Cover Image: Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble

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As a book, I would say that Paris Daillencourt is fine, but as a genre romance it was somewhat disappointing, especially since I’ve genuinely enjoyed a lot of other books by Alexis Hall. The romance feels secondary and more like a short 20s relationship instead of something you can believe has a long-lasting HEA. There were parts of the book that I enjoyed, especially the variety of characters that are introduced, but they ultimately felt overshadowed by 300+ pages of the main character not growing or developing meaningfully and about 70 pages of like the bare minimum growth and an HEA that I no longer cared about. This might be some people’s cup of tea, but I’m not really sure that it was mine.

For me, I would say that the best part was all the different characters. Paris is surrounded by so many genuinely interesting people, and it made the baking show aspects of the book pretty interesting to read about. I thought that most of the secondary characters got a decent amount of development for the book and storyline happening. The biggest character problem for me (outside of any gripes with Paris) is that Tariq felt more like a secondary character than a love interest for a significant chunk of the book. Not in a not-the-man-i-thought-i’d-fall-for way but in a, this is Paris’ story and Tariq is kind of plot dressing when necessary.

Paris himself was fairly interesting, if aggravating. I think there’s a worthy conversation happening in this book about anxiety and very real mental illness. But there is also a main character who we see no growth or development from for so much of the book that it gets hard to care anymore. Yes, some of that is a level of realism, but it’s one of the reasons that this fails to feel like a romance for me because it’s ultimately about Paris’ journey as a person and not about his relationship with Tariq as a sub-sub plot. Genuinely if this weren’t marketed as a romance by a romance publisher I think it would have a higher rating.

Also as a side note, while I’m certainly not qualified to discuss gay British Muslim representation, I do think that the multiple moments of Paris basically ignorantly commenting on Tariq personal beliefs incessantly didn’t really serve the story and began to get a little bit uncomfortable. Like yes we get it Paris is incredibly anxious and thus says stupid things, but I don’t know why that only comes up with Tariq seemingly.

This book isn’t bad, but it was certainly a disappointment. I really wanted to like it more than I did. The baking show aspects were probably some of the best I’ve read in romance, but I wish that there was any level of investment in the romance itself. Alright as a character study, meh as a genre romance.

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This book started out slow for me. I had to stop and restart a few times before I could get really into it. I felt bad for Paris most of the time. I think Paris’s anxiety was exacerbating my own anxiety. It picked up towards the middle though. I enjoyed the character development and reading about Paris’s progress towards healing. I love when a book does mental health rep the right way. The comments from the public while the baking show was airing made me laugh. I thought the ups and downs of Paris and Tariq’s relationship seemed realistic based on what they were both going through. All in all I would recommend this book.

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From the moment I started reading this book, I was immediately drawn into Paris charming and relatable journey. The author skillfully weaves together themes of self-discovery, love, and the power of pursuing one's passion in this sweet and scrumptious romantic comedy.

Paris, with his endearing mix of insecurities and dreams, is a character that will resonate with many readers. His struggles with self-doubt and fear of failure are portrayed with authenticity and empathy, making him someone you can't help but root for. As he navigates the challenges of the Bake Expectations competition and finds unexpected romance with fellow contestant Tariq Hassan, Paris's transformation is heartwarming to witness.

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This was a cute book! The characters were likable and the romance felt sweet and believable. I liked the baking aspect of the book; it definitely added something to the story for me. The writing was okay. Overall, this was a quick, cute read!

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DNF. This book just wasn’t for me. Thank you for the early copy. Alexis Hall is very funny and her writing is good. I just find her couple a little exhausting

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Thank you Netgalley and Forever for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I'm so incredibly dumbfounded as my enjoyment of Alexis Hall novels are truly a toss-up.
A quick overview of my ratings thus far:

Boyfriend Material: 5-star, all-time favorite, love to reread via the audiobook
Husband Material: 2-star
A Lady for a Duke: DNF/1-star
Paris Daillencourt: DNF/1-star

According to my Goodreads, I've attempted to read this book multiple times before (because I had an ARC) and after its publication (via audiobook). Nothing has successfully helped to finish this novel.

As much as I love the cover, I could genuinely care less about the storyline that isn't centered as a romance. This book comes with a heavy spotlight on Paris Daillencourt's life with a sort of subplot in the romantic part of Paris's life. Paris is a good character but at times can be incredibly irritating.

I don't like to compare novels, but I think it's an interesting note between Hall's works. Lucien is a hot mess of a character, but he grows to be likeable. Prior to DNFing this novel, that switch to being a likeable character never happened for me with Paris. I genuinely stopped caring about Paris' development and growth arc with the mix-in of the romantic subplot.

I know I still have other works by Alexis Hall to read, so I'm still holding out hope that there's another gem of a 5-star read among them.

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I really enjoyed this and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have read it! What a wonderful book!

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DNF Ch 8. Listening to the audio & I will try again with the physical copy. I loved the first book in the series.

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2.5 stars.

Alexis Hall's "Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble" is a "Great British Bake Off"-style queer romance (?) with some terrific banter. I loved the baking show setting! I think it makes the entire story feel a bit more lively and fun than it really is. Unfortunately, Paris himself is not a great main character. I appreciate that this book attempts to have him work through his many, many anxieties, emotional issues, and idiosyncrasies, but there are just too many of them to be believable. It feels a bit like an exaggerated version of someone with severe anxiety and catastrophic thinking. I am all for mental health representation, but Paris is a huge, selfish jerk on top of his issues, which makes it difficult to root for him. When he dismissed MMC Tariq's beliefs about waiting to have sex until after marriage, I admit, I sort of mentally checked out of this story then. Still, I kept reading. I loved Tariq's supportive nature, but I feared for his own mental well-being since Paris is an exhausting person. I have known people like that in my life, emotional life-suckers who don't care about others, who don't want to know how you're doing, who could careless until they are the center of every conversation. These people will take and take and take and give nothing back in return... it's incredibly frustrating. Still, Tariq isn't perfect, either. He is very judgmental and a bit holier-than-thou. I'm not saying I need all of my characters to be perfect, prim, wonderful people without issues or problems, but these two just didn't mesh well together, in my opinion. Late in the book, one of viewers on social media calls Paris a "twat," and I think that's an appropriate word. True, there are many riotous, laugh-out-loud moments of humor and wit, which is Alexis Hall's specialty, but the chemistry between characters is woefully missing most of the time. I don't think this book should be classified as a rom-com. I have enjoyed several other Alexis Hall books in the past, but this one didn't work for me. I attempted to read it at least three other times before I stuck with is this time.

Thank you to NetGalley, Alexis Hall, and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own. I was not compensated for my review.

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Utterly charming. As one of the millions of people who loves the great British bake off it was so fun to live in a world of British baking television. Paris was charming and lovable and l just wanted to hug him and get him a very good therapist. Alexis Hall always excels at a cast of lovable weirdos and this book was no exception.

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I’ve tried diving into Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble numerous times.
Alexis Hall has written various other books that I have adored, so I thought this one would be the same. However, I was sadly mistaken — each time I’ve tried to read this, I’ve gotten about 20% and put it down.
While I enjoyed the witty banter and funny moments I encountered…I found Paris to be an unlikable character.

Overall, I’m thankful to Netgalley and Alexis Hall for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with it as much as I’d hoped.

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DNF

I've tried twice now to read this book but only 20% in and I'm exhausted. I can't imagine continuing this anytime soon. I LOVED the first book in this series and will probably read the next one but this one is just a no-go for me at this time.

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This book was pretty heavy with mental health issues, which, while great to see that representation, will be triggering for some. Also, based on the cover art, Tariq looks much more staid than his effervescent personality in the book. I do love the cover art cake and I think Paris’ depiction is spot-on.

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I was really looking forward to this book, as I've liked Alexis Hall's work in the past, but I definitely struggled with this one. It felt like Paris was a caricature of a person with anxiety. After every single bake he freaked out on the judges and kept telling them it was awful, but everything would turn out fine. I get being anxious and insecure but this was on a different level.

As someone who struggles with anxiety, this just didn't feel like great representation to me.

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I tried to read this book several times over the past few months and just couldn't get into it. I love Great British Bake Off and Alexis Hall but Paris just wasn't the character for me. Looking forward to future books from Alexis Hall!

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Paris Daillencourt is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall
Alexis Hall writes books with stories that I love and characters that I do not like. All of his characters are so real, and real people just aren't 100% wonderful all the time.

The two MCs of this book, Paris and Tariq, meet on Hall's version of The Great British Bake-Off as contestants. This setting should be calm and idyllic (this is why Americans love the show, right? Serenity, kindness, hot accents, and proper baking), but with Paris' anxiety acting as a third MC, the setting feels claustrophobic and judgemental. Tariq is a great foil for Paris, but their young ages make them equally immature and ill equipped for a real relationship. To break up the focus on Paris' mental/emotional health, Hall does a great job using the other bakers, the host of the fictional show, the crew, and Paris' roommate. I laughed out loud at several points in the novel and loved the behind the scenes parts of the story. Overall this story is about two young men who realize they're not as mature as they thought and who realize they still have room to grow up.

As always, I loved the story, the quirky side characters, and the diversity, but the MCs were not people who I would ever want to spend time with in real life. That being said, the story will stick with me and I definitely recommed reading this book if you like baking, strong mental health rep, and/or other books by Alexis Hall.

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Good anxiety rep, but that’s about the only thing I enjoyed about this. I do like this author typically but something was off about this story that didn’t feel right to me. Not perfect but definitely not a favorite

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3.5 stars

I feel kinda sad because I don't think that I have really connected to Alexis Hall's writing since Boyfriend Material which is so upsetting. I did love that this took place in a reality TV show - which is not surprising because that's one of my favorite tropes - and the anxiety representation. I could not, however, get into the romance. I felt that the fundamental belief differences between the two characters were just a little unreconcilable.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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This was such a joy to read! As someone on the autism spectrum with a history of severe anxiety, I definitely related to Paris. The intrusive thoughts are most definitely real! I loved returning to Bake Expectations! That was one of my favorite parts of Rosaline Palmer, and I loved the references made to book one! I thought this book fell more into the romcom trope than Rosaline did which I loved, I just wish it focused a little more on the romance. Even though Paris’s struggles were super valid, I felt the events got very repetitive and I wish he was guided towards therapy and little sooner in the book. The book wasn’t as spicy as Alexis’s other books, but even so, the relationship development was SO GOOD! Still 4.5-5 star for me!

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I thought this would be more romantic but it was more of a contemporary with heavy themes. I wish there was a stronger romance element to this, especially with the cover featuring the couple in a cartoon illustration. The Baking show format continues and as usual, the side characters shine in this series.

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