Review by Gabrielle

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“Big Aunt, Second Aunt, Ma and Fourth Aunt are all decked out in the most blinged-out, most aggressively purple dresses I have ever laid eyes on. Ever. How do I describe the particular shade of purple? It’s as if flamingo pink and electric blue had a baby and then that baby snorted a line of coke and proceeded to punch you in the face. It is a lot of purple.”

Buckle up for another wild adventure with Meddy and her hilarious Aunties in this delightful sequel to Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto.

Meddy Chan has been to countless weddings, but she never imagined how her own would turn out. Now the day has arrived, and she can’t wait to marry her college sweetheart, Nathan. Instead of having Ma and the aunts cater to her wedding, Meddy wants them to enjoy the day as guests. As a compromise, they find the perfect wedding vendors: a Chinese-Indonesian family-run company just like theirs. Meddy is hesitant at first, but she hits it off right away with the wedding photographer, Staphanie, who reminds Meddy of herself, down to the unfortunately misspelled name.

Meddy realizes that is where their similarities end, however, when she overhears Staphanie talking about taking out a target. Horrified, Meddy can’t believe Staphanie and her family aren’t just like her own, they are The Family—actual mafia, and they’re using Meddy’s wedding as a chance to conduct shady business. Her aunties and mother won’t let Meddy’s wedding ceremony become a murder scene—over their dead bodies—and will do whatever it takes to save her special day, even if it means taking on the mafia.

I loved the fast pacing of this book. I could not put it down and read the whole thing through in one sitting. Now this story is less of a romance and more of a lighthearted thriller. There is no development of a relationship story arc between two characters as there was in the last book where Meddy reunites with Nathan. Still, there are some lovely romance elements as we see Nathan and Meddy plan for their wedding and how their relationship continues to develop. The pair are just so darn sweet but not over the top. The way they relate to each other definitely makes for some swoon-worthy moments. 

If you love wedding or party planning, you will love all the details included in this book. From the fashion to the food to the flowers, Meddy and Nathan’s wedding at Christchurch College in Oxford is a thing of many brides’ dreams and Jesse does a great job of capturing all the details.

While my family is not at all like Meddy’s or even Nathan’s families, once again, I could relate to the strong family theme running throughout the book. In her introductory note, author Jesse explains the differences between her real-life family and her husband’s family as the inspiration for Meddy and Nathan’s families. Whether you are Asian or not, or come from a huge family, or have created your own found family, the truths here about the importance of the people we call family will resonate. They certainly resonated for me.

Speaking of Meddy’s family, prepare yourself for more hilarious hijinks from the Aunties. If you loved the first book, you will love this one even more. The Aunties are in perfect form in this one from their matching purple dresses topped with komodo dragon fascinators to purposefully drinking drug-spiked punch, I guarantee they will have you in stitches. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where they show off the British slang they learned to impress Nathan’s conservative parents. I nearly choked with laughter when they kept describing everything as “dog’s bollocks”.

You can’t go wrong with this book. Although it does stand alone, I do recommend reading Dial A For Aunties first to take advantage of the backstory and all the awesomeness that is Meddy and her Aunties.

Thank you, Berkeley Publishing Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.