You know that part in a wedding ceremony when the officiant asks if there are any objections? In The Wedding Crasher, that’s when the fun—and the chaos—begins. While assisting her wedding-planner cousin Lina, Solange Perreira witnesses the bride in a moment of passion with a man who clearly isn’t the groom. Despite some natural trepidation, Solange feels compelled to stop this marital train wreck.
Dean Chapman, the jilted and romance-skeptical groom, is less heartbroken by his wedding going down in flames than he is worried about his professional prospects. He works at a conservative law firm that thinks only family men are partner material. To save face, he says that Solange ruined his wedding because they’re in love. Conveniently for him, Solange is willing to play along. A temporary boyfriend would come in handy to impress her visiting family, who won’t be satisfied with her single status regardless of her meaningful and innovative career in education.
The follow-up to Sosa’s breakout rom-com The Worst Best Man, The Wedding Crasher is a winner—thoroughly delightful, modern and fun. The romance naturally flows from the close proximity that’s part and parcel of a fake relationship. And while the scenario is fun, Sosa’s novel is also thoughtful and emotionally resonant, in large part due to its two distinctive main characters and their sparky chemistry. Dean and Solange aren’t looking for true love, and both are battling other people’s restrictive ideas of what a successful life looks like. And most importantly, they’re heavily influenced by their childhoods, both spent with single moms.
When Dean was a child, his mother moved them around from place to place, chasing love and finding bad men and disappointing relationships time and again. Those formative experiences led him to conclude that love is dangerous and destabilizing. He wants a stable home, marriage and a family yet avoids romance, preferring relationships that are structured like business arrangements.
Solange, on the other hand, grew up surrounded by the love of her supportive Brazilian American family. But she’s terrified of making an important life or career choice and having it turn out to be the wrong one, and equally terrified of staying or working in one place for years like her mother did. In contrast to Dean’s story, the origins of Solange’s angst aren’t quite as clear. Why does she think that her mother has made such an enormous mistake? While the emotions come through loud and clear, the reasoning behind them is frustratingly fuzzy.
Ultimately, however, this doesn’t preclude The Wedding Crasher from delivering what readers want most in a romantic comedy. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, tartly sweet and scorching hot—a delicate balance that only a writer of Sosa’s considerable talent can strike.