The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

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Number one of a series by Max Wirestone. It made me laugh and surprised me, but I’m not in love with it.

The word “unfortunate” caught my eye because I walked into Half Price Books looking to complete my “unfortunate” series. And then I saw the D20 die. That’s when I picked it up and found the back of the book to be pretty funny, and it was all too relate-able.

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“Salary Desired: Desperately, yes.”

You read the back of the book in the photo above. It’s a quirky mystery novel. Dahlia Moss has an in-game mystery and a real-life mystery to solve. It immediately reminded me of The Guild with Felicia Day (on Netflix, for now- go watch it!).

This is an easy on-the-go book. I don’t know the genre of this book because I found it on display surrounded by other Mother’s Day themed books and goodies, but it reads a lot like a young adult novel (probably mature young adult; the F bomb is dropped and sex is implied).

I have mixed feelings about this novel. My overall judgement is that I enjoyed reading it, but I wouldn’t necessarily say, “You absolutely have to read this!” I enjoyed it because I have a lot of gamer friends, so I got a lot of the jokes and references she made, and they made me laugh. On the downside, if you know nothing about gaming in any form, it can go over your head, and there’s a lot of it.

The character, Dahlia Moss was not as relate-able as I would have liked. Yes, she’s broke, but she’s lucky enough to have a friend to let her live with her rent-free who also knows people who have thousands of dollars to hand out to strangers? Okay, so having a generous friend is not that unlikely, but this roommate is also swimming in money and blowing it on schemes that characters on Disney Channel would pull. Dahlia Moss gets unrealistically lucky. Her generous roommate is also made to be too out there to relate. She’s a funny character and I liked her, but it was too much for me to believe. There wasn’t much back story as to why these two were the way they were or how they clicked so well as friends. I wish there was more to it.

I spotted more than a few typos (is editing a job anymore?), specifically missing words like “the” or “a,” so I filled in the blanks and moved on. This isn’t anything against the author because I can understand being your own editor; that’s why I wonder if Mr. Wirestone had an editor or if editors even exist anymore.

The story took a crazy turn though, and my ears perked up like my chihuahua mix when she hears the rustling of plastic. Good crazy stuff. The motivation, to me, was a little shaky though.

Half way through the book, I joined Goodreads and found that it is #1 of a trilogy. See what I mean when I say I get myself trapped in series a lot (see homepage)? After having finished this book, I’m thinking it’s not a sequential trilogy but more of a “same character, same universe, different story.” I can’t decide if I want to put in the work to look for it and then wait for another one to come out. I don’t have to read the rest of the series now, but half of me is curious enough to want to eventually get a hold of the rest.

This one, The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss could stand alone though. It ended without a cliffhanger, and it didn’t have the pages in the end that suggested I continue and “read the next book.”

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