The Best Man - Kristan Higgins I'm really puzzled about how to approach this review. There is much about this book that is sensitive, generous, moving, and funny. There is also much that feels like getting a pie in the face. With a rock in it.Faith has an exceptionally bad history with men, even for a Higgins heroine. Her longterm sweetheart Jeremy came out to her at their wedding and it's been nothing but bad revelations ever since. Yet fate has chosen her to be a matchmaker for her widowed father, who the family fears is in danger of marrying Lorena, "clearly a gold digger and not a candidate for stepmother." The burden of guilt Faith carries about her mother's death makes it impossible to refuse to go home, even though it means facing the lover who dumped her -- and his best friend Levi, who pushed him into doing it.Starting with a gossipy prologue about the aborted wedding, the story is firmly set in the "small town full of lovably eccentric characters" subgenre, and the romance cliches fall thick and fast at the beginning. As I read on, I found I didn't mind, because the elements were all used -- yes it's a bit over the top that Chief of Police Levi gets called out to rescue pet chickens from dogs but it also reveals something about his dependable character. Faith's relationship with Jeremy is also more than just a plot point; they still care deeply about each other and regain some of their former closeness over the course of the story, and Jeremy and Levi's friendship is also strong. Despite his deceit, Jeremy is really a love and I would have read a romance for him in a minute.And there's a realistic ugly side to this small town. In one poignant scene, Levi thinks about how, as police chief, he helped a woman who had once begrudged him some Halloween candy, because he was a "trailer park kid."Levi's sensitivity about class issues was one of the reasons he and Faith had never been friends -- that and his contempt for her people-pleasing attitude. Faith is so aware of his dislike, she has a "boredom scale" that measures the way he looks at her: "One was Oh. It's you. Ten was You're invisible." They start the story with a lot of bad feeling between them -- as well as a bit of history of attraction and a forbidden kiss. And that attraction begins to blossom as they start to understand how each misinterpreted the other.The parts of the story from Levi's perspective were my favorites. He's written a little too self-consciously "just an average guy" at times, like when he thinks "A regular… what was that Greek chick's name? The one who caused the slaughter of an entire city?" He remembers the details, but not the well-known name Helen of Troy? But he's a good guy with a hard past, and I liked him for coping so well. Faith is less easily likable, until we discover what makes her so needy. "Jeremy, the only one who'd ever seen in her something that was special and rare and precious. Jeremy had been proof that she was forgiven. But now there was nothing."Good characters, good backstory, good romance -- what went wrong for me was the humor, which too often sailed over-the-top into very offensive. I was uncomfortable when the wife of Faith's date shows up--toddler in tow--and gleefully calls her "whore." Ten times. I was uncomfortable with the depictions of no-class "gold digger" Lorena, and Faith's grandparents, who can't say a word to each other that doesn't contain an insult. I was uncomfortable when a blind date starts whimsically grilling Faith about whether she likes to be tied up, completely ignoring her obvious distaste. And I was enraged when a blind date for Faith's father turns out to be a "she male," to everyone's horror and amusement. "Humor" at the expense of a marginalized minority is ugly and mean-spirited. And that's when I stopped wanting to read Jeremy's story, because who knows what might happen in it? I had a hard time even finishing this book, and I had to rate it down because my enjoyment was significantly spoiled. Here, two stars doesn't mean "it was okay," because it was not okay. It's just my acknowledgement that there was much about the story that was worth reading.(reviewed from e-arc provided by netgalley)