Title: Bad Luck Bridesmaid
Author: Alison Rose Greenberg
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: January 11th, 2022
It’s official: Zoey Marks is the cursed bridesmaid that no engagement can survive. Ten years, three empire waist dresses, and ZERO brides have walked down the aisle.
After strike three, Zoey is left wondering if her own ambivalence towards marriage has rubbed off on those she loves. And when her building distrust of matrimony culminates in turning down a proposal from her perfect All-American boyfriend, Rylan Harper III, she and Rylan are both left heartbroken, leaving Zoey to wonder: what is it exactly about tying the knot that makes her want to run in the opposite direction?
Enter Hannah Green: Zoey’s best friend, who announces that she’s marrying a guy she just met (cue eye roll). At a castle. In gorgeous, romantic Ireland, where Rylan will be in attendance, and Zoey will be a bridesmaid. It’ll be fine.
Okay, the woman definition of fine (NOT FINE).
Determined to turn her luck around, Zoey accepts her role and vows to get Hannah down the aisle—all the while praying her best friend’s wedded bliss will allow her to embrace marriage and get Rylan back.
But as the weekend goes on, Zoey is plagued with more questions than answers. Can you be a free spirit, yet still want a certain future? Can you have love and be loved on your terms? And how DO you wrangle a bossy falcon into doing your bidding?
Nothing about this book went the way I expected it to based on the synopsis and cover. Which is not a bad thing mind you, just took so reconfiguring of my expectations early on in the book! If you’re looking for the typical rom com, HEA, tropey romance – look away (but come back when you’re in a women’s lit kind of mood). Bad Luck Bridesmaid is really a tale of independence, putting yourself first, and understand that it’s okay if your goals in life are different than the “normal”.
Zoey doesn’t believe in relationships or marriage, or spending more time on a guy than your career. Especially after she was a bridesmaid in not one, not two, but three weddings where the bride didn’t walk down the aisle. But when she meets Rylan, her best friend’s cousin – she starts to throw the playbook out the window and settle into coupledom. But inevitably, he proposes and she… says no. So when Hannah gets quickly engaged and wants to have her wedding in Ireland with her close family – how can Zoey say no? Even if it means spending the wedding week with Raylan and his new girlfriend…
Like I said, not at all your typical rom com. The beginning of this book spends a lot of time detailing Zoey’s like to present – the relationships, careers, and the three wedding she “ruined” in her mind. Stick with it, it gets to the present day eventually. But this book really is a wild ride, and it feels like so much happened in a relatively average length novel. By the end, you’re thinking: how did we get here? But the themes of independence and acceptance of yourself are very empowering. And even if the end didn’t go exactly how I normally like – I respect the bold choice of going on the path less travelled.
I encourage you to ride the rollercoaster that is this book if you enjoy unconventional relationships or the less than common plot lines.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!