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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by…
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The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

by Max Wirestone

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I was very eager to read The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss since hearing about it’s release last year. It had an eye-catching cover, an interesting synopsis, and a female protagonist that seemed relatable to me because of her nerdiness. From the novel’s very first page, the story seemed a bit bland to me. I felt that Dahlia was whiny, irritable, and I got annoyed that she wouldn’t get off of her lazy butt and get a job. I didn’t really feel a connection with her nor did I feel sympathy towards her whole situation until later on in the novel.

The novel is written in first-person perspective and for a good ten chapters or so it’s really hard to follow Dahlia’s narration because she’s all over the place. She has a tendency to babble about a lot of things in a few sentences and sometimes it’s a bit too much to handle. Dahlia is also an avid gamer, and all of the gamer language used at first part of the novel can throw off readers who might not be video gamers. Even though I know some basic video game language, I was bit confused by some of the stuff she referenced to in the novel and at times I felt a bit clueless.

The blurb for this novel compares it to shows such as the The Guild and Veronica Mars. The thriller component of the novel is definitely similar to Veronica Mars (one of my favorite shows) in the sense that it’s a suspenseful murder mystery with a bit of humor thrown in the mix. Dahlia is sarcastic and witty like Veronica and she’s able to use her gamer skills in order to sleuth around for clues. It’s similar to The Guild (another show I enjoy) in the way it provides an in-depth and humorous view of MMORPG games (ex.World of Warcraft) and the faces behind these virtual characters. I would go on more about these things, but I don’t want to give too much of the plot away.

The middle to the latter part of the novel was more exciting than it’s initial beginning and I actually became fully invested in reading and wanting to find out whodunnit! I also began to sympathize with Dahlia’s plight of not being able to find a job. I and probably many others have probably been in a similar situation like this. It’s easy to fall down a pit of depression, become unmotivated, and ultimately feel lost. But in the end, Dahlia finds her sense of purpose through solving this mystery and manages to bounce back.

Overall, I felt that The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss was just an “okay” book. I would have liked to have seen it written with multiple perspectives or a slightly different narration style. It was a fun book, but in the end, it just wasn’t for me. ( )
  Rlmoulde | Nov 25, 2017 |
Twenty-something Dahlia Moss is broke and unemployed, so against her better judgment, she agrees to help a friend of a friend retrieve a stolen item despite not actually being a private investigator as her new client seems to think. Things are more complicated than they appear when it turns out the stolen item is virtual -- a spear from a popular MMORPG. And then it gets a whole lot more complicated when her new client is murdered with a real-life replica of the spear. With the police warning her to stay away from the case, will Dahlia be able to recover the spear, find the virtual thief, and maybe just maybe also reveal the flesh-and-blood murderer?

So I need to preface this review by saying I read this book about 5 months ago but just kept getting distracted every time I went to put my thoughts down here. My memory being what it is, this book is already fading and quickly. That being said, I recall that I enjoyed it quite a bit for being funny in a snarky sort of way, with lots of geeky references. There were a few times when the slapstick comedy parts got to be perhaps a bit too silly, but it seemed to work for this relatively light read.

The mystery itself is quite good as it is complicated without being overly so and its solutions is neither predictable nor completely out of left field. There is a large cast of characters, many with both online names and real-life names, which might be a lot to negotiate except Wirestone does a pretty decent job of keeping it all sorted for the reader. There are some possible romantic interests for Dahlia thrown in for good measure, but the book doesn't get particularly sappy at any point or delve too deeply into this.

That all being said, I heard that a sequel was just released, and I'm not entirely sure that I'll read it. While this shtick was entertaining enough for one novel, it's not necessarily a world I feel I need to re-visit. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Mar 19, 2017 |

FGMAMTC Blog Review
4.5 stars

This book is pure enjoyment and fun. The writing is smart and colorful with a storyline of equal measures geek and mystery.

Dahlia has been on a long unemployment streak, when a job falls into her lap. Originally hired to solve an online gaming issue between teammates, she soon gets wrapped up in a murder investigation. Some of the plot happens inside a multiplayer elaborate online gaming world. Some happens in her real world. She's totally relatable and free with the humor always. Even though someone is killed, it's pretty light-hearted with cosplay events, dumpster diving and just general everyday wackiness. Sometimes the pace heats up as with a shoot out that seems to blend as a LARP, but by the end, it does give a serious message of just getting out and living.

I can definitely see The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss being turned into a movie. I don't read a lot of books that are so full of quirky bits, pop culture, and geek references. It was exactly what I needed—totally delightful, and I will be looking for more from this author.


***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Google  / Pinterest / Goodreads / Tumblr / tsū




( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |

FGMAMTC Blog Review
4.5 stars

This book is pure enjoyment and fun. The writing is smart and colorful with a storyline of equal measures geek and mystery.

Dahlia has been on a long unemployment streak, when a job falls into her lap. Originally hired to solve an online gaming issue between teammates, she soon gets wrapped up in a murder investigation. Some of the plot happens inside a multiplayer elaborate online gaming world. Some happens in her real world. She's totally relatable and free with the humor always. Even though someone is killed, it's pretty light-hearted with cosplay events, dumpster diving and just general everyday wackiness. Sometimes the pace heats up as with a shoot out that seems to blend as a LARP, but by the end, it does give a serious message of just getting out and living.

I can definitely see The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss being turned into a movie. I don't read a lot of books that are so full of quirky bits, pop culture, and geek references. It was exactly what I needed—totally delightful, and I will be looking for more from this author.


***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Google  / Pinterest / Goodreads / Tumblr / tsū




( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
I really loved this book; it was everything I thought it would be and more. So as the synopsis states this is a book for geeky fans and I would also say that it is for those who enjoy a good mystery as well. Dahlia Moss has had it rough, she has no boyfriend, and no job, and is living at a friend's place while trying to find something to straighten out her life... along comes a guy who offers her crazy money to find a digital weapon in an online game - so what the heck does she have to lose? She begins her investigation only to realize that the guy that hired her turns up dead. Now she is freaking out a bit and finds herself in the middle of a real investigation, but she has been offered even more money to still find the online weaponry.

Most likely you are reading this review from my blog or a book-site – which means you probably already know how nerdy I am. This book was SO up my alley. I heart it with all the feels. Dahlia was adorable and funny and quirky and nerdy but a strong female who has had to earn her place in the geekdom. I appreciate that. I love MMORPGs and RPGs for that matter, I love books and board games and LOOTCRATE and comics…. This book had so many references to so many things that I enjoy but also was a great story. The mystery was fun to follow – I didn’t even guess how it all would work out in the end (I love a secretive mystery).

I found this book to be just what I needed to pull me back into reading again. I read it in about 2 sittings, the first half was a little slow going but the 2nd half was a whirlwind of fun. I recommend it.
( )
  sszkutak | Sep 28, 2016 |
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At this point I regarded job interviews less as a means to get a job and more as a ritualistic process of destroying the ego, the way some religions believe suffering brings you closer to God.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316385972, Hardcover)

For fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, or anyone who has ever geeked out about something.


The odds of Dahlia successfully navigating adulthood are 3,720 to 1. But never tell her the odds.

Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the St. Louis area. Unemployed broke, and on her last bowl of ramen, she's not living her best life. But that's all about to change.

Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she's offered a job. A job that she's woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?).

Turns out unfortunate decisions abound, and she's just the girl to deal with them.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:07:53 -0400)

Meet Dahlia Moss, the reigning queen of unfortunate decision-making in the Saint Louis area. Unemployed, broke, and on her last bowl of ramen, she's not living her best life. But that's all about to change. Before Dahlia can make her life any messier on her own she's offered a job. A job that she's woefully under-qualified for. A job that will lead her to a murder, an MMORPG, and possibly a fella (or two?). Turns out unfortunate decisions abound, and she's just the girl to deal with them.… (more)

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