Engaging, delightful, HILARIOUS romance
Oh, this was so much fun! It's laugh-out-loud hilarious, while still managing to have quite a few poignant moments, and a pretty interesting look at the effects of social media. It also has my favorite last sentences of a book I've read in a while. To be completely honest, this review is going to have a ridiculous amount of book quotes because I absolutely adored the writing and the humor, plus it features my absolute favorite "opposites attract" trope. I cried with laughter, I cried happy tears, I cried because, my goodness, these are some broken characters who get to find their way to a HEA.
“'Apparently, someone started this app that has all the single guys in New York listed and you can rate and review them.'
'You’re kidding.' Darcy blinked. 'So it’s Yelp…for guys?'
'Or Uber? You know, go for a ride and then rate your driver,' Remi said[.]”
Reed has the distinction of being the worst-rated bachelor on the Bad Bachelors app. Initially, he finds it hard to care, as he knows exactly what persona he presents to the world, and his dates: well-dressed, polished but remote, and not interested in any of those pesky emotion things. Working in PR, he understands how to present an image to the world. Darcy, on the other hand, seems like his complete opposite. She's not the stereotypical librarian, with her tattoos and tongue piercing, her 90s goth girl wardrobe (band shirts and jeans, usually all black), and her snarky attitude. At one point, Reed calls her the "human version of Grumpy Cat." Darcy is certainly not impressed by him when her library wins a contest where the prize is pro bono PR representation, provided by Reed himself.
So, of course, they end up working together, and discover that, beneath their personas, neither is quite what they seem, and they may be more similar than either want to admit. While Darcy is attracted to him from the start, she has very good reasons to avoid dating, and his rating on Bad Bachelors (60 reviews!) seem to back that up. Their banter is the best part of the book - part flirtation, part outright snark, part game. The sexual tension from the beginning is excellent, and I loved how at different points in the book each character was the pursuer in the relationship.
“'How did you find Claimed by Cthulhu? It had mixed reviews.' His eyes danced with unconcealed amusement. 'Are you well-versed in tentacle porn?'
'It’s not porn,' she said with a sniff. 'Giant squid monsters deserve love too, you know. It was quite an endearing romance.'”
Besides the banter, there's a fascinating exploration of "crafting a persona" versus "living a lie." Everyone puts forth a certain image to the world, and every day people make choices - through what they say, or wear, or post on social media - to reinforce that image. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, until maintaining that image becomes all that matters, regardless of whether or not it fits you anymore. There's also a very pointed lesson about the effects of social media, and some of the shaming that comes with it.
So, if you're looking for a smart, hilarious opposites-attract rom-com, this is definitely the book for you!
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.