My Big Fat Fake Wedding
by Lauren Landish
He needs a wife.
I need a husband.
It’s just temporary… what could go wrong?
I’ve always wanted the fairy tale wedding. Not for the princess perfect dress or big party, but for Papa.
My grandfather. The only father figure I’ve ever known.
It’s his dying wish to walk me down the aisle.
Gee, no pressure.
But I can grant that wish…
I just have to fake being head over heels in love with Ross Andrews, my best friend’s big brother whom I embarrassingly crushed on all through high school.
Handsome. Knockout sexy. Arrogant jerk extraordinaire.
Our childish pranks and tit-for-tat battles were legendary. Then I grew up.
Not that he ever noticed.
I know it’s a terrible idea, and we’re both in over our heads.
It could be the wedding of a lifetime or a total disaster.
How do we make it to the altar without killing each other first?
Or without falling in love for real?
I’m not sure what exactly I expected, but it wasn’t what I got.
Violet was an enjoyable, if misguided, character. Her obvious love for her grandfather and friends was lovely, but her reasons for the wedding were naïve at best, and a little aggravating for it. I came away with the impression of her as a bit of a flake, though I can’t pinpoint why.
Ross… ah, Ross. I never truly warmed to him. Enemies to lovers can work, but I never really bought into him being mature enough to evolve past the enemies part. (Rather, it wasn’t even enemies–it was flat-out bullying, which was distasteful. Mentioning that he watched out for Violet and his sister did not make up for her humiliation in other situations.)
Honestly, I resigned myself to Ross more because I hated most of his family, so he looked good by comparison. Morgan was downright infuriating with his manipulation and intolerance (I don’t care about his reasons or the pat resolution of his relationship with Ross–the man was an ass), and the rest weren’t much better. Archie was charming, Abi was charming, Violet’s family was charming (until the drama, which was frustratingly never resolved), but almost everyone on Ross’s side of things was just distasteful.
I could’ve even tolerated my distaste for most of the characters had the ultimate drama not been so overwrought. What had been a frustrating but sweet story devolved into a free-for-all that had no sense of cohesiveness. I could’ve happily stopped reading before the drama and rated the book higher, because the drama felt gratuitous. Sometimes stories don’t need for everything to implode.
I struggled with the writing, too, which is odd for me. I just couldn’t get into it, and found myself losing interest every so often (which is why it took me what felt like forever to make it through). It was technically fine, just felt… off? to me. It is entirely possible it was more my distaste for the subject than the writing itself.
In the end, I was disappointed. I never quite made it to the point of DNFing, but I never felt engaged.
tl;dr Largely-unsympathetic characters and overdone drama just put me off.