Book Review

Bad Luck Bridesmaid

Bad Luck Bridesmaid

  • Author: Alison Rose Greenberg
  • Genre: Romance
  • Publication Date: January 11, 2022
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: infertility 

Ten years, three empire-waist dresses, and ZERO brides have walked down the aisle.

After strike three, Zoey Marks is left wondering if her own ambivalence toward marriage has rubbed off on those she loves. And when her building distrust of matrimony culminates in turning down a proposal from her perfect all-American boyfriend, Rylan Harper III, she and Rylan are both left heartbroken, leaving Zoey to wonder: What is it exactly about tying the knot that makes her want to run in the opposite direction?

Enter Hannah Green: Zoey’s best friend, who announces that she’s marrying a guy she just met (cue eye roll). At a castle. In gorgeous, romantic Ireland, where Rylan will be in attendance, and Zoey will be a bridesmaid. It’ll be fine.

Okay, the woman definition of fine (NOT FINE).

Determined to turn her luck around, Zoey accepts her role and vows to get Hannah down the aisle—all the while praying her best friend’s wedded bliss will allow her to embrace marriage and get Rylan back. 

But as the weekend goes on, Zoey is plagued with more questions than answers. Can you be a free spirit, yet still want a certain future? Can you have love and be loved on your terms? And how DO you wrangle a bossy falcon into doing your bidding?

Whip-smart, heartfelt, and joyful, Bad Luck Bridesmaid is a celebration of complicated women and a power anthem to live your truth.

I had the hard copy of this book checked out from the library, but I wound up listening to the audiobook. Sarah Naughton was the perfect narrator for this, and for the most part, I enjoyed a lot of this book.

I absolutely loved Zoey’s character. She’s tough, smart, motivated, successful, and confident as hell. She’s a great friend, and I loved the majority of her music (with the exception of Taylor Swift … please don’t hate me but I’m a 90s girl). And she’s proudly Jewish, which is fabulous to see becoming more mainstream in books. But her biggest flaw is that she is marriage-averse, even though her boyfriend is pretty much Gods gift to the world. He’s smart, sweet, and sexy as hell. And he gets Zoey in a way that most guys don’t seem to.

Her feelings towards marriage are further backed up by the fact that she’s been a bridesmaid in three weddings that didn’t actually result in a wedding. There’s plenty of background, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, it was a bit slow-moving at first. I enjoyed the humor threaded throughout the story, and found myself kind of wishing I could become friends with Zoey, because she seems really fun and the definition of women’s empowerment. 

With her negative view of marriage, and her experience with three failed weddings, she now views herself as the bad luck bridesmaid. I was able to understand her wish to avoid being tied down by marriage, but when it cost her the relationship of her dreams, it was frustrating for me to read. Zoey’s inner monologue got a bit repetitive at times, and a huge part of me just wanted to reach into the pages and shake her.

More importantly, what really kept me invested in this story was her relationships with her female friends. She is a great friend and has surrounded herself with great women, and I loved to see how they interacted with each other. It’s very much a girl power story, and Greenberg did a great job of writing well-rounded characters with amazing strengths and devastating flaws. 

While I didn’t necessarily agree with Zoey’s decisions throughout the story, I found her to be a very relatable character. And I couldn’t help but laugh at her insistence that an Irish potato pancake (boxty) was indeed a latke. This is such a funny story, full of human nature and individual struggles that the characters get through with the help of their friends, that I couldn’t help but enjoy it.

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