This was unexpectedly good, even better than Dream On which I thoroughly enjoyed! They describe this book as a cross between The Unhoneymooners and The Hating Game, which isn’t all that far off – though I naturally hesitate to compare anything to Thorne’s masterpiece (and they should, too…don’t set yourself up for failure like that, guys).
The ultimate career woman, Henley Evans is about to land a big promotion in the marketing department at her vacation cruise line job – if she can beat out Graeme Crawford-Collins, her number one nemesis. To prepare for their interviews, their boss sends them on a cruise to the Galapagos to experience the adventure for themselves, and put together the perfect marketing presentation.
Once the two meet in person, however, sparks start flying. Henley is shocked to find Graeme may actually be…nice? But she can’t lose sight of the prize: a promotion, a director position, and the stability to pay her student loans. It’s all she’s ever wanted…she thinks.
I don’t think this measures up to The Hating Game, because the antics are non-existent. If you’re going to make that comparison, I better be laughing my butt off (kind of like You Deserve Each Other). This book really isn’t funny; it’s not like they’re playing jokes or lobbing quips. They just hate each other. It’s enjoyable, but it’s a long way from comedy. The Unhoneymooners *is* a good comparison, though. I liked that one as well, but for different reasons, of course!
Graeme and Henley were super cute. Henley was driven and relatable. Graeme was sweet and sensitive. They made for a good contrast and a good couple, if nothing remarkable. Their romance was sweet and genuine. For some reason, today, I just can’t make this book sound that good – but I swear I really did like it.
The Galapagos also makes a fantastic backdrop. I like the ~transformative atmosphere~ and all the animals. 🙂 However, none of the supporting characters here were good. I didn’t like Henley’s sister, Walsh. Or the guy who fawns over her, Nikolai. Or their coworkers, their bosses, or anyone working or enjoying the cruise. All bad or mediocre at best. Henley and Graeme were the only good characters, which made them all the more likeable when it came down to it.
I’m always bothered when I’m reading a workplace story and we just skate right over men not looking out for their female coworkers being treated poorly. This book includes some of that misogyny, but I think it’s handled well. Instead of just providing a good excuse and moving on, Graeme actively works to do better by Henley in their office after his behavior is pointed out. I appreciated that! Definitely a positive.
I’m sorry for this jumbled mess of a review – it’s not my best work. Shipped, though? May be Hockman’s best work. Give it a try!
Have a great weekend!