Disclosure: I received an e-ARC of this title supplied by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
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.
Max Wirestone may just be the king of quirky, unique one-liners. Seriously, there was not a point that I wasn’t laughing while reading this book. I either 100% understood the references being made, which had me quietly snickering to myself in self-satisfaction or I was full blown, shamelessly guffawing in public, which I’ve been told actually sounds more like maniacal cackling. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Sorry, I’m not sorry, this book was Drop Dead Fred hilarious.
I don’t usually read within the humor genre, for no real reason tbh, but doing so was a real lesson in how to use strong character voice to ensnare the reader because from just the first few pages I was hooked.
“At this point I regarded job interviews less as a means to get a job, and more as a ritualistic process of destroying the ego, they way some religions believe suffering brings you closer to God.”
This book is filled with killer characters that have authentic nerdy voices that I could absolutely relate to. Their characterization was outstanding, I felt like I knew each and every single one of them. They’re like the best friends I never had/do totally have but we live so far away from each other I pitifully substitute them with fictional characters in books.
“My relationship with boys ought to be more like Charice’s – things that just happen around you. Instead, I brood over them and relive conversations and basically reengineer myself into an awkward pouting mess. Because clearly, that’s what fellas want.”
Dahila was one of those wonderfully transparent characters that really speaks her mind, at least in her inner thoughts. She has this very honest quality that I love and couldn’t help feeling an instant connection with.
“I’m the woman that made you recount a ceramic death star filled with pennies. Don’t pretend we don’t have a past.”
Between rolling on the floor laughing and trying to figure out ‘who-dunnit’, this book moved along at the perfect pace. The comedy really highlighted the adventure/mystery of the plot and made every aspect of this story that much more endearing and relatable. Sign me up for the next book that claims to be for fans of New Girl and Scot Pilgrim because I’m definitely a fan.
“Visiting the Broken Sickle Bar as a level-one character was a little like a four-year-old visiting the top of Mount Everest. Good luck with that.”
The plot hinged on all the geekery, which is completely fine by me. Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t get all the references so I was only slightly ‘lost’ when the Zoth world was being explained but it wasn’t like a big deal, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment in anyway. This book is made for video game loving nerds, so if you’re tracking with that, this should be on your TBR stat!
Did I love Dahlia Moss? Yes, yes I did. Am I super excited for Max to finish writing The Astonishing Mistakes of Dahlia Moss, which should be out sometime next year? Yes, yes I am.
Cheers to me stepping out of the YA Fantasy genre for once and being thoroughly rewarded!