Hey bookies! March is celebrated as National Reading Month in honor of Dr. Seuss… however I won’t be celebrating him. As much as his books have been impactful in my life (I had a monthly subscription to them when I was younger courtesy of my mamaw that I lost when I was younger), I recognize the harm his words and actions have had on many people, especially people of color. He was a racist and many of his animal characters and people are stereotyped people of color. Even though he lived until 1991, he never apologized for his hateful words. He also cheated on his dying wife, who committed suicide due to his affair with a close friend. Due to these reasons I think we should be celebrating other books, diverse alternatives to Dr. Seuss. He’s not the only one who can rhyme and we should constantly be moving forward and including new releases in our TBR. So, without further ado, here’s some diverse alternatives to Dr. Seuss that you could read if you’re looking for Seuss-styled books:
Disclaimer: I received this e-book from the author for review. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: A Wedding Tail
Author: Casey Griffin
Book Series: A Rescue Dog Romance
Diversity: Japanese American MC and Japanese character
Recommended For…: romance, murder mystery, thriller
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
Genre: Romance Murder Mystery
Age Relevance: 18+ (murder, bullying, harassment, violence, gore, attempted murder, animal abandonment, romance, sexual content, death, grief, anxiety)
Explanation of Above: The book is a murder mystery, so there is some murder mentioned, an attempted murder shown, violence shown, and gore shown. There is also death mentioned and grief shown in the book. The book also shows some bullying and harassment towards the MC and there is one scene that shows animal abandonment at a shelter. The book is also a romance and shows romance and some sexual content, but the smut is fade to black for the most part. There is also mentions and showing of anxiety. I also want to note that I did have a note for “historical terms relating to Black people” and while I’m not 100% sure what I meant (I picked this book up off and on for 2 weeks), I believe it’s referring to some sort of old décor that was used at the first wedding shown in the book. The rest of the book does not mention those terms or any terms of offense that I know about currently, but if anyone sees some and it’s brought to my attention I will update this review to reflect that correction.
Publisher: Charming Frog Publishing
Synopsis: Wedding planner Zoe Plum will never risk love again. But when her latest meticulously organized event implodes, the dog-loving gal’s hopes for financial independence and the down payment on a house go up in smoke. And things only get worse when she’s forced to work with an overly laid-back wedding singer who just rolled out of bed.
Levi Dolson works hard to live up to his phony rock ’n’ roll charisma. So when he lands a gig that will put him side by side with the one woman who’s managed to resist his appeal, he vows to charm her into a sexy duet. And he certainly won’t stand by and watch her life snowball into a series of disasters, so he leaps at the chance to prove he’s better than advertised.
Dogged by inexplicable attempts on her life and a shadowy enemy, Zoe realizes Levi’s unwavering support is tempting her to end her six-year-long dry spell. But Levi’s persistence has its limits, and he’s prepared to hit the road if he can’t melt her heart.
Can the unlikely match drop their masks, survive the saboteur, and quench their own desires?
Review: Overall, I liked this book and I’m excited for the next one. I loved Zoe and I felt empathetic towards her plight. The romance was really well done and the character development was well done as well. I also really liked the wedding planner/rock band singer romance set-up and while it’s weird it worked really well. There are a lot of mentions of animals in the book as well, with most of the focus on dogs, and I loved seeing Zoe’s character development as she adopted and cared for Frankie. The world building was also well done and overall I really enjoyed this book.
However, if you’re going into this book looking for the sexual/smut content, this is not the book for you. The book focuses on the set up of the romance and the more emotional connection. The smut did not start until 76% into the book and, as my husband put it, “it’s like edging but in book form”.
Verdict: It was good!