Monday, March 22, 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Dress

It is always refreshing to read love stories that feature characters that are not always given their time in the spotlight. One such book is The Perfect Dress, which features a plus-size female lead along with a group of friends who are plus-sized as well. 

Credit: Montlake Romance

In this book by Carolyn Brown, Mitzi is one of the owners of the bridal dress shop called The Perfect Dress, along with her best friends Paula and Jody. The book tackles the stories of each of the girls from The Perfect Dress, not just Mitzi’s story. All the stories presented issues that ranged from failed relationships, parental issues, and struggles with their weight as plus-sized women. I loved that the stories shared here are more of adult issues as opposed to stories from most romance novels that tackle young adults who have different problems altogether. 

I thought that it was cute that the book was set in the south, where people say “y’all” and were all about “what would people think” and small-town gossip…I think that it is the kind of setting that fits well with people like me who live in a small town where the thinking of people are remarkably similar to that of the book. It made it all very relatable to me. 

As far as the stories of the characters are concerned, I thought that Mitzi and Graham’s story was cute. Being schoolmates who meet again as adults and fall for each other and the awkwardness of it all, especially since Mitzi has taken his twin daughters under her wing at the shop. 

Paula’s story about having a child with a man who was – for lack of a better word – a scumbag, was a little annoying in the sense that while she was being the bigger person and owning up to her responsibility, I felt that the guy deserved a little more than an almost break up with his wife for cheating. He got away with a lot and it was not fair. 

Jody’s story about ending a long relationship and ending up with someone else was nice, but I felt that it was rushed and did not show much about how it developed. I wish it were shared a little more since there was a lot about her previous relationship that was tackled. There was not much shared about Paula’s relationship, but it still got more later on than Jody’s did.  

It was a little off-putting that Paula and Jody were portrayed as having mothers who were so bad to them. Their mothers were very soap-opera mean and I thought they were a little too harsh, especially when you see that Paula has a sister who her mother seems to treat better. Is the author trying to say that mothers hate plus-sized daughters since Graham’s ex-wife is the same with their kids? I was very curious about that.

I loved that this book made their female characters strong and independent and that they placed an emphasis on how plus-sized women deserved their stories and yes, the perfect dress at their wedding. I just wish that the book did not keep talking about how the women were big like we need to constantly remember that fact. Other than that, I thought it was a nice, light-hearted book and is a quick read for anyone wanting to pass the time with that has a plus-size romance lead.

Lately, I have read books with Asian, Latino, and African American leads, now I have read one featuring plus-sized women. I think it is refreshing to find that there are now books that place other women other than the single skinny white woman as the lead character. I look forward to more of these. If you have any recommendations, I would love to learn about them!


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