Blake, Ashley Herring. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. Berkley Press. 2022. $16.00. PB. 384 p. 9780593336403.
Delilah Green is going to be the photographer at her posh stepsister Astrid’s wedding (and all of the pre-wedding preparation) only because of the check she expects to see at the end of the two weeks. Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s two bridesmaids, isn’t much looking forward to this wedding either, but mostly because she thinks Astrid’s future husband is a douche, and she has some experience with douches – the father of her 11 year old daughter, for example. Astrid has avoided getting Claire’s opinion, and has never wanted Delilah’s. But Delilah and Claire seem to have plenty to say to each other, perhaps including a way to stop this wedding.
If this were a movie it would be a romantic comedy (something between Sweet Home Alabama and Parent Trap), but as it’s a novel it’s a romance, and a very engaging one from start to finish. All of the characters are snarky and sweet, flawed and fearful, and the motivations for their actions all seem to line up with what you’d expect from them (if you were part of their friend-group, which it immediately feels as though you are.) The strength of this romance lies not only in the chemistry and rapport between Delilah and Claire, but their sometimes fraught relationships with the other people in their lives: Delilah with a stepsister she never felt wanted her around, Claire with a daughter who seems to drift towards her irresponsible ex and his disregard for rules.
Yes – it’s a romance, and a forbidden one at that since Astrid would never approve, let alone during her wedding, but this romance more than others I’ve read (and disclaimer: I haven’t read many, but they seem to adhere to a certain logic) lets us dwell in the sweet moments of the romance throughout the novel, rather than building tension towards a climax near the end. As much as this is about romance, it is also about a relationship, and relationships require more than romance.
This is a good read for fans of Casey McQuiston and Alyssa Cole (which is everyone, right?), or those who enjoy romance novels in general but wish there was a better balance of romance, eroticism, and reality.
Nadia M Orozco-Sahi, MLIS