Title: The Wedding Party
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Published: July 16, 2019
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary
This one’s for all you hate-to-love fans.
Maddie loved her best friend Alexa, but she could not stand Alexa’s other best friend Theo. She thought he was an arrogant career man who only knew how to talk about himself, while Theo thought that Maddie was self-absorbed and materialistic. After a fluke hookup between the two rivals, they swore that it would never happen again and that, more importantly, Alexa could never know. However, when Alexa announced that she would be getting married and that her two best friends would both be in the wedding party, Maddie and Theo knew that whatever was changing between them would be hard to keep secret.
A fun and cute contemporary to read this Valentine’s Day season, The Wedding Party is the third book in The Wedding Date series by Jasmine Guillory. As someone who had never read any of the previous books, I thought the story worked well as a standalone—although I suspected I missed many Easter eggs that fans of the series would get a kick out of. Also, as someone who had my own hate-to-love arc with the hate-to-love trope (ie. I used to despise these type of stories 😅), I was mostly pleased with how it was executed in this book.
ᴛʜɪs ᴘᴀʀᴀɢʀᴀᴘʜ ᴍᴀʏ ʙᴇ sᴘᴏɪʟᴇʀʏ → From the get-go, Maddie and Theo layed out rules for whatever enemies with benefits relationship they seemed to be forming. I loved how the rules were introduced to the story early on so that the reader knew they would be broken. It was a cliche but entertaining way to map out how the plot was going to unfold and what the reader could look forward to.
Like the many naive enemies-to-lovers that came before them, Maddie and Theo convinced themselves that they were polar opposites and would never get along. They quickly learned that the other person wasn’t half as bad as they assumed once they actually took the time to listen to each other and got over bad first impressions.
The best part of this was the number of levels they were able to relate to each other at. From basic interests, like favorite TV shows and hobbies, to deeper topics, like their upbringing and specific struggles of being African American, Maddie and Theo were really not as different as they wanted be—and they really wanted to be. They were both stubborn and headstrong, so I loved seeing them wrestle with the idea that they had severely misjudged someone from their first encounter.
Maddie and Theo’s relationship was pretty darn adorable and developed naturally, if not a tad rushed 🤏.
The pair’s transition from enemies-to-lovers occurred quite swiftly. Unlike other hate-to-love main characters, there was no identifiable period where they had a palpable hate for each other. They really just had the awful first impressions, which didn’t turn out to be much of a hurdle to form a positive relationship versus if they had had a long history of bad encounters. This fact didn’t detract from the story and all its fluff too much, but it was worth noting. If you enjoy hate-to-love for its slow-burn relationships, The Wedding Party’s pacing may appear hurried to you.
Overall, The Wedding Party was another feel-good, lovable contemporary. Guillory showed that sometimes we’re quick to burn bridges, and it can be scary and hard to admit that we made a mistake doing so. This book was clearly intended for all you hate-to-love fans, as long as you can forgive it for not being as slow-burn as other stories with the trope 🙈.