Book Review: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa Book Review Features A Quick Synopsis, Plot Overview, Common Themes, Opinions, And Rating

Quick Summary:

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa is about Lina Santos, a Brazilian American wedding planner who had an unexpected outcome on her own wedding day. Her fiance, Andrew, ends up disappearing on their wedding day with only a text sent to his brother, Max, leaving him to break the news to Lina. 

The events in the story happen some time after Lina is left at the altar. She broke contact with Andrew after the wedding and hadn’t heard from or seen him or Max since. Instead, she focused on moving on with her life and on her wedding planning business. 

Plot Overview:

The story begins unfolding after this information is revealed in the prologue, where Lina is presented with an opportunity to work as a hotel wedding planner for The Cartwright Group, led by Rebecca Cartwright, who she meets at one of her clients’ weddings. Rebecca informs her that she would be competing with another wedding planner, where they’d both have to deliver pitches of why they’re the best fit for the Cartwright position. This on its own doesn’t sound crazy, or that something could go wrong, until Rebecca announces that the wedding planners will be paired with the communications agency she’s hired. Again, nothing crazy, except the execs from the communications agency, Atlas Communications, are none other than Andrew and Max.
In a state of panic, Lina pretends to not know Andrew and Max when they meet in front of Rebecca. They both play along, and Max ends up working with Lina on her pitch. Ideal, given the fact that Lina and Andrew have history. There’s tension here because Lina is holding a grudge against Max for ruining her wedding day. They struggle to work through their issues initially, but Lina soon sees how different Max is from what she had with Andrew, and from what she thought she needed in a partner.

Common Themes + Opinions:

One of the major themes that runs throughout the story is emotions. We learn early on in the story that Lina has chosen to not show any sort of emotion in her work as a wedding planner, due to an emotional outburst at work which resulted in her losing her old job. Both a blessing and a curse because this event led her to forming her wedding planning business. She echoes the sentiment that women, especially Black/Latine/women of color, aren’t allowed to show emotion in professional settings (or at all to be honest) – especially male dominated fields – or otherwise they’ll be perceived as weak, incapable, irrational, etc. Due to this, she’s built a wall around herself to stop from experiencing any kind of emotion in her job. This too becomes her blessing and her curse because this helps her focus on making sure the weddings she plans go off without a hitch, but at the same time, can come off as cold and impersonal to her clients. Not that anyone would expect her to jump for joy or cry tears of joy at every wedding, but lack of emotion in the middle of such an important life event for many is noticeable.
As a Latine woman myself, I can identify with this and understand why Lina carries herself the way she does. Working in a predominantly white, male profession in corporate America, you quickly notice the nuances and why certain people are allowed to behave a certain way. Where it’s common to hear women crying in bathroom stalls to avoid looks of judgment from their bosses or others, or have women putting each other down to gain acceptance into an otherwise boys club. It’s disheartening and prevents us from showing up as our authentic selves. I can see why Lina chooses to do this but what happens is that she ends up bottling all her emotions, causing an emotional explosion every time she allows herself to emote. She feels exposed and admits that she’s not used to sharing that level of vulnerability with anyone outside her family – up until Max.
The second theme we see is sibling rivalry. Max and Andrew both work at their mother’s communications firm, Atlas Communications. Previously, they worked in separate states but later joined their mom’s firm. We learn throughout the story that Max and Andrew are not as close as siblings as you’d expect. They spent their entire life competing against each other where neither of them were able to become their own person. One sibling was always used as a measure of success for the other; a proverbial yardstick. For Max, this pitch with Lina signifies his chance to break out of Andrew’s shadow and lead his own path. Though it might not seem that way given that Andrew and Max are literally competing against each other for this pitch, we see that throughout the story Max is trying to do this honestly and in his own way – which can’t be said for Andrew. Max shares this vulnerability with Lina – something she didn’t expect to see from him – which helped her humanize him and realize that emotions aren’t all bad after all. 

Final Thoughts + Ratings:

Things heat up, and Lina and Max are hit with a few roadblocks and even a tiny bit of a plot twist before they get their happily ever after. I will say, I found myself getting frustrated with Lina’s aloofness towards Max at first, even after he extended several olive branches to her to help them work better together. Though the few sexy scenes are spicy enough to make you want to keep reading! Overall, I give this one four stars, and three peppers for the spice.
Have you read The Worst Best Man? Let me know in the comments!
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