Book Review: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wireston

Dahlia Moss

Publisher: Redhook

Date of Publication: October 20, 2015

Dates Read: August 24th – September 20th, 2015


OK, I probably shouldn’t have taken money from a mysterious eccentric to solve a theft, given that I’m not a detective, and that I am sometimes outwitted by puzzles in children’s video games. I probably shouldn’t have stolen bags of trash from a potential murder suspect. Arguably– just arguably, mind you– it may have been unwise to cos-play at an event where I was likely to be shot at.

But sometimes you just have to take some chances, right? And maybe things do get a little unfortunate. What of it? If you ask me, an unfortunate decision here or there can change your life. In a positive way, just so long you don’t killed in the process. Admittedly, that’s the tricky bit.

Buy It From: Chapters | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Note: I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★★☆

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The last book I read that claimed to be for geek girls everywhere turned out to be anything but. On the other hand, Dahlia Moss – though definitely not a book for everyone – was a fun, quirky read, and would have been quick too had I not started school.

This book was written in the first person, from Dahlia’s perspective, and it included a lot of little rambles from her. I thought her descriptions were funny, and her asides were really adorable. Like I said, others might find them annoying, but I thought they were cute and really brought her character to life. I can’t imagine this book being written from another perspective, or without the rambles. I feel like it wouldn’t work as well without Dahlia’s voice. Is she perfect? No. There were a couple of things she said that I’m sure could have been worded better, but overall I liked her a lot.

As for the cast of characters, it was pretty big – if I’m being honest, maybe a little too big. There were a couple of times where I would forget who everyone was and how Dahlia knew them. This could also have been caused by my reading sessions being spread far apart, but it also could have been helped by a smaller cast. That being said, I’m glad there was at least a little diversity in there. Not as much as there probably could’ve/should’ve been, but at least there was some POC and LGBTQAI+ love.

Some of you may be happy to know that romance does not play a humongous role in this story. Yes, there is a bit of romance (as given away by the description), but it’s really treated more as a sub-plot.

The storyline itself is pretty cool, although not realistic at all. If you’re going into this thinking it’ll be true-to-life, then you’ll be slightly disappointed. It’s true that the only magic and fantastical creatures are found in-game (Zoth) and at the convention, but the events that occur seem a little too whimsical, too way out there to actually happen. But I guess that’s just Dahlia’s life, isn’t it?

Aside from that, I was hooked on the story from the first line, mostly thanks to Dahlia’s voice, and if it weren’t for school I probably would have finished this within a week. I liked that some of it took place in-game, and I know some people thought too much of it happened there, but I think the ratio was just fine. Nerdiness and quirkiness, above all, play a big role in this book, and I enjoyed it.

Overall: A cute, nerdy read to match the cover and the title.

This review was originally posted on my booklr on September 20th, 2015


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