Recent graduate from the University of Michigan Megan O'Malley, journalism major from Ypsilanti, Michigan, feels stuck in a rut. There aren’t many opportunities for her in her home state and her best friend has already pulled up roots and set up shop in the Big Apple as a fact checker for the New York Post – hey they do exist! Her BFF even offers to let Megan live with her and sets up an interview with her boss at the Post. It’s just the break Megan’s been waiting for. Sure it’s reporting on celeb gossip, but it’s reporting. And the job allows her to rub elbows with the rich and famous… including one hedge fund wunderkind, Rex. Like a fairytale, they fall in love… get married. And his upper east side friends/neighbors/associates take Megan under their wing to introduce her to the glitterati world. Only things aren’t exactly what they seem.
Warning this book contains the following triggers: racism, sexism, misogyny, classism, xenophobia, infidelity, pregnancy, character death, and homophobia. There may be more that I missed. But make sure you’re in a good place before reading this book.
Also spoilers. Lots of spoilers.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I’m a sucker for class-difference romances and I was willing to give a male author writing romance a shot. It was a mistake. I was very unimpressed and at times very angry with this book. There was a lot wrong with this book. A lot.
First off, the book is riddled with grammatical errors and editing errors. So many. In one paragraph alone I counted a bunch of different tense errors. The paragraph only had three sentences.
Since this was an ARC, I double-checked the final product… and yep, those errors (including the wrong word) remained in that paragraph. The above image is taken from the “read more” on Amazon that was accurate as of the writing of this review.
There were also several other errors. This alone loses a star. But the book also suffered from a ton of headhops, pacing issues, and stilted transitions. The book felt juvenile… like it was written by an author who isn’t familiar with fiction writing. Even the characters felt like pastiches. Stereotypes. And I’m not here for that. Plus a good chunk of the descriptions read like “Men Writing Women” which… um…
This came out a lot in the book to the point where I started getting annoyed and then angry.
Look, I’m from Michigan and my BFF lives on the upper east side by Central Park… so I’m definitely familiar with both of the worlds portrayed in this book. That said, I’m not sure the author is. Oh, I think the author absolutely knows about the publishing and NYC Upper East Side wealthy elite. But I am fairly certain that the author is less familiar with Michigan. Pro-tip: We do know what kimchee is. They even sell it at Meijer, Kroger, and the various Spartan Stores. Oh… and Ann Arbor… where the main character went to school, has a literal metric butt-ton of Asian restaurants. Not to mention a large Asian population and several Asian supermarkets. Also Ypsilanti is a bigger town than you might think… mostly because Eastern Michigan University is located there as are several large medical complexes. Oh and Ypsilanti is not a suburb of Detroit and the people living there would resent the fuck out of that statement. It’d be like calling Annapolis a suburb of DC. It’s like he picked a state at random and then tried to make it work. And it didn’t.
Here’s a second spoiler alert… I’m going to start talking about events later in the book that lessened my enjoyment of the book.
The stereotypes continued when it came to the characters. Essentially no one in NYC was likable. No one. Including several of the POV characters. Which I understand why… the ending is supposed to be a giant F-U to the classist elites… except for the ending is not telegraphed well nor is it wholly satisfying. A person who is arguably one of the most horrible humans survives without a scratch because the heroine just lets her go? Including letting her keep her illegal ferret… which talk about Karma Houdini.
But for me, the biggest issue I had with this book is that it bills itself as a romantic comedy and well it isn’t either. It’s not a romance. The supposed main love interest is a cheating womanizer who not only dies leaving the heroine a suspect in his death but also utterly penniless since he was not just cheating on his wife but his investors as well… oh and he was being investigated by the Justice Department and the SEC.
There is a second love interest, but the guy is frankly boring as toast and I’m struggling even now to think of anything memorable about him. Even the culminating sex scene from the book is lackluster. Like it’s a paragraph long and utterly crap. I have read sex written by lesbian virgins that was better written than what appeared in this book. And it’s not a comedy, since the laughs are mostly non-existent.
Frankly, I get that this book is supposed to be satire/parody… but it misses the mark. I can’t figure out what the message is actually supposed to be if it’s a satire (a story that attacks with the intent of reform) or what it’s actually parodying. If anything, it feels like the subject of parody is the billionaire romance and romantic comedy genres themselves. Which if that’s the case is a whole other box of crayons.
This book didn’t land for me. It was poorly written and poorly executed. I definitely can’t recommend it as something people should read if they’re fans of romance.
You can get this book here – or just go look at the “read more” to see the problems.
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I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley