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Not Another Family Wedding

(Chin-Williams #1)

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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  200 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Natalie Chin-Williams might be a cranky professor of climatology who thinks the world is doomed, but she believes in lasting love…just not for herself. She has a long history of failed relationships, plus the men she dates inevitably want children and she doesn’t.

Now thirty-six and single, Natalie expects endless comments about her love life when she attends her baby sist
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Published September 25th 2018 by Jackie Lau Books
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  200 ratings  ·  61 reviews


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Jacob Proffitt
I wanted to like this, if only for the unusual instance of someone who knows they don't want kids and are perfectly fine being up front about it. Unfortunately, Natalie is an idiot. Not only does she delay having the talk with Connor beyond all reason (seriously, you can't say "hey, Connor, I know it hasn't come up before but I really don't want to have kids") but after it finally comes out she pulls the dumbest, completely unfounded stupidity of (view spoiler)I wanted to like this, if only for the unusual instance of someone who knows they don't want kids and are perfectly fine being up front about it. Unfortunately, Natalie is an idiot. Not only does she delay having the talk with Connor beyond all reason (seriously, you can't say "hey, Connor, I know it hasn't come up before but I really don't want to have kids") but after it finally comes out she pulls the dumbest, completely unfounded stupidity of (view spoiler) I'd complain about her monster negative motivation* only it turns out she has no discernable motivation whatsoever.

AND THEN when (view spoiler). She's supposedly a professor and goes on and on about science and how people should listen to her because she knows things. Given her level of intellectual rigor I have to wonder how she managed to tie her shoes every morning, let alone achieve tenure.

So I can't abide Natalie any more and I'm calling it quits at 76%. Connor is great. Love that guy. He is all that kept me going. I have no idea what he sees in a cranky-pants jerk who yells at her own sister for making choices she disagrees with during a wedding brunch. But he's sweet and has emotional courage and deserves someone who isn't a yelly-jerkface idiot.

So yeah, no stars. Or, you know, the one-star equivalent.

* Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.
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K.J. Charles
An enjoyable realistic romcom, as single childfree pessimistic climatologist Natalie brings her best friend as a date to a family wedding which is bound to be disastrous. The family wedding aspect is great, the extended cast handled really well, and I love the subtle gradations in family relationships (you're annoying but I love you, I love you but you're annoying, oh my god you're horrendous). I also really like that Natalie just doesn't want children at all, and especially that she's had an ab ...more
Jess
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is definitely my favorite Jackie Lau book so far! There was a moment I thought I was going to have to knock it down a little for an unwarranted character freak out, but I like the way it recovered from it so much that I don't need to do that.

But more than anything--Middle 30s heroine who has no interest in having her own children and who doesn't end up changing her mind about that!!! (view spoiler) ...more
Taryn Pierson
A curmudgeonly professor needs a date to her sister’s wedding, so she asks her longtime friend to join her—turns out, he had a thing for her back in college and now the sparks are flying. The heroine doesn’t want kids and is secure in her decision, which was super refreshing to see, plus there’s tons of complicated family dynamics going on, which is always a big yes for me. This one is short, just a skosh past novella length, and there were some scenes I wanted a little more from. However, there ...more
Mel González
There hasn't been a book by Jackie Lau that I haven't loved. She's one of my favourite authors at writing comedic situations that are also romantic and emotional. In this book, we have a main character that truly might be one of the characters that's closest to my heart now. She's in her 30s and doesn't want children. She lives within a family that's constantly asking her questions about when she's going to have them and that really affects her. I related a lot to her since I'm sure I don't want ...more
Katie
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent Sunday afternoon/evening book. And look! Friends-to-lovers without the pining I hate! (He did have a brief crush on her when they first met, but that was a long time ago.) And a woman who is "allowed" not to want kids!

That said, I didn't quite buy into all of Natalie's reasons for not believing a relationship could work out. She seemed to bounce back and forth. Which is realistic, but I don't think Lau quite pulled it off. There's also that thing where I, too, a
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Amanda
4.5 stars, rounding up

I'll just say straight up that this book might not work for everyone if you can't fully get behind Natalie and what are some honestly really frustrating personality traits and communication issues. But I felt so much in common with her that I just ended up loving this book. It might be my favorite by the author so far?

I don't think Natalie is always an easy character to love, but that made me love her even more. I mean, first off, she's a climatologi
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Michelle
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ugh, I wanted to like this. I SHOULD have liked it. So much about it was right up my alley, but it really just didn't work for me. For one thing, I never quite clicked with the writing style (not that it was poorly written, it's more just personal preference). I realized that pretty early on, but I thought I could still enjoy the romance. Unfortunately, Natalie ended up driving me crazy. As someone who recently entered her 30s and doesn't plan on ever having kids, I felt like I should've liked N ...more
Maria Rose
Jackie Lau covers a lot of ground in her latest romance, a friends to lovers story full of family wedding drama.

Natalie asks her long time university friend Connor to be her plus one at her sister Rebecca's wedding. Family weddings have always been fraught affairs with something happening to create a memorable day, sometimes funny, sometimes not. Natalie has a white mother and a Chinese father and their respective families weren't thrilled with their union. Their prejudices and racial biases ex
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Christine
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian-character, arc
“It was going to be a disaster. Just like every other wedding in her family.” A cute start for a sweet rom com that somehow segued into Natalie’s reluctant and bittersweet attempt to be loved with longtime friend Connor. Think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” meets “When Harry Met Sally”.

Nobody does hilarious Chinese family moments like Jackie Lau, whether they are fighting each other or teasing each other. I would love a family road trip saga by this author with sassy grandmas, cranky aunts, snarky
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Jackie
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Another category-length romance from Lau, with more telling than showing. But she brings up interesting feminist issues around abortion, parenthood, and choice, which made this far more interesting to me than the typical category-length read.
Emmalita
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Around the time the Alabama Anti-Abortion bill passed, there was a conversation on twitter about romances that dealt with abortion in a positive/normalizing manner. You can find many of the tweets with #RomanceforRoe. It’s most often been treated as a moral issue instead of a healthcare issue, and that should go out the door with slut shaming. A few readers and authors chimed in with books that addressed abortion as a healthcare choice that didn’t ruin the main character’s life. Canadian author ...more
Beth ~ Panda & Boodle
There were so many directions her life could have taken, but in the end, you only got one shot at it all. It wasn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure book in which you could read a bunch of different stories.

Jackie Lau has fast become a go-to author for me. Her blend of quirky characters—with even quirkier families—and sweet, sexy romance with depth makes me smile and swoon and think. Honestly, she’s writing exactly my kind of romance.

Not Another Family Wedding is an incredibly fun and refreshing read—with an impor/>Not
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Kristiej
I planned on doing reviews for every book I’ve read this year and if someone were to say “How’s that working out for you?” I’d have to answer “Well, not so good.” I’ve gotten quite a bit behind so I’m going to have to do shorties, which goes against what I had planned. But if I don’t I’ll never get caught up. So her goes – Rapid Review

Not Another Family Wedding. This is the third book I’ve read by this author and I quite enjoyed the first two books. But alas, not so much this one. Th
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Darcy
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 2018, romance
I’m torn with this book. The first half was fun. I liked Natalie and her crazy family. Her warnings to Connor about how weddings are a disaster in her family seemed odd, like they really couldn’t be that bad. However when they talked about past weddings it did seem they were that bad and I was looking forward to see what would go wrong with this wedding. It all looked good til towards the end and man…did things go wrong so very fast. Awkward is about the best to describe things. The only good th ...more
natalie
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one, especially because the heroine had my name, was the same age as me, also didn't want kids. Natalie felt so relatable and I cackled soooo many times at the family awkwardness and wedding mishaps. I could totally see this book as a funny rom com movie.

The family interactions were hilarious and tension filled and reminded me a bit of my family, who always asks about boyfriends and babies, so I truly felt Natalie's frustrations here! I really felt seen by this book. More
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Demelza
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren loves llamas
I’m a pretty big fan of Ms. Lau’s books. They tend to have a warm, comforting rom-com feel, while also not pulling the punches about more serious subjects (depression in Mr. Hotshot CEO, racism and postpartum depression in this book). And since it’s not a Jackie Lau book without food, we’ve got poutine, falafel sandwiches, Cheetos, quiche, and tortellini, to name a few!

Natalie is returning home for her younger sister’s wedding. Since Rebecca’s eleven years younger than her, Natalie p
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Malin
3.5 stars
#CBR11 Bingo: Summer Read


Fellow Cannonballer, kissing book enthusiast and long-time internet friend Emmalita has reviewed several Jackie Lau books this year, which is what made me really take note of the name. During the discussion of the very super depressing anti-abortion legislation being passed not that long ago, Jackie Lau put this book up for sale for $0.99, because of its pro-choice message. I bought it, and since it also fit into my Keyword Challenge this month, it didn't end up fo
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Celine
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Objectively, it's not really a 5-star book, more 4, but I loved the heroine so much that I can't be objective. I will go over what's not perfect about the book after I go over why I loved it so much.

Natalie has had a hard time with love and, while she still believes in it for other people, she doesn't think she'll ever find it. She doesn't want kids and I thought the way the choice to either have or not have kids created a nice, nuanced discussion of the subject wi
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cookiemonger
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a thoroughly enjoyable romance with a lot of family drama. I wanted to read it because the heroine is closer to my age than they usually are, and also like me, she comes from an interracial family. She also didn't want children, something that I want to see more of in Romance.

Natalie's baby sister Rebecca is getting married, and thanks to being eleven years younger and the treasured family baby, Rebecca thinks there's nothing wrong with inviting all of their family to the wed
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Michelle
Oct 15, 2018 added it
Shelves: romance
ARC provided by the author

Jackie Lau's Latest Features a 36-Year-Old Bi-Racial Heroine Who's Childless by Choice

Jackie Lau makes a point of incorporating social and personal issues in her romances. In NOT ANOTHER FAMILY WEDDING, heroine Natalie Chin-Williams is a successful, single 36-year old climatologist who’s chosen not to have kids.

Her sister Rebecca is about to get married and weddings in the Chin-Williams family are known disasters. Natalie recruits an old friend, Connor/>
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b.andherbooks
“That’s why I don’t come back very often. There’s nothing to do, and it’s a long way from Ottawa. Plus, it burns a lot of fossil fuel to get here.” He took her hand in his. “It turns me on when you talk about fossil fuel emissions.” “You have a serious problem,” she muttered as he bent to kiss behind her ear."

Recommended and gifted to me by an author I follow on Twitter (THANK YOU), this was a sweet, contemporary romance between two friends who become lovers during a tense wedding we
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Louise ✨
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-mc
tw: mention of abortion, mention of postpartum depression, mention of pregnancy, drug, "more than friends", dirvorce, alcoholism, at some point she's had unprotected sex and she is afraid to be either pregnant or that she has a STD

rep Chinese characters, Chinese m/m couple. They speak Toisanese and Cantonese

Not Another Family Wedding isn't my favourite Jackie Lau's book but I think it is very important and needed. This book if for people who don't want children and need to see that it's okay.
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Lisa
3.5 stars

Another fun story from Jackie Lau!

Just like Mr. Hotshot CEO, I love how Jackie incorporated family in her stories. The Chin-Williams are all chaos, frustrations, and secondhand embarrassments, but outside that I love the bond between Natalie and her siblings.

I love Natalie and I love being in Natalie's head. I'm currently in her situation--nosy relatives hounding you at weddings and family gatherings with "eh how old are you? eh so old?? so when is *your* turn? eh don't wait
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Heidi J.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
NOT ANOTHER FAMILY WEDDING has everything I’d hope for in a romantic comedy—the wedding mishaps, the big crazy family, the woman trying and failing at managing the chaos, and happily-ever-after friends-to-lovers.

This stands out, however, because the characters are deeply human, and I found the love scenes heart-shattering, ego-shattering...just beautiful. I love the heroine, Natalie, because while she’s throwing all this energy into fearing what her family could do wrong, she’s unable to manage
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Phoenix
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse-romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Brown
2.5 stars, just ok

How I rate a story. (In order of importance):
Does it keep my attention? Pretty much. I skimmed some but mostly it kept my attention.
Is it plausible? Yes. Although the issues they had seemed ridiculous, the decisions made were logical.
Grammatical errors or odd, repetitive language? No, it was well edited.
Do I like the Characters? I never felt connected to either of them. Connor is nice but bland. Natalie is self described as cranky and pessimistic
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Chris
3.5 out of 5

This was a nice soft read. Just what I needed. Natalie is 36 years old and single. She doesn't want to attend her sister's wedding and deal with the constant questions about her being single and childless, so she asks her friend, Connor, to go with her. Her extended family is a bit eccentric. As much as Natalie says she secure in her decision to not have kids, she's very reluctant to talk about it. She and Connor realize that their feelings for each other have grown and t
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smqdc
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow - Thanks to Jackie Lau for writing this character and writing this story.

So refreshing to read about:

1. A heroine who is in their mid-30s
2. A heroine who doesn't want to have children
3. A plot that doesn't involve showing the heroine that she is missing out on the point of life in not having children and letting the choices she makes about how she lives her life be valid

...and so much more.

Thanks from someone who sympathizes with Na
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Jackie Lau decided she wanted to be a writer when she was in grade two, sometime between writing “The Heart That Got Lost” and “The Land of Shapes.” She later studied engineering and worked as a geophysicist before turning to writing romance novels.

Jackie lives in Toronto with her husband, and despite living in Canada her whole life, she hates winter. When she’s not writing, she enjoys
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Other books in the series

Chin-Williams (2 books)
  • He's Not My Boyfriend (Chin-Williams, #2)