Published by St. Martin's Press on December 29, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Mental Health, Anxiety, Bachelorette on Radio
Source: Netgalley, St. Martin's Press
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.
Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?
Even clichés sting.
But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.
There’s just one problem.
Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he's extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?
And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).
That’s three problems.
Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.
Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.
Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.
ARGH! TEN RULES FOR FAKING IT could have easily been a 5-star read. I loved that the author talked about something we all can relate to in some way because I’m sure most of us have been afraid to make the first move, to stand up for ourselves out of fear of rejection. For Everly this turned into a pattern and anxiety. The author addressed this exceptionally well – I really understood why Everly felt the way she did. I could feel her fear, her shyness, the way she hesitated and second-guessed every single decision in her life.
Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
Both main characters were extremely likable and Everly’s best friend, Stacey, was the ultimate sidekick who got her but didn’t hold back with her honesty. Chris was truly wonderful, he had this intuition and understanding for what Everly needed and how she felt. But, and here is where my issues start, we have these endless, repetitive inner monologues that just slow the reading down and make the storyline drag. At a time where I find it hard to focus it’s a little annoying since it takes me much longer to get through a book then usual. The thing that made the story fall apart a little was Everly’s archaic take on marriage and divorce and the way she kept throwing stuff in Chris’s face that had happened before they even met. She denied him a decade of growth which felt a little immature and the whole conflict came out of nowhere. Drama for drama’s sake. But what I loved was her gradual growth, how she grew braver and more empowered.
All at once, sitting next to him, she’d realized she did like him. That she wished he were one of her dates. All her dates.
Sophie Sullivan is an author to watch. I think she has immense talent if she can condense her word count a little and mind the flow of the story a little more. I was still sufficiently entertained and loved parts of the story that were funny and cute. Those make me want to try her future books again!