Book Review: Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

  Love and Other Disasters  by Anita Kelly Genre:  Queer romance Synopsis:   Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia ...


Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Genre: Queer romance

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she's focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Divorce, transphobia, body shame

Overall rating:  ★★★★★

It’s not often that I read a book that I never want to end. In fact, I usually find myself checking to see how long I have left. But Love and Other Disasters was one of those books that I loved so fully that I wanted to keep reading it forever.

I don’t watch baking shows, or reality tv really, but the setting for this story was so adorably perfect. I loved the way that different characters had different things they were good at, and I think there’s something so sweet about a romance budding over cooking together.

I’ve read romantic stories with nonbinary characters but they were YA. This was the first book I read with any type of genderqueer love interest that was an adult romance with steamy sex scenes, and I really enjoyed the representation. I can’t imagine how important this must feel for nonbinary folks to have this type of story in the mainstream.

"And that was comforting too. That each person could choose what brought them closer to belonging, the power in that. Knowing that one day, people might discover even better words for it. That there was only ever freedom in continuing to find new names for who we were, who we could be."

This book is incredibly lovely, with lots of feel-good moments, but also a lot of tough situations especially dealing with the non-acceptance of pronouns and identity by family members.

I loved London and Dahlia, and loved this book.

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