Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Recently, I saw on Instagram that Reese Witherspoon does a book club where she recommends one book a month to read. After looking back at some of her previous picks (One Day in December, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Little Fires Everywhere are among them), I decided to start following her suggestions. The Proposal is the January 2019 pick, and I couldn’t be happier to start my book club experience with a self described romantic comedy book. While The Proposal is nothing groundbreaking, it is a fun and light read with a strong female lead.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

The two things that really set The Proposal apart is its strong female lead and realistic romance plot. The plot just felt realistic – there weren’t any absurd grand gestures, the chemistry between characters was organic, and Nikole didn’t spend every waking minute thinking about Carlos or being with Carlos. While the plot did evenly balance the focus between Nikole’s job, her friends, and her relationship with Carlos: it was very predictable. It’s a story that has been told a million times before in this genre: guy and girl start off in a casual relationship, someone develops feelings and wants to take it to the next level. Nothing new, but the well rounded-ness of the characters and the subplots outside of Nikole and Carlos’ relationship are what redeem this book. Particularly,  really enjoyed the subplot with the self defense classes that Nikole and her best friends took. It was a realistic response to receiving threats from an ex and it was also a good way to show and define the dynamic and characteristics of Nikole and her best friends.

I really liked Nikole and how strong of a character she is. She’s a strong, career driven woman who knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to say it. She was never lost in her relationship with Carlos – she kept her focus on her career and had a life outside of her blooming relationship with him. Carlos was also a great character – I loved unraveling his backstory and learning how he came to be the man he was. The chemistry between Nikole and Carlos was palpable – it never felt forced and it was a joy to read. Nikole’s friends were also fun characters, they had their own subplots and didn’t just feel like props in Nikole’s life. In fact, I would love to read a book focused on either of them.

Overall, I don’t think The Proposal has a lot of re-read-ability, but it is a enjoyable and quick read. It’s nothing revolutionary in its genre, but the details of its execution (interesting and well developed characters and a realistic plot) save it from being a forgettable story. I would give this 4/5.

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  1. I have been seeing this one everywhere and in lots of book clubs. I will be getting to it as well.

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