Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson
Must Love Books was the first story I finished in the New Year, and it couldn’t have been a better pick. This debut novel is a lovely and layered read, exploring mental health, self-worth, happiness, and survival in the workplace. And I, for one, absolutely adored it. (Keep reading for synopsis.)
Let me start by saying that this is not a book to judge by its cover. Despite, the fact that it has some strong rom-com vibes on the front, this novel is better described as contemporary women’s fiction. And while I personally love the cover, I do think that’s an important note to keep in mind when picking up this book.
Nora is a young professional working in the publishing industry — or rather, who feels stuck within the publishing industry. She’s financially and emotionally drained and struggling to find her place and her happiness. This sense of depression is really evident throughout the story, and the author did a great job of communicating that in a way that felt honest and understandable. I felt that connection with Nora as I was reading, and was really rooting for her as she began to fight for herself.
I also found the setting to be extremely fascinating. Robinson’s background in publishing clearly came through. And I thought this was an intriguing look into the less glamorized side of publishing too. (Even dream jobs aren’t always dreamy!)
While there is a romantic interest in this story, it’s secondary to the main plot. I thought this balance was really well done. I also enjoyed the flirty and sarcastic back and forth between those two characters. It added a bit of brightness to the story and was definitely my kind of humor.
I finished this book in a day and a half. There’s a lot of heartbreak and anguish but also, an encouraging ending. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more work by this author!
Readers interested in contemporary women’s fiction with a strong millenial voice, and an authentic discussion on mental health and the workplace.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. ARC provided courtesy of the publisher, Sourcebooks. All opinions expressed are my own.
About Must Love Books:
(From the publisher): 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.