A very enjoyable new adult romance
The problem (if we can call it that) with constantly reviewing new releases is that you have to read the good, the bad, and the worse. Also having always more books to read than free time is a good problem to have. But the best feeling you can have as a reviewer is to know that the book you are about to read is guaranteed to be well-written and enjoyable. That’s how I feel every time I pick a book by Katia Rose.
Allison and Kate are best friends, both students in a costume design program, but they couldn’t be more different. While Allison dreams of getting a girlfriend before she graduates, Kate engages in emotionless hook-ups. As Allison feels she’s useless at flirting, what better idea than asking Kate for help? It’s not that they are going to fall for each other after all…
I really enjoy it when authors have a recognisable style. Katia Rose’s books have a distinctive Canadian vibe and they reach the perfect balance between sweet, hot and angsty with none overpowering the other. Whether her books describe lacrosse, Highland dance, or costume design, you know all these worlds are going to feel realistic and authentic, like immersing yourself in those little universes.
Girlfriend Material is set around a costume design school which is described vividly. Allison and Kate love what they do and it’s reflected in the way they see clothes as a language in itself, a language that conveys their personalities, mood, and the way they see other people. It also reflects the changing seasons in Montreal. In their world, life is a catwalk full of sartorial metaphors. I loved how real this feels and how the author got the beauty this language conveys.
Maybe the other side of the coin in the world of costume and fashion is the worship of beauty, or at least, what current human conventions regard as beautiful and how this concept reduces a person to how they look. Normally books discuss this from the perspective of a person who doesn’t meet those expectations, but in this case, Kate is the one reduced to just a “pretty face and hot body”. It’s interesting to see how this plays into her insecurities, her lack of self-esteem, and her commitment phobia. I really enjoyed seeing the dating world from her perspective.
This is a best friends-to-lovers romance and the chemistry between the leads is built slowly but surely until the tension is about to snap anytime. But to get there, the characters have some maturing to do, especially Kate who is stuck in the past thanks to a failed relationship. As it’s usual with this author, these characters are new adults who are still trying to find their footing in the world. Katia Rose captures this transition to adulthood really well.
Overall, a very enjoyable new adult romance. 4.5 stars
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.