Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Length: 336 pages
Published: October 2018

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory was December's light and fun pick by my new book club Planner Girls Read Too. This is the second book written by Guillory, preceded by The Wedding Date. Many readers seem to think The Wedding Date is prerequisite reading for The Proposal. I've only read The Proposal, but it sounds like Ms. Guillory simply recycles some characters within her books (Her third book, The Wedding Party, will debut in 2019 and will feature some secondary characters from The Proposal.) 

I preface this review with some pertinent information: The Proposal is chick lit. It's meant to be read for entertainment — an escape from reality. There are several steamy sex scenes as well as a generous amount of colorful language. If this is not your cup of tea, you may want to pass it up. However, if you're looking for a quick, fun read over the holidays or even on summer vacay, The Proposal fits the bill. 

The story begins with a very public proposal to the book's protagonist, Nikole (Nik), by her superficial actor boyfriend of five months. Not to be bullied into saying yes, even though she has to answer in front of 45,000 people, Nik does the right thing and says no. In swoops Carlos (from The Wedding Date) and his sister, Angela to save her from the unwanted publicity. The three of them make fast friends, and Carlos becomes Nik's new romantic interest of the "rebound" type. A mix of friendship, food, and frequent sex all become factors in the lines being blurred for these two. 

I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of this book. I finished it in just a few days. I like the diversity among the characters in the book. I didn't feel like anyone was put in a stereotypical box with respect to race, gender, culture, etc. I found it nice to read a book that features people of color without race or ethnicity being the primary issue of the book. We need more books like this. I wasn't a fan of the language or sex scenes. At times, I felt the author got dangerously close to over-sexualizing Nik. Some of the other scenes in the book were a little unrealistic (like the scene where Nik encounters her ex-boyfriend). But then other parts of the book were quite relatable (like when Nik re-evaluates her motives for dating the men she has in the past.) There are a few life lessons in the book that are served up without beating the reader over the head with them. 

I had a lot of fun with this book. It made me laugh, and despite being chick lit, it made me think. I closed the book with a soft smile on my face. This is an enjoyable story for readers who appreciate matters of the heart.

Recommendation: I like to read light material as the year comes to a close to keep myself upbeat and my spirits high during the holiday season. This selection was a perfect fit for those tasks. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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