Reviews tagging Grief

Battle Royal, by Lucy Parker

17 reviews

bansheebooks's review against another edition

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emotional funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.5

 kinda disappointing. I wish the author hadn't had so many other subplots. It really cluttered the story when we could have had more scenes forming the romance. 

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e_flah's review

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emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

As a fun story with lots of baking, I really enjoyed Battle Royal. As a romance, it didn't click for me quite so much. This is an incredibly busy story -- I think there are four subplots? I honestly lost track at some point -- so the romance between Sylvie and Dominic ended up not getting the amount of page time I would've liked. The other plots are entertaining and added a lot of emotional weight to the story but I still feel like the story would've benefited from being a bit more focused.

Parker absolutely has a knack for vivid descriptions. From Sylvie's magical, over-the-top bake shop, Sugar Fair, to the set of the reality bake show Operation Cake, I felt like I was really in the story. The side characters also had rich backstories that added a lot to the overall story.

I finished Battle Royal wanting more from Sylvie and Dominic's relationship. There were so many other plot arcs happening that their happily-ever-after/happy-for-now seemed to get lost in the shuffle. We caught a glimpse of it before moving on to other, much more dramatic, storylines.

I'm not sure if I'm interested in picking up the next Palace Insiders book. I think I prefer my romances a bit more front-and-center than Parker seems to write them.

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caseythereader's review

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emotional funny lighthearted reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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kfmcf's review

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funny lighthearted reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.5

This book is an easy, fun read. The characters are likeable (but maybe not loveable) and the plot is decent. I appreciate it being a GBBS homage without being a DIRECT rip of the show (like another book I have read recently). I'm not going to clamor to read this book again, but I am looking forward to the sequel - especially since it follows Pet, arguably one of, if not the most interesting (and possibly only loveable) character in the book.
However, there was one thing about this book I found completely unnecessary (spoiler).

SpoilerWhy does her friend need to be in love with her? It not only makes him completely unlikable (and I am a self-proclaimed sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope, mind you), but it is also in a part of the book with enough conflict that it adds nothing and messes not only with the pacing of the plot of of the FL's character development. Honestly, this part of the book dropped my ranking of it by at least .5 points.


Overall, if you want a light book to take on a week or weekend long getaway (depending on how fast you read), this one does the job.  

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totallyshelfaware's review

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emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

4.25


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treereads's review

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emotional hopeful medium-paced

3.25


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tacoshark's review

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emotional funny lighthearted reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

I really enjoyed this - it’s set in and around a GBBO-like show but that gimmick isn’t overused. The characters are well drawn and it’s a fairly slow burn romance but the surrounding plot is interesting and compelling enough to support the main romance without making it overly formulaic - there isn’t much here of the invented obstacle to keep them apart or the “I didn’t realize I was falling in love” trope. It’s very lived in and realistic and I enjoyed that a lot. 

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bookworm_leilani's review against another edition

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

5.0

I marked this in content warnings as "moderate child abuse" which I don't think is quite accurate: the abuse, mainly via neglect and heavily emotional, of one of the main characters is a significant part of the narrative and one cannot read around it. However, marking this as "graphic" feels wrong as well, since for most people "graphic child abuse" is going to summon images of physical brutality, which is not the case here. Both Dominic and Sylvia are deeply marked by losses and grief, and the main subplot of the book is their untangling of the complicated relationships with their respective family members.

None of which is to say this book is not good: it's excellent, and I'd even say delightful. While it handles a lot of very heavy topics, including death, lost love, neglected childhoods, estrangements, and mental health, it did not feel overwhelming or dark to me. Conversely it is also not at all what I'd categorize as a "rom com." I loved this book, and think Lucy Parker executed a bittersweet, deeply hopeful, very romantic, very human story while deftly setting up what looks to be a promising series. It's just a.) not a rom com and b.) does deserve content warnings (a feature I love about this app!) but needed some finessing to make sense.

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onthesamepage's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

His gaze went to her hair and locked there. He wanted to touch it. In that instant of time, he obviously desired nothing more than to slide his long fingers into the fine strands, cup her head with that huge palm, tug her forward, take a slow breath . . . and sling her out the window by her ponytail like the Trunchbull.

I believe I was on page 3 when I first had an inkling that I was going to really enjoy this book, and I'm so glad that proved true because I think I would've been gutted otherwise. This has the perfect blend of tropes I enjoy, characters I grew to love, a setting I really like (baking + royalty? heck yeah), great pacing and character development, and, of course, the exact kind of humor and banter that can absolutely make a book for me. I haven't read many romances that are this spot on and conforming to my tastes. I absolutely loved it.

“He once called you the pretty, annoying one,” Mariana added, clearing up that little mind-boggler of a moment. With intense dryness, Sylvie said, “I don’t think he intended you to insert a comma into that sentence.”

It starts with our main characters and how the relationship develops between them. Whether it's enemies to lovers, hate to love, rivals to lovers or whatever other variations there are, this is a trope I really, really like when it's executed well, and by that I mean, the characters don't just start lusting after one another secretly right from the start. By necessity, that means the relationship is more of a slow build, otherwise it doesn't feel believable for me. But I believed it here. Sylvie and Dominic are such a precious couple, and their romance felt so heart-warming and tender. There was definitely plenty of steam too, but it's honestly the quiet, simple moments that got to me and made me root for them so hard. The way Sylvie managed to worm her way through the wall Dominic puts up for the world, and the way Dominic became her support when she needed it, was just *chef's kiss*.

But there's a lot more to this story than just the romance, and those other elements were all amazing too. The book actually deals with some heavier themes like grief from losing a loved one, and the pressures that come with being in the public eye. There are also a lot of very loveable side characters, from Pet, Dominic's sister, to Jay, Sylvie's partner and best friend, to the royal couple, and they're all worth rooting for in their own way. I found the subplots to be just as interesting, and I was super invested in everything the author was trying to sell me. It doesn't hurt that this is a book about two bakers, and romances that have something to do with food always earn extra brownie points.

There is also no dramatic conflict to break the couple apart briefly before they get back together again, because they are adults who communicate, and even when they're going through a tough time, they deal with it and don't run off. That alone would bump it up a star.

Maybe it's too early to say after reading one book by the author, but I have a feeling Lucy Parker might become my comfort contemporary romance author, the way Courtney Milan is for historical romances. Can't wait to dive into her backlist. 

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kimiichanga's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

girly this was so good 

like this was my jam 

baker enemies to lovers, ft the great british bake off ALSO A ROYAL WEDDING 

the fact that it had so many sub plot lines didnt feel congested to me 

ugh this was so good 

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