Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: How Not to be a Bride

By Sara Steven

**May contain spoilers for Bad Bridesmaid, but can be read as a stand-alone**

One of my favorite novels from Portia Macintosh is Bad Bridesmaid (reviewed here). Mia Valentina is a character that sticks with you, so I was thrilled to discover that her story continues on in How Not to be a Bride!

We discover that Mia has chosen to to leave her life behind in sunny California, and start a new one with her gorgeous man, Leo, in Kent. And while that’s all well and good, it also means living closer to her family, who have always caused a lot of contention and chaos in her world. I felt pretty annoyed by them in the past, and it seems as though they’ve calmed down just a touch, but they’re still meddling and at times, downright obnoxious, which makes for some really great tumultuous relationships and scenes between all involved. Even through all of that, I could still feel the love that’s there, just beneath the surface, and I imagine it’s wanting to make sure Mia makes the right choices and lives the best life possible, that propels this family to try their damndest to keep her on the straight and narrow.

With that comes the realization that Mia has given up so much of herself to stay in Kent. I feel as though Portia did a wonderful job of showcasing what it’s like when someone makes such a drastic change in their life. I could really relate and identify with what Mia is going through, and I imagine most of us can, because so many of us have been where she is, where we go a different route in life in order to make everyone else happy. In doing so, I felt as though she lost some of what makes her sparkle, and it’s so beautifully laid out in great detail. This lends into a lot of contention with Leo, who doesn’t seem to understand the sacrifices Mia has made for him and really, everyone else.

So, the question becomes, should Mia continue to sacrifice and quelch who she is, or should she bring back some of the sass and sparkle that makes her who she is, and at what cost? Will it damage what she has with Leo? As always, the prospective is always honest and real, and I felt like Mia is a flawed, believable character, along with the others who are in her circle. I could see a lot of growth within her, a maturing that helped make her a lot more relatable.

While this novel can be read as a stand alone just fine, I highly suggest reading Bad Bridesmaid, too. It was nice catching up with the entire cast of eclectic characters who ultimately make Mia who she is, even when she least suspects it.

Thanks to Portia Macintosh for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Portia Macintosh:

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