From the publisher:
When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.
Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.
Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves—and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.
On the surface, Naomi Westerfield is planning the perfect wedding to the perfect fiancé. But Naomi has a secret, she is actually sick of her fiancé, and suspects that Nicholas feels the same way about her. It is not as easy as calling off their elaborate wedding though. Whoever cancels the wedding will have to pay Nicholas’s parents back for the lavish ceremony and reception they have planned. Naomi and Nicholas are soon locked in a battle of wills, pranks, and sabotage to see who can push the other to their breaking point first.
I picked up You Deserve Each Other hoping it would capture some of the enemies to lovers and romantic comedy charm as The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me. The couple’s increasing efforts to one-up each other often feel over the top. You Deserve Each Other is told entirely from Naomi’s point of view, but I think it would have benefited from a dual point of view with Nicholas. Without getting a look into Nicholas’s thoughts and feelings his character often came across as one dimensional, and uncaring towards Naomi. Even with getting the benefit of Naomi’s inner monologue her character does not fare much better.
Though Naomi has some legitimate grievances (her future “monster-in-law” chief among them) her tactics to get Nicholas to break up with her are immature and selfish. In any romance, it is essential that you want to root for the couple’s eventual happy ending. If you find yourself yelling, “Just break up already, you are both horrible people,” it is probably not a good sign. There is eventually a turning point, with Hogle giving Naomi and Nicholas’s relationship and their characters more depth. At this point, the humor of the story is finally able to outshine their juvenile antics, and I actually started to enjoy the final portion of the book.
Overall, despite a much stronger final third, I could not get past the fact that it was not much fun to read about a couple arguing and doing horrible things to each other for over 200 pages.
4/2020 Caitlin Brisson
YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER by Sarah Hogle. Putnam (April 7, 2020). ISBN 9780593085424. 368p.