Cover Image: Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble

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Member Reviews

It was a very cute read!
I am a huge fan of Bake Off, so this queer, kind of like, Bake Off setting was really fun to read.
My only reason for not giving it four stars is because I didn't really like the main character, even though I could relate a lot to all the anxiety and overthinking.
It was a very cute read and it made me want to bake so badly! And to just watch the latest season of Bake Off, really.

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Paris Daillencourt is literally about to crumble. I'm not totally sure he doesn't. Billed as a queer romcom, Paris signs up (hesitantly) for a baking competition and falls for one of his competitors, Tariq. Let me just stop now and profess my appreciation and confusion for how Tariq is able to tolerate Paris because frankly it was hard for me to do so. While I appreciate a character that accurately shows how debilitating anxiety can be, Paris is out of control. He repeatedly gives excuses for his ailment and for the most of the book he doesn't even try to establish why he is the way he is or try to change. He barely copes in life and it's hard to imagine anyone finding him attractive let alone willing to become his romantic partner. Paris is tedious in his naiveity and racism and constant apologies. In fact, its Tariq that saves this story, in his patience, and constant call out of Paris's egregious behavior. And Morag, whose out of control sexual exploits are hilarious and provide much needed levity to this story.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review this book.

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I enjoyed reading this book but at times I found Paris to be a bit insufferable... His self deprecating nature got old so fast.
I wouldn't necessarily say this book is heavy romance because it's not. It's more of a fiction story about a baking show and there are two contestants who happen to go on dates. Lol
Overall I didn't love this book, but it was okay! I have enjoyed Alexis Halls' other books so I think this one was just a dud for me because of the characters.
I thought the formatting of the book was great and the pacing was good too!

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Add this to my "books I stayed up way too late to finish" list.

Y'all, I really enjoyed Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble! Thank you to @netgalley for the digital ARC.

Things I loved:

🧁 The anxiety representation is really well done here. Alexis Hall does an incredible job of showing just how debilitating generalized anxiety disorder can be in its extremes. The stream of consciousness during a crises was particularly relatable for this fellow anxiety human.
🧁 We do not deserve Tariq. He is the most precious, adorable, patient, funny, stylish love interest ever. I was rooting for him so hard throughout the book.
🧁 I love the GBB so this book setting was super fun!
🧁 The side characters in this story are strong, they very much felt like people you would see on TV but real enough you actually like them. Morag is also definitely a fat, hot sex goddess and I love her to pieces.

Things I didn't love:
🧁 Paris's growth in the last 20% of the book was what I wished for him all along. I was really glad to see Paris's friends rally around him to get him the help he needed. However, with how very extreme his anxiety was, it's such a disservice that he is made to wait so long for help. Even in their support, not a single person recommends therapy until Paris is far past a normal mental breakdown. It broke my heart.
🧁 Due to everything above, Paris was hard to love as a character. To be clear, this is not due to his anxiety, but due to the lack of effort to make a change to get better. There are pitfalls, and therapy takes ever so long to really make substantial changes, but as someone who both suffers with mental health disorders and also has dated those with mental health disorders, at the end of the day it is impossible to help those that do not seek help for themselves.
🧁 It was a bit strange to have the major issue of Paris's absentee parents to be brought up over and over again and never get a resolution.

I will certainly be going back to read the 1st book now that I know it's a series! This beauty published 11/2 of 2022 so go get it from your local bookstore or library!

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If you love the Great British Bake Off, you might like this book, but you will have to deal with a main character having extreme anxiety for most of the book.

I enjoyed this book but I can see where other people might not. Paris is the main character who goes on their version of GBBO and meets a cute boy he likes. And then his anxiety causes him to self-sabotage his relationship and life. If you are expecting a cute romance, this is not the book for you. It focuses more on the mental health of Paris than the romance. I thought the romance when it did happen was cute but a little rushed, but I am happy where it ended up. It felt more realistic than a perfect ending. The writing was good, and I thought including some Twitter text was a great addition, and I could have used more of them. There were quirky one-liners and references that were fun to read, but I imagine it could age this book on a reread.

Overall an enjoyable book, but I would not recommend it to anyone who might get triggered by reading about someone experiencing extreme anxiety.

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I really enjoyed this story, but I'm giving it a lower rating because I feel like it wasn't marketed correctly. I was under the assumption that it was going to be a cutesy, coming of age, self discovery type romance. However, in reality it was quite sad and heavy. I really enjoyed the anxiety disorder representation, but I think the severity in which it was being portrayed should've come with a warning.

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Another in this delightful not-quite-GBBO series, Paris Daillencourt is a character I could identify with and root for. He finds himself, and a relationship, through his participation in a baking competition show, and as such there is a large cast of entertaining characters that the reader gets to know. I appreciated the use of social media throughout the text as well.

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Honestly, I’m between 2.5 and 3 stars for this one so I split the difference. I adore Alexis Hall and his books, but this one was probably my least favorite I’ve read so far. As someone with anxiety, it can be tricky to read characters who have anxiety - it’s hard to find books that do it right without making it triggering. This was a triggering kind of story - Paris has very severe anxiety and apparently no one has suggested that to him until he goes on a baking show and meets a prospective love interest who is like “hmm something may be medically wrong here” and then Paris is like “no, this is just me” all while thinking he doesn’t want to appropriate a medical condition that isn’t his. Honestly Paris should have been in therapy years before 80-some percent of the way through the book. So often I was torn between wanting to give Paris a hug and wanting to scream “GO TO THERAPY” at him.

There were parts I liked - Tariq for the most part, Morag for the most part, Paris in therapy and his friendship with Joy, and most importantly the entire laser tag scene with Tariq’s family.

Overall this fell flat for me, despite loving the GBBO style story where I could easily envision how each weekend would go. I wanted to like this so much more than I did.

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I absolutely adored A Lady for a Duke so I keep trying Alexis Hall's books, but I can't seem to get into their contemporary books. This was a fine read, but nothing that I was super excited about. I didn't feel like there was anything overly exciting going on. It was an easy read.
Thank you NetGalley and Forever for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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Paris Daillencourt has two things: an undiagnosed anxiety disorder and a spot on the hit show Bake Expectations.

This was a times a very funny and very difficult painful as Paris's anxiety sabotages his relationship and his time now the show until he is forced to deal with it.

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I enjoyed this book thoroughly. The characters were so good, I love when a character is a mess and is so relatable. The romance was perfect. On top of that, there was a plot aside from the romance that was just as captivating!

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After Boyfriend Material, I had such high hopes for this book! The MC was a mess, exactly how I pictured it, having anxiety myself. I did think the romance was going a bit first at the start, but the ending was just really lovely. It just really fit the story

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Sadly this one didn’t hit as much as the first book in the series, but it was still relatively enjoyable. I am hoping that the third book rounds the series out for me.

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This book had a lot of great representation and many good qualities, but in the end I felt that everything else in the story overshadowed the actual romance intended in the book.

A good read, but not a GREAT read.

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This was an interesting read for me. I considered DNFing this book in the first 15% because I was struggling with Paris. While I understand that for the majority of the book he is suffering from undiagnosed anxiety, I struggled to get through his constant self-doubt and his ability to catastrophize situations. However, after reading a few reviews I decided to keep reading to understand Paris and I’m glad I did. I do think it was a mistake to market this book as a romance and if you are looking for a fun, cute romance this isn’t the book. While there is romance I felt like it took the back burner to the issues Paris was dealing with. This book does have a lot of great representation. I loved Tariq’s character and I wish we could have had alternating POV’s with him and Paris. I would have liked to learn more about things from his perspective.

I do wish we got more resolution on Paris’s parents. I wanted to know more about them and why they treated Paris the way that they did. I feel like as a reader I did not get any resolution regarding them and I would have liked something even small about them.

I struggled a little bit with giving this book a rating but currently I think it falls around a 3.75 star book for me. I can see this rating possibly changing with a little bit more reflection and time.

Thank you to NetGalley and Forever Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I will be honest, this is the first time I have been disappointed by an Alexis Hall book. In theory, I should have LOVED this book - a baking show, LGBTQ+ characters, I was READY. I appreciated the inclusion of anxiety and mental illness, and not just as a background issue. It really brought it to the front and showed how it affects real lives and relationships. And I loved the cast of the baking show, that was really fun.

Other than that, I was really just trying to get through it as soon as I could. I was sort of annoyed at both Paris and Tariq, for different reasons, and I just couldn’t shake it. I did appreciate the growth that happened with both of their characters, but the rest was just rough for me.

I was given an advanced reader's copy via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own

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Setting: London, UK
Rep: gay MC with an anxiety disorder; gay Muslim love interest

This shouldn't really be classed as a romance. It's much more general fiction, more of a journey of self discovery. I usually love Alexis Hall's books but this was too much for me. Speaking as someone with a generalized anxiety disorder, there was too much of it in this book. It's 367 pages long, and about 300 of that is inside Paris's head putting himself down and worrying himself into hypothetical. It is. Exhausting. Also probably quite triggering for some people. Also, I thought that Paris tried to blame a lot of his shitty behaviour on his anxiety when some of it was just shitty. He was very judgemental of Tariq for not wanting sex before marriage and for being a gay Muslim and it was all a bit iffy.

I loved the baking aspect and Bernard. He was great. Grace Forsyth is a brilliant character of course too! Also, I loved Morag.

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I unfortunately had to DNF this. I was so excited to read a romance book set on a baking show BUT the main character was so annoying to me! He literally lacked any confidence to the point that made him un-relatable. Also the romance felt pretty one sided (at least up until 12% - that’s when I DNFd)
Maybe one day I’ll retry and see if I can push through but life’s too short to read books you don’t enjoy!

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I always have so much fun reading Alexis Hall's books and this one did not disappoint either! It's definitely not one of my favorites but I think that each book that he writes brings up something very important to the table, be it about mental health, healing, and/or relationships. Plus, it was just really cute in general! Though also stressful (ooph)

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Another five star read from Alexis Hall! This book has a similar balance between serious and light moments to the first book in this series (Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake), and has less of a romcom feel than the author’s other recent books, Boyfriend Material and Husband Material. Despite dealing with some fairly heavy themes, the writing sparkles. This is a readable, hard-to-put-down book.

The story is told from Paris’ point of view though I do think the author gives us pretty good insights into Tariq’s perspective too. Paris and Tariq have an unusual meet-cute on the first day of filming of Bake Expectations, and from there fall into an awkward but sweet relationship as the weeks of the reality baking show progress. But it’s also clear that Paris is struggling with some pretty deep-seated mental health issues and things feel like they’re headed for a train wreck. I don’t want to reveal more than that and risk spoiling the story. Suffice to say that things do “crumble” and that both characters have work to do before things can be resolved. I am really glad that this story does *not* make their relationship the “fix” to Paris’ mental health issues.

In addition to Paris’ mental health journey, the story also weaves in experiences of a gay Muslim man, explores a range of friendships and family relationships from healthy to well-meaning but flawed to neglectful, and serves up a good critique of social media fanbases. Even with all the fraught situations in the book, there isn’t any significant homophobia, which I really appreciated.

For a variety of reasons, I read the end as more of a HFN than HEA. I might’ve enjoyed seeing a bit more at the ending, which felt a bit rushed. But overall I really enjoyed this story. Maybe we might see these characters again in the future?!

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