Having really enjoyed The Donut Trap, I was so excited for The Stand-Up Groomsman and I adored it! Talk about character dynamics and laughs. This one deserves a round of applause and encore! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
They say to never meet your heroes, but when Vivian Liao’s roommate gets engaged to her favorite actor’s costar, she has no choice but to come face-to-face with Melvin Lee again. He’s just as funny and handsome as he is on-screen…but thinks she is a snob and a sellout. It’s none of his business how she chooses to live her life, no matter how charismatic he is.
Mel is used to charming audiences as an actor and stand-up comedian but can’t connect to Vivian. She’s a smart, talented artist–which is why he thinks she’s wasting her life as a corporate finance drone. The only thing uniting them is their goal for the wedding to go off without a hitch.
As they collaborate on wedding cake and karaoke parties, Mel realizes he might have seriously misjudged this bridesmaid, while Vivian discovers the best man might just be as dazzling off-screen as he is on. With the wedding underway, maybe more than one happily ever after is in the future.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: biphobia, sexism, racism
The Stand-Up Groomsman begins with tension and bad first impressions. With those people who for some reason, just say something that rubs the wrong way. We’ve got Mel who is a charming comedian who just wants to be seen for who he is off stage. And Vivian who has been hurt by love in the past and who can’t understand being like for who she is. While Vivian was more retalatble to me – just because I’m not struggling with reconciling two personas – Mel charmed my heart.
The dual POV narration in The Stand-Up Groomsman works brilliantly. It allows us to see the depths of the misconceptions and their own insecurities. We can be on both of their sides almost from the beginning as we are immersed in their own introspection. Not to mention their electric chemistry. All the ways in which they’d actually be perfect for each other if they could get past that first moment. So The Stand-Up Groomsman feels also like second chance romance wrapped into one.
How when we take the time to see beyond what we think, the images we have in our mind, we can see someone for who they are. To get a glimpse behind the mask. All the ways they are dealing with their own insecurities, doubts, and fears. But I think the most compelling emotional piece of The Stand-Up Groomsman was how easy it is to fall into wondering if something good can last. The fear of being hurt again, of knowing the pain of the end, that can doom something before it even begins. Our insecurity of wondering why someone would want to be with us.
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If you love characters who have to learn that they can be taken care of, of those who have to believe in their own worth, or in those who can’t believe someone for their words – this is for you. For me, it hit all the right emotional sweet spots and you have to read it. Find The Stand-Up Groomsman on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.