Monday, June 5, 2023

How to Find Love When You're Weird by Camilla Evergreen: Book Review


 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

I am a perfectly functional adult.

So why is it so hard to get a date? When my father decided last year that I wouldn’t receive my inheritance until I am in a stable relationship, I let the ever-important deadline slip through the cracks.

Why bother dating, when I can read, right? Wrong.

Now, I have less than two months to find love if I’m going to inherit my cottage home, and even with a stack of self-help books a mile high, things are not looking good. The only man who’s graced me with more than five minutes of his attention is a giant tattooed bar owner.

Sure, he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. And, sure, he keeps appearing in my life. And…sure…when we enter into a fake/practice dating collaboration, it seems an awful lot like the start of a rom-com, but there’s no way our little stint turns into anything else.

I absolutely refuse to date anyone who drinks. He may be the gentlest grump now, but I know what alcohol does to people, and I am not looking for someone I think I can trust to hurt me again.

No matter what, follow point #1 on my outline: Do NOT fall in love.

How to Find Love When You’re Weird is a grumpy/sunshine satirical romance with a neurodivergent lead on the road to self-acceptance. Each book in this series has sensual description that is ultimately closed door/fade to black, minimal cursing if any at all, and a swoon-worthy love story. Please reference the reader expectations after the title page for specific details.

Camilla Evergreen is an alias of USA Today bestselling author Anne Stryker. Originally intended as a dumping ground for all things lacking fantasy, Camilla/Anne came to the shocking discovery that writing sarcastic, chaotic romcoms full of quippy heroines and adoring heroes has a kick to it.

Camilla/Anne’s neurodivergent tendencies leave her hyperfocused on writing sweet and sassy romances from dawn till dusk and lending whatever her current creative obsessions are to her characters. From arranged marriages to falling for the boss, there’s lots of love to go around.

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If you were to take a peek at my reading history lately, one thing would be very clear: I love Rom-coms! Like seriously, LOVE them. There's something about the trope-iness of it all--- it's fun to see how authors put their own unique spins on things, while also having a sense of predictability and familiarity that is comforting to me. And the thing that I adore about Camilla Evergreen's How To Rom-Com series is how she leans into those things, even pokes fun at them a little bit in a way that is unique and fun. Add in characters that aren't always like those in your typical love story with their unique interests and personality traits, and it's really hard not to fall for these books. 

The newest book in the series- How to Find Love When You're Weird- is such the perfect example of that. The lead in this story- Ellen- is neurodivergent... but that's not actually outright stated in the story itself, nor is any actual specific diagnosis talked about. It's mentioned in the description and in the author's note, but not in the story in so many words. And I absolutely loved this--- because it allowed Ellen to just be Ellen with no need to discuss why she was unique. I actually saw a lot of my socially awkward, extremely socially anxious self in this character. I also saw a lot of my autistic son. I am sure many other readers who have their own varieties of weirdness might find ways to relate to her in some ways too. And Hayes? Well, he is just the sweetest gentle giant ever! I absolutely adore their relationship. 

While it might be unexpected in a Rom-Com, I must admit that this one brought me to tears a few times too. Yes, the humor is there of course- but it takes on some serious moments too. And when Ellen 'talks' about her loneliness and difficulties in making and maintaining friendships? Boy, did I 100% feel that!! 

As much as I enjoy this series, I will say they may not be for everyone. As such, I highly suggest reading the author's note before each book which gives a great breakdown of what to expect in each book--to include any triggers, swearing, etc. This one actually had me a little nervous before starting because it mentioned there was a lot of cursing. And there was-Hayes curses like a Marine (being married to one, I can confirm, that's worse than a sailor.)... but it's almost all off the page. While very few minor curses are actually spelled out, for the most part, it literally just says that he curses... you could probably figure out the words he's saying based on context, but it's not actually written out and I personally appreciated that! 

Overall, this was a great read. If you love a good rom-com and appreciate characters who don't quite fit the typical heroine mold, this book (and series) are certainly worth checking out. 


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