It's quite Unfortunate for the Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

Title:  The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss
Author:  Max Wirestone
Publisher:  Redhook Books
Release Date:  October 20, 2015


For fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, or anyone who has ever geeked out about something.

The odds of Dahlia successfully navigating adulthood are 3,720 to 1. But never tell her the odds.

Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the St. Louis area. Unemployed broke, and on her last bowl of ramen, she's not living her best life. But that's all about to change.

Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she's offered a job. A job that she's woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?).

Turns out unfortunate decisions abound, and she's just the girl to deal with them.

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OK. It really is quite unfortunate. This really had all the markings for a fun and delightful read, a character reminiscent of an American Bridget Jones, a mystery to be solved by a non-detective (image of Veronica Mars pops up) and throw in some geeky fun (think Big Bang Theory).  How aptly or coincidentally named is this title? It's simply unfortunate that I don't get it. I wasn't able to connect with this story, which I find a tad bit odd, given all the great possibilities it possess.  It was painful to continue, but I kept hoping there was a chance that it will get better. With about 20 pages left, I realize it won't, at least for me.  "Why?" I spent a lot of time thinking why don't I like it? And the answer lies with each of these characters. None of these characters developed and none of them have the kind of depth that jumps out of the page and into your hearts or your minds. Even the "villain" of the story doesn't evoke any emotion from me, let alone the main character, Dahlia.  There are some comical situations, but they are brought on so abruptly that you realize it's simply one-liners to purposefully induce some type of reaction from the reader. It doesn't connect - at all.  As to the plot, a mystery that interchange between a digital world and the real world seems all the rage now, but again, the connection to progression of the plot and the characters are lacking.  The author is imaginative and the idea of The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss does grasps readers' attention.  This ARC copy needs additional proofreading and editing, but other than that, the author's writing is decent.  I just wished I'd enjoyed it, possibly because I had higher expectations based on the synopsis.   

I struggled with posting this review, since this might literally be the worst rating I've given a book.  However, after some time, I've decided that my goal with this blog is to share my thoughts, mainly on books I've read. If I can't even be honest on my blog, what good is having one?  

NOTE:  I received a complimentary digital ARC copy from the publisher, through NetGalley for an honest review. 


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Max Wirestone is a librarian in a small New Hampshire town. He lives in New England with his editor-husband and his non-editor son. Find him @maxwires



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