MUST LOVE BOOKS by Shauna Robinson

From the publisher:

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill meets Younger in a heartfelt debut following a young woman who discovers she’ll have to ditch the “dream job” and write her own story to find her happy ending.

Meet Nora Hughes―the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now.

When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.

With her life spiraling and the Parsons staff sinking, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet…and maybe poach some Parsons’ authors along the way.

But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling Parsons author no one can afford to lose is thrown into the mix, Nora has to decide where her loyalties lie. Her new Dream Job, ever-optimistic Andrew, or…herself and her future.

Your next book club read touching on mental health, happiness, and the peaks and perils of being a young woman just trying to figure it all out. Nora Hughes is the perfect heroine for anyone looking to get past their own chapter twenty-something and build their storybook life.

I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It’s got a great title that immediately drew my attention because it was reminiscent of one of my favorite books, and the very first book I reviewed for Library Journal, Must Love Dogs. It made the Library Reads list (the books library staff loved reading and cannot wait to share) for January, which almost never steers me wrong. But by the time I finished it – and it took me three days to read it – I just thought it was okay.

I loved that it was set in the publishing world. I loved that it addressed the whiteness of the publishing industry with the protagonists being biracial and Hispanic. But I didn’t love Nora, the main character, (which really hurt because one of my best friends is named Nora and I only associate good with that name!) I didn’t even like her that much. She lied to everyone and I have issues with that. She suffers from depression and that really isn’t addressed in a professional way, which bothered me.

The male protagonist is an author, Andrew Santos, and I wish his character would have been more developed. I still don’t feel like I know much about him at all. He’s Hispanic but I don’t know any more than that. If it was noted anywhere, I missed it I guess. He was just a name on the page to me. and that’s never a good thing.

The story was a bit slow for me, and by the time I finished it I just thought it was just okay. This is also not a book that you should judge by its cover. It looks like a romcom or fluffy romance, but it is not. If you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Note: The publisher blurb compared this book to “Younger,” which I loved. If you haven’t seen it, I watched it on Hulu, and Google says it is also streaming on Paramount+. Highly recommend!

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

MUST LOVE BOOKS by Shauna Robinson. Sourcebooks Landmark (January 18, 2022). ISBN: 978-1728240732. 336p.



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