Book Review: The Wedding Date
For a good time, read Jasmine Guillory’s delightful debut romcom
Reviewed by Rosalind Faires, Fri., Oct. 26, 2018
If a thousand thirst tweets about Noah Centineo following the release of Netflix's adaptation of To All The Boys I Loved Before was the firm and final confirmation of the romantic comedy's triumphant return, I think it's fair to say that The Wedding Date was the tinder that helped set those hearts ablaze. Author Jasmine Guillory comes by her genre chops honestly – she co-authored Thrillist's list of the best romantic comedies of all time – and her debut novel has all the charm and swoon of your cinematic faves.
Naturally, it starts with a meet cute: Mayoral Chief of Staff Alexa meets doctor Drew when the hotel elevator they're both in breaks down. Flirting commences. Alexa's in town to see her sister; Drew is dreading attending his ex-girlfriend's wedding solo the next day. The title gives you a sense of where the plot is going, but the substance of The Wedding Date – the tenderness with which Guillory explores Alexa's and Drew's respective vulnerability, the clever but never self-satisfied patter (that provoked more than one out-loud laugh), the way the story is grounded by its willingness to speak candidly about race and career ambitions and the work of making two lives intersect – is the wonderful surprise. Romance's cultural value is routinely undersold (since it's, you know, for women and therefore not of import), and The Wedding Date is an excellent arrow in the quiver of anyone who'd like to argue that literature can be both enriching and have you gleefully yelling, "Just kiss already!"
The Wedding Dateby Jasmine Guillory
Berkley, 336 pp., $15