Save the Date

18754866Title: Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest
Author: Jen Doll
Source: from publisher via LibraryThing
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This memoir was like a collection of short stories which were hit-or-miss for me, with some funny or thought-provoking and others which were simply unrelatable.

Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Jen Doll has been to a lot of weddings. As a bit of a party girl willing to do anything for a story, her wedding-going antics have given her many wild stories to tell. She uses these stories to thoughtfully ponder what weddings mean to us and what she wants out of life, while relating many humorous anecdotes.

This was more of a memoir than I expected, with short stories in loosely chronological order. Although each story connected to a wedding in some way, the wedding wasn’t always the main focus. Sometimes they were more about other big events in Jen’s life. Like most collections of short stories, some of the stories worked for me and some of them didn’t. I thought the author always did an admirable job not sounding bitter. She was occasionally cynical or resigned though and these were some of the bits I found funniest. I particularly enjoyed a story about one of the first weddings she remembers. Her eight-year-old self had some pretty funny ideas about weddings!

I didn’t always enjoy her experiences as an adult. To an extent, I like that she included the sordid details of even her worst wedding decisions. Some of them were decisions I could empathize with and sharing our mistakes can make us more relatable. However, the author is clearly more of a party girl than I am. She might also have a bit of a drinking problem. Even at the end of the book, although she knows she should drink less at weddings, she’s still choosing to drink too much and do stupid, thoughtless things. In many of these cases, I empathized far more with people who had to put up with her at their weddings than I did with her! On the other hand, as someone who’s never had a one night stand, I found living through her experiences vicariously to be an interesting experiences. I also particularly enjoyed her more philosophical musings about the purpose of weddings and the baggage participants bring with them. I wasn’t wowed enough by this memoir to recommend it to everyone, but if you particularly like weddings or attend them often, you’ll probably find a lot to empathize with here.



Filed under Humor, Memoir, non-fiction

4 Responses to Save the Date

  1. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    I attend weddings (well, the ceremonies at least) often since I’m a musician. This could be a fun read! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf recently posted…Review: The Reason I Jump by Naoki HigashidaMy Profile

    • I thought the funniest bits were often where she seemed a bit resigned about weddings, so I do think this could resonate the most with someone who goes to a lot of them :)

  2. Tamara

    Great review! This was on the list that Putnam sent out several weeks ago for review books, and I kept looking at the book and wondering if I should request it! Ultimately, I decided not to (and instead chose THE VACATIONERS), and I think after reading the review, I would have had similar thoughts as you.
    Tamara recently posted…Guest Post: The Importance of Girlfriends by Barbara Barth (WOW Blog Tours)My Profile

    • Ha, I did the exact same thing, except I decided on this one instead of The Vacationers! I enjoyed this one pretty well, but I do want to get to The Vacationers too now, since everyone seems to be enjoying it :)

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