Top critical review
It was okay, I guess
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 June 2022
This review contains spoilers.
I have a better title for this book: Mommy Issues.
I don't get the hype, and I honestly tried. It was so highly recommended that it left little doubt about the awesomeness of the story.
While I appreciate the witty back and forth between Nora and Charlie, by half of the book I was convinced Nora didn't have chemistry with herself, let alone a third party. She's such a melodramatic character, lives and breathes for Libby (I'll get to her later), Nora is a classic Miss Fix-It who loves her job and has terrible mommy issues. She's educated and career driven and yet she hasn't left New York in ten years! Also for a woman boasting about the closeness with her sister, the two just never actually communicate or know each other.
How did so many readers felt "seen" through Nora, I'll never understand. Maybe some big sisters can relate wiith the sense of responsibility she feels towards her little sister but that's it. What else about her is relatable? She refuses throughout the book to think anything outside how her own mother lived her life, and makes the same mistakes again and again.
I found her shallow and annoying.
Charlie is a great character...at first. By the second half of the book, he's besotted and cheesy. He had a great background, potential to become this book's unlikely star and then he becomes unrealistic. I liked that he put Nora first but it should've ended with their unspoken goodbye. That's the ending I would've loved to read.
Furthermore, he talked way too much while groping Nora, and not like dirty talk which would make him hot.
Libby. UGH. She can't decide what she is. Sunshine? Whiny? Her whole plan is just... ridiculous. Three weeks away from her family, and pregnant, to prepare her 30 yo sister for the next step in HER life. Bleh. I couldn't stand her or the way she called Nora "Sissy".
Also, while some lines are funny, the author tried so hard to make this hook hilarious and some of it came off forced.
It clicks all the small town clichés in a way that makes you roll your eyes, and just strains to cover pretty much every book trope known to mankind. The word trope is also mentioned about fifty times in the book.
It's okay for a vacation read that won't really trouble you ever again because it's kind of boring and predictable.