Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg


If you had polled seven-year-old Nenia and asked what her two favorite things were, she probably would have told you "dinosaurs and cake." So obviously I wasn't about to pass up on a romance novel that features a baker heroine and a paleontologist hero. Especially not with that fossil cake cover that looks straight out of Neopets. Chandra Blumberg clearly wrote this book trying to appeal to all of our inner children... and it WORKED.

That said, after she made the sale... I found this book kind of bland. Initially, I was really surprised by all the mixed reviews because I thought the set-up was great, the food porn was A-MAZING, and I liked that both leads felt parental pressure about their careers. There's a lot of bias when it comes to what a "proper" adult job looks like, and I think people's perspectives on that are still shifting. I also loved that the heroine is biracial and the hero is Black and how their races were both addressed, referenced by other characters, and a part of their identity, but also weren't the total focus of who they were.

Where this book failed for me was the very blatant fan service and pandering, which got old after a while, and so did the conspicuously small town folksy vibes. I know a lot of people love small town romance, but that shit just feels so toxic to me. Part of this is that I'm just not the right audience for this particular book, I think. This feels like a book that was written to cater to BookTok, also. And I think that's a danger of trope-heavy books: sometimes the book becomes more about the tropes than the characters themselves. I'm really torn on how to rate this because the things it did well, it did REALLY well, but the last two acts were such a drag that I just can't really bring myself to round up. I'm sorry.

2 to 2.5 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.