she and I pretty much agreed about the story. Max, the hero, is a nice enough character. He's got some baggage of his own, but is mostly a well-intentioned sweet guy burning a candle for the woman his brother left at the altar. Lina, on the other hand, is really difficult to like. Not difficult to understand, but difficult to relate to. While it's explained thoroughly why she developed the cold hard persona/ exterior over her very emotional true inner personality, while we understand that as a Latinx woman of color she doesn't have the privilege of expressing her emotions too strongly around others without being perceived as angry or irrational or other pejoratives, this fact doesn't make her easier to connect with. It just makes her chilly and prickly and difficult to care about.

And yes, my colleague was correct. The information about Lina's Brazilian heritage really is piled on pretty thickly. On one hand, I love learning about other cultures: the music, the food, the language, the traditions, the relationships. But on the other hand, a romance novel shouldn't feel like an introductory educational text or an after-school special. Whether Lina and her family are speaking in English heavily sprinkled with Portuguese or Lina is explaining Brazilian cuisine to Max or any of the other examples of telling more than showing, they together ended up being too much, feeling more didactic than interesting. Which is sad, because I had been excited to read a book about a Brazilian Latina heroine.

I have a few other minor quibbles with the book as well. Some is just personal preference--I don't prefer first person romance novels, especially from the perspective of both love interests. This was especially important when reading The Worst Best Man, because I don't think Max's POV sounds very much like it was written by a straight white male. There's a scene where his handsome best friend is introduced, and Max describes him in detail, contrasting his friend's appearance with his own. I think that contrasting description would have made much more sense coming from Lina or another exterior perspective. it just felt weird and inauthentic being presented as Max's perspective, the way it was written. The entire introduction of his friend, whose name I cannot remember, was pretty heavy handed and seemed obvious that Sosa was setting him up to be the hero in her next novel.

And finally, a very tiny quibble, but there's a scene where Lina and Max are at a country B&B overnight on Easter weekend, and they're awoken early Sunday morning by 'heavy machinery', and all I could think, as someone who grew up in the country, on a working farm, WHAT FARMER USES HEAVY MACHINERY EARLY ON ANY SUNDAY MORNING, MUCH LESS EASTER MORNING?? I guess it's something that you might not think about without prior knowledge of farm life, but it really pulled me out of the story.

There are good things about the story too, though. Although I never really connected to Lina, I didn't hate her either. I liked her strong, close relationship with her family and friends, especially her assistant Jaslene, and their grounded-ness in their own culture. As I mentioned, I liked Max, and thought he was sweet. I could see how their opposite personalities might attract each other. The sex scenes between the two of them were thoughtful as well as steamy, sort of realistically hot. I also appreciated that the main character was a working woman, a small businesswoman working on a thin profit margin who had relatable struggles like old broken down cars and rent that was too high for her budget.

I also really liked the setting--DC and the surrounding suburbs is relatively local for me, and I've definitely visited friends in some of the areas Sosa describes. It's always fun to recognize real-life roads and neighborhoods in a book I'm reading. And yes, the rent really is pretty steep there, from what I've heard and read.

So the overall verdict for The Worst Best Man is that while it didn't grab me and refuse to let me go, like I wanted it to, I didn't hate it either. It was pleasant and interesting, if easy to put down, and I'm curious to see where Sosa goes with the next story, which I understand will be about Max's best friend and Lina's briefly mentioned cousin Solange. I would love if Jaslene got a story to herself too. Whatever the case, I'm willing to give the author more tries, hopefully not in the midst of a deadly pandemic, but in times more well-suited to focusing on a fun book. I'll be keeping an eye out for what comes next.

Thank you to #NetGalley and Avon/ Harper Collins for letting me read an advanced copy of #TheWorstBestMan. Sorry it took me so long to finish. I still blame the pandemic.

jeovana's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5
a primeira metade do livro é bastante superior a segunda, mas mesmo assim é impossível não gostar do livro porque Lina e Max são ótimos personagens e formam um casal MUITO fofo !!!

readinromance's review against another edition

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4.0

i enjoyed this book a lot, there were just some plot holes to me and it took me a while to get into

walzstjrnl's review

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emotional funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

mimithebookish's review against another edition

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4.0

4.5 stars

I enjoyed this so much!