Cancel the Wedding

August 20, 2014 Fiction, Review, Romance 13 ★★★★

Cancel the WeddingTitle: Cancel the Wedding
Author: Carolyn T. Dingman
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: Despite having a very average plot and sometimes frustrating main character, the quirky characters the authors created made this an enjoyable read.

Olivia has known for a long time that she doesn’t enjoy her “dream job” and she isn’t passionately in love with her fiance. She doesn’t have the courage to admit this to herself until she makes a trip to her deceased mother’s hometown to honor her last wish by scattering her ashes there. Once she starts to get to know people and learns more about her mother, she slowly realizes that she may not want to go home.

I really enjoyed spending time with the characters in this story. I don’t know that I’d be friends with all of them in real life, but all of the “good guys” were quirky and a bit madcap. It was fun to see what silly things they’d do next, especially Olivia. Despite the small surprises, the overall plot was predictable. This book was your average romance with little to set it apart from other books in the genre. The “terrible wrong” referred to in the official blurb isn’t a big deal and the only part of the book I didn’t see coming was something I didn’t find believable when it happened.

The writing is good and I think the author’s creation of her main characters is particularly strong. The people characterized as villains are much less fleshed out though. They mostly feel like stereotypes. The main character is frustratingly stupid about her relationships, thoughtlessly doing things which are obviously going to hurt other people later. Despite my complaints about this story, I had a surprisingly good time reading it. I think as long as you go into it expecting a fun, light, predictable story and don’t mind suspending disbelief a bit, this could be an enjoyable read for you too.

Can you think of a book you’ve enjoyed more than you would expect given its flaws?

13 Responses to “Cancel the Wedding”

  1. Jennine G.

    Sounds like a comfort book – typical and predictable, but what you need sometimes. I enjoyed the Twilight series even though the writing wasn’t particularly good and Bella was annoying as heck. And in real life, I’d slap Edward and Bella silly…but I don’t mind overdone teen romance in books as much!

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! Sometimes, especially after a challenging or depressing read, I just want something happy, light, and predictable. This book is perfect for that. I think I tend to judge teen characters too harshly because I often find myself annoyed by their decisions. That’s less likely to happen if I believe the character would have made such silly decisions though. Sometimes the author just doesn’t convince me that it makes sense.

    • DoingDewey

      I’ve definitely enjoyed some other predictable stories so I’m not sure why the predictability bothered me so much here. I think part of it was that I felt like the author wanted the reader to be ok with the main character hurting people’s feelings just because those people had some flaws and that bothered me. I’ve already read that plot, I’ve seen it done better, and I still didn’t like it!

  2. Kelly

    Glad I read your review. This book blurb sounds right up my alley, but predictable romances are a no-go for me! It’s too bad because it sounds like the author could have made it into a stronger novel with a few stylistic changes.

    • DoingDewey

      Yep, in that case, I’m not sure this book is something you would like. Without giving any spoilery details, the story of the romance was something I feel like I’ve seen done over and over and it was very obvious from the beginning where things were headed.

  3. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Oh Katie, you must have been really in the mood while reading this. When I am dealing with contemporaries, I am usually strict about the characters but the plot, I don’t mind so much. I mean, most contemporaries these days are already cliche’d and you know where the storyline is heading so the only thing that I can hope is that it is executed well. But with contemporary characters, I really expect them to be highly developed. When I review contemporary books, it’s usually the characters that I discuss because I don’t know what else to tackle aside from the predictable plot and the theme.

    As for your question, let me see. There’s actually so many of them but one good example would be that of Melina Marchetta’s contemporary books. Even before picking up her On The Jellicoe Road or The Piper’s Son, I already know that she’s an awesome author because I was in awe with her fantasy series. However, I still have some doubts about her contemporary books because I don’t think an author could excel in 2-3 genres. But boy oh boy, after reading her contemporary books, I was left gutless. They were awesome!

    • DoingDewey

      I guess I expected something deeper from this book, something that would be classified as women’s fiction which actually addressed some tough issues, so that expectation probably increased my disappointment with the stereotypical plot. The romance was something I just feel like I’ve seen done so many times and the main character’s decisions drove me nuts. Really, what bothered me most was that the main character was doing something she knew was going to hurt several people’s feelings and she didn’t even stop to think about her actions. If she’s at least been concerned about her choices, I’d have liked this book a lot better.

      I would love to give Marchetta’s contemporary books a try. I read and enjoyed Finnikin of the Rock and I’ve heard that her contemporary books are equally awesome. And I agree, it’s very impressive for an author to be good at two genres!

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book despite some flaws – quirky characters are really appealing to me, so I can understand why you liked this one! I can’t think of a book I liked despite flaws at the moment, but I know it happens to me quite a bit – especially if the ending really pulls the whole story together. If it leaves me feeling happy I might overlook a lot about the beginning of the book!

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a great point about endings! For the most part, I can tell within the first few chapters of a book if I’m going to like it or not, but the ending definitely has the potential to make me completely change my mind either way.

    • DoingDewey

      Sometimes I am too, so I think it’s possible that this one just did a few things that are pet peeves of mine and other people could enjoy it even more than I did. Thanks for including me 🙂

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