Review of Love & Other Disasters

Book:  Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Source: I received a copy from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher: Forever

Release Date: January 18th, 2022

Pages: 384


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From the moment I heard about this book when its cover was revealed, I was excited to read it! I am therefore so grateful to have received an early copy and to have had a chance to read and promote this book. I have read many romances over the years, but none that followed a non-binary lead and I couldn’t wait to see what I thought about this book. All that being said, after reading the book itself my feelings are a bit more mixed, so I’m glad that I have this review to work out all my thoughts.

GIF by Kim's Convenience

Love & Other Disasters follows Dahlia and London as they both enter a culinary TV competition. Dahlia is recently divorced and she discovered her love of cooking while her marriage was failing. London on the other hand has always loved to cook and they are excited to be out as a non-binary contestant, with hopes to win the competition and use the prize money to help LGBTQ+ kids in their hometown. These two meet on set and have a whirlwind romance that is only marred by the knowledge that at some point this competition will abruptly tear these two apart.

To start with, I really enjoyed watching the relationship form between Dahlia and London. Their initial meeting and subsequent interactions were so much fun to read about. You watch these two strangers slowly bond over little things and it was easy to see how a romance could bloom between them.

I also really appreciated the support systems that these two had with their families. Dahlia has her older brother Hank who she knows she can reach out to at any moment, while London has their twin sister, Julie. Even though Dahlia and London each have frayed relationships with specific other family members, the fact that families played such a big role just made me happy.

Season 2 Cheers GIF by Pose FX

As for the actual cooking competition, I loved it so much that I actually wish we had more of it. The competition was used more as a backdrop for the relationship, rather than an integral piece of how their romance evolved, and that frustrated me. I felt as though we didn’t get enough of Dahlia and London’s interactions on set, and I wish that we had gotten more of each of their fears and worries about each challenge, rather than most of the elements related to the show having some romantic lens as well.

In fact, I wish that there was a little bit more to this book besides just the romance. These two get together relatively quickly, and from there on I felt the book was lacking in some ways. These two spent so much time talking to and spending time with one another, yet it rarely felt like they were communicating anything of worth. It frustrated me to see certain topics avoided, which led me to having very little sympathy when those topics became a source of conflict later on. I would even have traded a steamy scene or two for some more raw and difficult conversations .The two had so much time and no real reason NOT to discuss these matters. So why didn’t they?

3.5 Stars

In the end I had to give this book 3.5 stars. I really appreciated the representation, and the familial aspects. I loved when we got some resolution with specific family members at the very end, and how things ended up, but for the majority of the book I really was just wanting more. More communication, more of the competition, and more of the other contestants. However, since I know that these are all personal preferences, I’m really hoping that this book will resonate with so many others in a way it just didn’t with me.

Which book did you wish you loved more? Is there a book out there that you thought had great familial relationships? What sort of competitions do you love watching?

7 thoughts on “Review of Love & Other Disasters

  1. I was excited about this book because of the good representation and also food but reading your review, I understand why you didn’t rate it higher. I’m sure I’ll be reading more reviews where people loved the book but it’s really the little things that impact how people rate as we all have our own preference on how a book should develop. My biggest problem in romances is one the couple don’t communicate enough so I can see it potentially being an issue for me. But I’m still excited to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was excited for this book for those very same reasons, and it really makes me quite sad that I didn’t love it more! Honestly, I’m hoping that people love this book, because I really want it to succeed, but like you said, for my personal preferences, this book just did not work!

      I’m so glad that you’re still excited to read this book and I hope that the lack of communication doesn’t bother you in the slightest!

      Like

  2. My first book of the year was The Wolf and the Woodsman and I sadly didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I was pretty ready to love it! I’ve seen a few ratings/reviews for this book, which is one of my most anticipated romances this year, and I’m getting kinda nervous cos a lot of people have shared the same sentiment as you! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was my first book of the year as well, and I really wish I had loved it more. I’m sorry that you had a similar experience! Interestingly, I’ve mostly seen positive things for this book, so it’s interesting to hear that you’ve been seeing mixed reviews. I guess it’s still a relatively new release, so as time goes on, I expect I’ll see more mixed reviews as well!

      Thank you! I’m glad you found this review useful, even if it did make you a bit nervous about one of you most anticipated romances!

      Like

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