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Loathe at First Sight

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Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.” Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.” Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show. When Nolan is assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man. With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and in love?


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Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.” Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.” Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show. When Nolan is assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man. With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and in love?

30 review for Loathe at First Sight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I actually really enjoyed this! I will say don’t go into this book expecting it to be fully romance & a hate to love story because honestly I don’t think it is. It’s more about a woman working in a field dominated by men & having to prove herself time and time again. It’s got a ton of misogyny in it and honestly horrible men but you will root for the main character, Melody to stick it to these men over and over. It does have some romance in it but it’s not the forefront of the book at all, I thi I actually really enjoyed this! I will say don’t go into this book expecting it to be fully romance & a hate to love story because honestly I don’t think it is. It’s more about a woman working in a field dominated by men & having to prove herself time and time again. It’s got a ton of misogyny in it and honestly horrible men but you will root for the main character, Melody to stick it to these men over and over. It does have some romance in it but it’s not the forefront of the book at all, I think if you know that you’ll like the book much more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    DNF @ 51% The good: this story has a realistic portrayal of what life is like for many women, especially women of color, in the game development industry, even down to the ways the women themselves are almost always blamed for the harassment they receive. The bad: I didn't enjoy the writing itself, Melody's character, the total lack of chemistry between Mel and Nolan, or Melody's parents being raging assholes for comedic effort (like when she calls them out on being rude to Liftr/Uber drivers DNF @ 51% The good: this story has a realistic portrayal of what life is like for many women, especially women of color, in the game development industry, even down to the ways the women themselves are almost always blamed for the harassment they receive. The bad: I didn't enjoy the writing itself, Melody's character, the total lack of chemistry between Mel and Nolan, or Melody's parents being raging assholes for comedic effort (like when she calls them out on being rude to Liftr/Uber drivers, one of her parents says to the other one something about "that Black person driver" and literally NOTHING is said about it — like it's a joke???). Also, please correct me if I missed something or just didn't read far enough into the story to get to this point, but... is Melody a gamer at all? Her motivation for getting into the industry felt like she was less interested in gaming and more interested in being able to say she did it. I never really understood why she wanted the job and it never felt like she had any passion whatsoever for what she was doing. I don't remember a single mention in the first half of the story to her actually liking video games. I went into this book expecting a gamer as an MC, but didn't feel like I got that at all. All of this combined had me wanting to stop reading anyways, but then it reached a point where I realized I just wasn't even remotely enjoying the story enough to justify how miserable the harassment plot line was making me. It's all 100% valid and very true to life, so don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing the way it was written — I just didn't want to read it. As a woman who's been in the gaming community, especially online, basically my entire life, the kind of shit Melody was hearing (aside from the racist elements, which I'm very aware I can't relate to but make her experience much more terrible than any experience I've had) was stuff women who game have been hearing as long as I can remember and it wasn't something I wanted to read about in my fiction, too. It was just bringing back WAY too many traumatic memories and I finally realized it was better for my mental health if I just put the book down. I felt like this message was one I could have enjoyed more if I wasn't a gamer myself. I also couldn't help but be bothered that (again, in the first half — please correct me if this changed in the second half) we literally only see ONE dude in the entire company who isn't a raging piece of shit, and much like our MC, there is NO mention at all of him being a gamer (he only works there because it's his uncle's company), which I feel like paints some sort of idea that the gaming community has no safe spaces at all for women and that the entire thing is a lost cause. Loving a community is holding it accountable, yes, but it also needs to allow a little room for celebrating its successes, and I didn't see that happening anywhere here. I didn't mean for this review to be so long or frustrated. I guess I'm just so immensely disappointed in this book and I had such high hopes that I can't help but vent. I think plenty of other people will love this romance for what it is, but it wasn't for me. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

  3. 4 out of 5

    aarya

    CWs under the spoiler tag. I strongly believe that CWs will help readers prepare for the potentially upsetting content. If you don't want spoilery details, I think it's important to know that racist/misogynistic online harassment is a significant subplot (if not the central storyline) of LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT. (view spoiler)[ CW/TW: - Toxic tech/workplace environment with relentless racism and misogyny (both microaggressions and explicit/deliberate acts that cause heroine's eventual doxxing). - Her CWs under the spoiler tag. I strongly believe that CWs will help readers prepare for the potentially upsetting content. If you don't want spoilery details, I think it's important to know that racist/misogynistic online harassment is a significant subplot (if not the central storyline) of LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT. (view spoiler)[ CW/TW: - Toxic tech/workplace environment with relentless racism and misogyny (both microaggressions and explicit/deliberate acts that cause heroine's eventual doxxing). - Heroine is called racist epithets such as ch*nk, j*p, sp*c, and g*ok on online message boards (these slurs are spelled out in the text repeatedly. I did not want to include them in this review but felt the need to be detailed for CW purposes. I hope my asterisks are okay; apologies if I messed up here). - Heroine is a victim of racist/misogynist online harassment (she gets called an attention-seeking whore, slut, ho, d*ke, cunt, bitch, SJW, fat, disgusting, and more. She also receives pornography and rape/death threats from anonymous trolls). - Heroine is doxxed (cell phone number, apartment building address, and work location are leaked online) and her identity/photos/appearance are used as fodder for vicious harassment. - Heroine has a stalker that follows her to a physical location and makes her feel unsafe/scared with text threats (this stalker subplot is not addressed much after this scene. We don't find out identity of stalker and they don't receive punishment). (hide spoiler)] 1) This is a weird DNF because I almost read the whole book. As I was writing my GR comments, I realized that it wouldn’t be fair to rate the book for the following reasons: 1) I was not expecting the level of harassment present in the book (yes, it’s in the blurb but I overestimated my ability to tolerate and enjoy that storyline. I assessed wrongly) and 2) since my dislike is caused by the unexpected difficulty to enjoy the harassment storyline (a plot point that is laid out in the blurb), I don't feel comfortable rating the book. 2) I want to discuss Melody's parents. Discussion under spoiler tags. (view spoiler)[ I appreciate that the book is #ownvoices and written from the author's authentic experience. However, Melody's parents are always used as the comedic relief and Melody is frequently embarrassed/mortified by them. That narrative choice didn't work for me, but humor isn't universal. What's funny to one person isn't funny to another. The tone of two scenes really, really didn't work for me. My reaction to the scenes are personal interpretation, not a criticism of the #ownvoices rep. SCENE #1: As I untangled myself from my bedsheets, my mom texted. MELODY CALL BACK VERY IMPORTANT1!!! Three missed calls from her, and two from my dad. My hands shook as I returned their call. “What’s going on? Are you guys all right?” Please God, let my Mom and Dad be okay. My mom shouted, “What is happen with you? Someone call our house in the middle of night and asking for you. He say he is secret admirer or something blah blah and want to talk to you. I told him he has wrong house because no way my Melody have any secret admiring boys. He get very angry and curse at me and then hang up.” Those trolling assholes had moved on to harassing my parents. “Mom, are you and Dad okay? If you get any more calls like that, please call the police.” “We be okay. No one usually bother us, so we call you right away. We hope you not ever dating him. That’s why we want you to marry nice Korean boy.” Deep breath in, and exhale. “Could you guys just turn your ringer down and let the calls go to voice mail? It’s a long story, but a bad person posted some information about me online, and now it’s really blowing up.” I put the call on speakerphone and logged in to my work email. My dad jumped on the other line. “Melody? Are you famous now?” I skimmed my emails quickly on my laptop. Three hundred forty-two messages. “Am I famous? Not really. But I am getting a lot of hate mail and fan mail, so I guess I’m more famous than I was just twenty-four hours ago.” “Okay, call our cellular phone later. We going to IHOP now. They have senior citizen early lunch special. Goodbye!” SCENE #2: I called my parents early in the morning after my apartment building was swept for bombs (yes, BOMBS). “Your daddy and me still wonder how you get a stalker. Stalker usually go after beautiful girl.” “Thanks for being so supportive, Mom.” “We watch local evening news every day. All the stalkers want to be boyfriend. Maybe you have secret admire crush.” I closed my eyes. “Mom, not all stalkers are infatuated with who they are stalking.” “Well, if you choose doctor or lawyer career like we want, you not have this problem. Those job you don’t have people stalk you. Unless you are psychiatrist or criminal defender, maybe that is problem.” I sighed deeply. For once, I’d have to agree with them about this. “That may be true about doctors and lawyers, but I still don’t want either of those careers.” If you read the CWs above, you’ll realize how serious Melody’s harassment is. Scene #2 occurs right after a terrifying/sobering scene where Melody realizes a troll has stalked her to a friend’s bachelorette party in a club. The stalker texts her: “You girls look like you’re having fun tonight. Congratulations to the bride.-DDay.” What follows is an infuriating/serious scene where she talks to a police officer. The officer takes her statement but basically says that it’s impossible to find/punish the perpetrator. The next scene is the phone call with Melody’s parents (Scene #2). Humor is subjective. I actively disliked the depiction of Melody’s parents as the constant comedic relief and the fact that she was always embarrassed by them (thus allowing the reader to always laugh at them). I also recognize that the rep is #ownvoices and that many other readers will love it. Because of that fact, I categorized my dislike as a mismatch in humor subjectivity. Different readers will react differently, and someone loving the humor is equally valid. That being said, it would be disingenuous if I wrote this review and omitted my strong negative reaction to the quoted scenes above. Melody has just been through the most terrifying experience of her life. I’m scared for her. I can’t handle the tonal shift into the comedic phone call conversation. How am I supposed to laugh when Melody’s mom says that stalkers only hunt pretty girls (her surprise implying that she doesn't consider Melody to be attractive)? Or her criticism that Melody wouldn’t be suffering if she chose a different profession (she’s wrong. Lawyers and doctors can be harassed, too. Harassment isn’t the property of WOC video game developers). I couldn't handle the jarring shift from terror to a more light-hearted phone conversation. I hate that this scene was played for laughs, so the reader could have a moment of levity after two serious/terrifying scenes. Perhaps I'm guilty of projection; I readily admit to that possibility. This is my personal interpretation and I think it’s a valid response. There are other scenes (including with Melody’s parents) that are supposed to be humorous; my response was the opposite. I won't go into detail because this review is already too long. To be honest: I found almost nothing in this book to be funny. Most of the humor accompanies very serious topics like workplace frustrations/harassment. I was unable to laugh because I was always stressed out by the serious issues. I recognize that certain sections are meant to induce laughter, but I was rarely amused. The example above is the most egregious instance and I feel obligated to be honest. I know that other readers won’t have the same reactions as I did, and that’s also valid. All reader interpretations are valid. (hide spoiler)] 3) An important note about genre categorization: Helen Hoang’s Instagram says that while she considers LAFS more women’s fiction than romance, it still has a love story (Hoang blurbed the book). https://www.instagram.com/p/B786zzNAF... To add to the confusion, these are the three author blurbs on Amazon: “LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it! Park is a hilarious new voice in women’s fiction.” (Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient) “Hilarious and poignant, Park’s debut sparkles as a great addition to the new voices of the rom com renaissance.” (Roselle Lim, author of Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune) “Park gives us the story that only she could create. It's hilarious, smart, and the rom-com we need!” (Alexa Martin, ALA Award-winning author of Intercepted) Interestingly enough, Hoang's blurb is shortened for the cover quote, which leaves out the WF sentence and just says, "LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it!" All these contradictions confused me. One author says it's WF (but that part is excluded in the cover quote), the other two say it's a rom-com. It can’t be both! The marketing/publisher/blurb/Edelweiss tags made me assume that LAFS was Genre Romance (central romantic arc with HEA/HFN). I decided to investigate and read the book earlier than I would have (it isn’t out for another five months). After reading the book, I agree with Hoang’s assessment that LAFS is more women's fiction than romance. In my opinion (or perhaps it's a fact), LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is not a romance novel because it does not have a central romantic storyline. The book focuses more on Melody's single POV, her career, and her experience with workplace/online harassment. The MCs don't spend that much time together on page. There are a couple kisses. They don't verbally express romantic interest in each other until the very end (the MCs agree to start dating after their confession). There is a love story, but it's not central. While there's nothing wrong with a non-central love story, I want to make genre/romance expectations clear for interested readers. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    this looks like EVERYTHING i'd ever want Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch this looks like EVERYTHING i'd ever want Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    An enemies to lovers romance ABOUT VIDEOGAMES????!!!!!!!! ¡!!!!!¡¡¡¡ ¿??¿¿¿??? GIMMEE

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I think I got why the author named this book like this: because a few chapters later I started to loathe the chapters I’m reading and wanted to put those male colleagues into spit bath. I haven't read something hateful and irritating for so long! This is my second rodeo with the author! (She only wrote two books so that means I looked like a devoted fan! But both books are received as ARC copies. I was so lucky I guess!) I had hard time to connect with Perfect Escape’s characters and post-apocaly I think I got why the author named this book like this: because a few chapters later I started to loathe the chapters I’m reading and wanted to put those male colleagues into spit bath. I haven't read something hateful and irritating for so long! This is my second rodeo with the author! (She only wrote two books so that means I looked like a devoted fan! But both books are received as ARC copies. I was so lucky I guess!) I had hard time to connect with Perfect Escape’s characters and post-apocalyptic zombie competition universe! But when I saw another fantastic covered book of the author, I told myself, the first book was debut so let’s give another try. At least this book’s plot seems more intriguing even though it’s still about the video games and I hope the romance parts won’t fail me. Fingers crossed! But when I reached the middle of the story, I wanted to stop reading and throwing my Ipad against the wall or throwing myself out of the window with so much angst, frustration and volatile anger. I chose to read this book because I wanted to relax and read something funny, soft, chic lit, frenemies story. But instead of that, I bottled up more stress that I can take! The racism, toxic work environment, harassment, stalking, psychological abuse the heroine endured way too much to handle! I clenched my fists, took several deep breaths, cursed a lot and truly boiled in anger. The heroine/video game producer, brilliant Melody Joe, still living with her family, got so many death/rape threats from anonymous trolls, humiliated by her vicious, wild, ignorant male coworkers and followed by an obsessed stalker (by the way we still don’t know his identity and his motives!) And the relationship with her parents was unreliably annoying. They seemed like added to the chapters to take a break from terrifying harassment parts to entertain the readers but I haven’t found anything funny about their involvement and the way they put their daughter into embarrassed and humiliated positions! And at the work place: even her love-hate relationship with Nolan (cousin of the boss) didn’t save the story as well. And of course, Melody’s mobile game app about male strippers’ fighting against the post-apocalyptic world to survive and her sudden success are also interesting plot choices but I found them unrealistic as well. I think I found the harassment parts were too much irritating and toxic. I didn’t find anything funny, humorous or feel-good theme about this story and romance part is also overshadowed by those serious and suffocating issues. So unfortunately this book is not my cup of tea. Special thanks to Edelweiss and Avon/Harper Collins for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review. I wish I could enjoy it more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars I think reading a few reviews before I started this one helped as I had a heads up this book wasn't going to be a strong enemies to lovers romance so I was able to change my expectations a bit. And while there were some definite issues, overall my feelings are more positive than negative about the book. Melody Joo has recently landed a job as a video game producer. This is her first time working in the industry and her job is even more difficult given how sexism runs rampant at the compa 3.5 stars I think reading a few reviews before I started this one helped as I had a heads up this book wasn't going to be a strong enemies to lovers romance so I was able to change my expectations a bit. And while there were some definite issues, overall my feelings are more positive than negative about the book. Melody Joo has recently landed a job as a video game producer. This is her first time working in the industry and her job is even more difficult given how sexism runs rampant at the company. Melody is joking around one day with a female co-worker about a video game concept she came up with involving male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Well, the boss overhears the conversation and decides the video game concept should be a top priority project for the studio and puts Melody in charge. The project could make or break her career. Assigned to Melody's team is Nolan MacKenzie, an intern who just happens to be the CEO's nephew. There's a lot going on in this story to the point in which it is overwhelming. At times it felt like the story meandered from one thing to the next without a clear focus. Good intentions by the author to bring substance with some relevant issues but it left some aspects underdeveloped. Eliminating some of the minor plot points like the ride share dilemma that was pointless or anything to do with the wedding might have helped a bit. And to be honest the interactions with her Korean American parents didn't seem to work well either in the story. So while I do have some complaints, I thought the video game aspect made this book unique. And even though the plot wasn't heavy on the romance, at least there was some chemistry between the two characters. I think this makes a better fiction read than romance. I always appreciate the chance to read something different and at least the writer mixed things up a bit. Just because the end result wasn't perfect doesn't mean I didn't find value in reading the book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but was not obligated to post a review here. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    September 19, 2020: This is what happens when a book isn't marketed correctly. I'm a little disappointed but the humour and discussions in this story are worth giving it some positive points. Review to come some day. May 19, 2020: I'm ready to see how Melody navigates this misogynistic world of working for video games. Thank you, Books Forward for the digital review copy!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    3.5 stars. When your workplace is in chaos, the last thing you can handle is a workplace romance. At least that's the case in Suzanne Park's fun rom-com, Loathe at First Sight . Melody Joo thinks she’s landed the perfect job as a producer at a video game company, but she learns quickly how wrong she is. The CEO is a petulant jerk, her male coworkers are sexist (and a bit racist), and there’s even a handsome yet insufferable intern, who happens to be the boss’ nephew and seems to get all of the 3.5 stars. When your workplace is in chaos, the last thing you can handle is a workplace romance. At least that's the case in Suzanne Park's fun rom-com, Loathe at First Sight . Melody Joo thinks she’s landed the perfect job as a producer at a video game company, but she learns quickly how wrong she is. The CEO is a petulant jerk, her male coworkers are sexist (and a bit racist), and there’s even a handsome yet insufferable intern, who happens to be the boss’ nephew and seems to get all of the perks she isn't. She wants to quit ASAP. When a joke about a video game featuring male strippers fighting to save the world (as opposed to the ubiquitous hyper-sexual female characters which appear in video games) gets taken seriously, she’s put in charge of developing it. Nolan the intern gets assigned to help her, and while she’s ready for him to be useless, Melody is surprised by how smart—and sexy—he is. But the last thing she needs is to hook up with the boss’ nephew and an intern to boot, given that half of the guys she works with already think she's slept her way into the opportunity to develop the game. Suddenly she faces intense pressure to deliver the game amidst unrealistic and unfair demands from the CEO, hostile coworkers, and a trolling scandal which actually frightens her. Couple that with constant nagging from her Korean parents to get married and some meddling from her best friends, and she’s ready to crack. All she wants is to turn to Nolan, but is that the worst choice she can make? (I think you know the answer to that question.) This was a cute enemies-to-lovers (sort-of) rom-com. I liked Melody and Nolan and definitely rooted for them. I thought she really took a lot more verbal abuse from her coworkers, the public, her family, even her friends, than was enjoyable. There’s only so many insults—even when done in love—that are fun to read. Still, I thought the book had some good messages about sexism in the workplace, particularly in the gaming industry. And so much of what Park describes about gaming fans is true. It's a fun romp. Avon Books provided me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Park

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received an ARC of this book for free from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review. So first off, this book is Own Voices (Korean American). I was happy to see that since this book is about gaming, which is typically a white male dominated field. The title of the book is a little misleading. Loathe at First Sight implies that this is an enemies to lovers romantic comedy. In actuality, there was not much of that. The romantic storyline was not the main focus of the book and the two chara I received an ARC of this book for free from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review. So first off, this book is Own Voices (Korean American). I was happy to see that since this book is about gaming, which is typically a white male dominated field. The title of the book is a little misleading. Loathe at First Sight implies that this is an enemies to lovers romantic comedy. In actuality, there was not much of that. The romantic storyline was not the main focus of the book and the two characters were hardly enemies to begin with. As a whole, the love story was not that exciting. I never really felt the chemistry between the two. One thing that took me as a surprise was all the harassment. This book has a lot of harassment. From racism to misogyny this book covered it all. On one hand I liked that it went there and tackled that issue. But on the other hand, it was a little off-putting at times because it was so heavy. The book tries to be light at times with some humorous scenes (I really liked some of funny scenes), but all the harassment takes away from it. I did like the ending. It all worked out and a lot got resolved at the end so I was left feeling very satisfied. As for the writing style, I liked how easy the book read. Overall, this book didn’t live up to my expectations but I was able to enjoy some parts of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet Rundquist

    So much to love about this book. I loved Melody so much, who works her butt off to prove herself in a profession dominated by white males: the gaming industry. It was easy to share all of the emotions of frustration and anger of the racist, misogynistic environment of Melody's workplace because it was all spot on. And then, those victory moments came when I wanted to high five Melody because she is all kinds of smart, savvy, and funny. TBH, I think the title is misleading because while there is So much to love about this book. I loved Melody so much, who works her butt off to prove herself in a profession dominated by white males: the gaming industry. It was easy to share all of the emotions of frustration and anger of the racist, misogynistic environment of Melody's workplace because it was all spot on. And then, those victory moments came when I wanted to high five Melody because she is all kinds of smart, savvy, and funny. TBH, I think the title is misleading because while there is definitely a good story thread featuring a romantic interest (well-paced, too), I felt like this book was all about Melody and I was 100% behind her the whole way.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lacey (laceybooklovers)

    Enemies to lovers? Video games? Office romance? I need.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lily Herman

    I hope you've got your morning brew and a comfy chair because I have lots! to! say! Suzanne Park's Loathe at First Sight is an interesting journey into the world of video game production. It's obvious that Park did a ton of research into how that the mechanics of that industry work, and Melody Joo was a really fun, self-aware, and pithy protagonist. I'd say the biggest problem with this one has nothing to do with the book itself but the marketing. Between the title and the official description, it I hope you've got your morning brew and a comfy chair because I have lots! to! say! Suzanne Park's Loathe at First Sight is an interesting journey into the world of video game production. It's obvious that Park did a ton of research into how that the mechanics of that industry work, and Melody Joo was a really fun, self-aware, and pithy protagonist. I'd say the biggest problem with this one has nothing to do with the book itself but the marketing. Between the title and the official description, it's pretty clear that the idea was for this to be sold as an enemies-to-lovers romance (very much My Shit™!!!) taking place against the backdrop of the misogynistic and racist world of video game development. The professional feminist politics and culture writer in me SCREAMED because it sounded SO PERFECT. However, I'd say the romance was definitely relegated to a secondary storyline (and tied in terms of airtime with a whole separate subplot featuring Melody's two friends Jane and Candice), and it wasn't even an enemies-to-lovers story. (I don't consider one brief argument at the beginning enough to be worthy of the term "loathe," especially because it wasn't really followed up with much else.) That's probably where a few readers will be disappointed. Aside from that, after a while it seemed that a lot of storylines were just blowing through all of major social issues within online gaming without necessarily a ton of reflection and with a too-tidy ending. Just wish there was a tad more nuance there. Some folks might also find the blatant misogyny, racism, and brief homophobia triggering. I wanted to love this one because the premise was so cool, and I'm sad that I didn't!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I so wanted to love Loathe at First Sight, a rom-com/chick-lit read featuring a Korean American mc *and* set in the cutthroat (and renowned den of toxic masculinity) set in the gaming development community. But everything felt so scripted: the mc is quirky! but also kind of a doormat who has to learn to really stand up for herself with her friends, family, her job, and herself! It's like every box of stereotypes you could check was brought out and crossed off and what could have and should have I so wanted to love Loathe at First Sight, a rom-com/chick-lit read featuring a Korean American mc *and* set in the cutthroat (and renowned den of toxic masculinity) set in the gaming development community. But everything felt so scripted: the mc is quirky! but also kind of a doormat who has to learn to really stand up for herself with her friends, family, her job, and herself! It's like every box of stereotypes you could check was brought out and crossed off and what could have and should have been a charming, clever read turned into a slogfest that left me feeling like Loathe at First Sight is sadly very, very aptly named. Tl;dr: Skip.

  16. 4 out of 5

    zaira

    dnf @ 30% I feel like I was click-baited by the marketing for this book... I went in expecting an enemies-to-lovers office romance (you can tell just from the title alone...) but it wasn't that at all. It had so much potential too, it's so nice to have a Korean-American female character (Melody Joo) navigating a male-dominated industry, but I couldn't keep reading because the content is rather triggering. Melody's work environment is so toxic. There were a lot of misogynistic comments from her mal dnf @ 30% I feel like I was click-baited by the marketing for this book... I went in expecting an enemies-to-lovers office romance (you can tell just from the title alone...) but it wasn't that at all. It had so much potential too, it's so nice to have a Korean-American female character (Melody Joo) navigating a male-dominated industry, but I couldn't keep reading because the content is rather triggering. Melody's work environment is so toxic. There were a lot of misogynistic comments from her male co-workers. It's admirable for anyone to get through that but it just happened so frequently (and seriously... it's like every guy in the office is like that), I found it upsetting and it hindered me from enjoying the book. So far, I wasn't liking any of the characters either tbh. Not even Melody. She'd act immature and there were instances where she'd act kindly towards her friend while thinking rude stuff about them in her head... why is she being two-faced lol 😫 I felt like her Korean parents were used for comedic purposes too which I found offensive as an Asian. Way too stereotypical and not in a pleasant way in my opinion 😞 From what I did read, there was barely any interaction with the supposed couple too. I saw other people saying the romance wasn't the focus at all so... Thank you to the publisher for providing an ARC.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Besides being funny and romantic, which it absolutely is, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT gives us a smart heroine who's easy to love. Melody Joo is a video game producer new to her job at Seventeen Studios. Early on, she jokes with a female coworker about fighting the patriarchy by making a video game about male strippers in a post-apocalyptic world. Although she was only kidding, before she knows it, the idea's been passed to the board of Seventeen Studios, and it's quickly named their next big thing. M Besides being funny and romantic, which it absolutely is, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT gives us a smart heroine who's easy to love. Melody Joo is a video game producer new to her job at Seventeen Studios. Early on, she jokes with a female coworker about fighting the patriarchy by making a video game about male strippers in a post-apocalyptic world. Although she was only kidding, before she knows it, the idea's been passed to the board of Seventeen Studios, and it's quickly named their next big thing. Melody should feel ecstatic to be running such a high-profile project as a junior producer (and of course, she is deservedly happy), but it's not an easy road. As a woman and Korean-American in an industry known for its bro culture, she never gets the same level of support that her white, male counterparts on other projects get. Everything she accomplishes is through grit, smarts, and savvy thinking on her feet. I absolutely loved her blend of toughness and vulnerability and think readers will really relate to this wonderful character. The story is hilarious and well-written. Plus Melody's blossoming romance with the office intern is all kinds of sweet. I can't wait for LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT to hit shelves!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    Read to 55% and then skipped to 85% and read to the end. I loved that cover and the synopsis and expected an idiots to lovers office romance with banter galore. This was none of those things. I liked Melody well enough. She’s sassy and tenacious. I’m not really sure why she got into the gaming industry as there are a few mentions of her not playing or being “a noob”. I guess she just wanted to try it? Nolan felt like a cardboard cutout. He read like a teenager, when he’s a year older than Melody Read to 55% and then skipped to 85% and read to the end. I loved that cover and the synopsis and expected an idiots to lovers office romance with banter galore. This was none of those things. I liked Melody well enough. She’s sassy and tenacious. I’m not really sure why she got into the gaming industry as there are a few mentions of her not playing or being “a noob”. I guess she just wanted to try it? Nolan felt like a cardboard cutout. He read like a teenager, when he’s a year older than Melody. Oh, and every other male character in this story is a misogynistic dirtbag. Plot wise it was meh. The romance is fairly non-existent and competes with a plot thread about the lives of Melody’s friends (one of which is lovely, the other is...not.) I did like the ever so horrible reality of what happened. It’s clear that the author did some research on women gamers and to me, that came across. Overall, this was a case of a misleading cover and title. I think I probably would have avoided the book if it would have been properly marketed. FYI: LOADS AND LOADS AND LOADS of misogyny and sexism, scenes of homophobia. **Huge thanks to Avon for providing the arc free of charge**

  19. 4 out of 5

    anna ✩

    I'm so sad to only be giving this book 2 stars, I was genuinely so excited for it and always thought I would love it. An enemies to lovers story featuring a female Korean-American main character who works as a video game producer sounded right up my alley and like something that we definitely needed in the book world. However, I feel Loathe at First Sight can be a bit misleading at first glance. Despite having the perfect enemies to lovers title, it isn't really an enemies to lovers story. In fa I'm so sad to only be giving this book 2 stars, I was genuinely so excited for it and always thought I would love it. An enemies to lovers story featuring a female Korean-American main character who works as a video game producer sounded right up my alley and like something that we definitely needed in the book world. However, I feel Loathe at First Sight can be a bit misleading at first glance. Despite having the perfect enemies to lovers title, it isn't really an enemies to lovers story. In fact, I wouldn't say that romance is even at the core of the story. The main plot line follows our main character and her struggles of working in a male dominated world as well as dealing with online harassment. Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for giving me an arc in exchange for an honest review. Loathe at First Sight follows Melody Joo as she embarks on her new job as a video game producer at Seventeen Studios. Being part of a world that's mainly male dominated, Melody has learned to stand up for herself and defend her worth to everyone who thinks less of her. One day, jokingly, Melody and a friend from work discuss a new idea for a video game that follows strippers in a post-apocalyptic world fighting off zombies, vampires, etc. Suddenly Melody's idea becomes an actual concept for a mobile game that she has to develop in an unrealistically short amount of time. As a character, Melody Joo is great. She is smart and capable and strong and has no time for misogyny. Nolan, our love interest, is also a very well developed character and instantly likeable. Rooting for Melody and Nolan was one of my favourite parts of this novel, however as I previously mentioned the romance isn't at the centre of the story and we rarely get any romantic interactions between the two. Another thing I would like to point out as a reason to why I couldn't particularly enjoy this book was the comedy. Being advertised as 'bursting with humour' I was definitely expecting something very different to what we get in the novel. Most of the comedy comes from Melody's over the top Korean parents and although I understand how some interactions/scenes could be humorous to some people, I really struggled with seeing the funny aspect of it. I'm really disappointed that I couldn't enjoy this book more because I was really looking forward to it. Perhaps if I had gone in expecting that romance wouldn't be a big part of the plot line and that it was mostly going to revolve around Melody's work and harassment, it could've worked out differently.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Schneider

    I read an early version of this book and loved it! It’s an empowering read with charming characters and a lot of comedy! I couldn’t help but root for Melody as she tackled creating a video game in her male-dominated workplace. Suzanne Park does a great job of creating a realistic character anyone can identify with, and she kept me laughing the entire time. I can’t wait for this to hit shelves so I can read it again!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)

    📚 Hello Book Friends! LOATHED AT FIRST SIGHT by Suzanne Park was a fun read. I love the main character Melody Joo. She is a strong, quirky, mouthy woman, and yet, she has her insecure moments. The story is about her trying to make it in the video gaming world and being repeatedly thrown under the bus by her boss. She will face many adversities because she is a thriving woman in a man dominated industry, but she does not give up. Add to the mix an office romance, overbearing parents, and the resp 📚 Hello Book Friends! LOATHED AT FIRST SIGHT by Suzanne Park was a fun read. I love the main character Melody Joo. She is a strong, quirky, mouthy woman, and yet, she has her insecure moments. The story is about her trying to make it in the video gaming world and being repeatedly thrown under the bus by her boss. She will face many adversities because she is a thriving woman in a man dominated industry, but she does not give up. Add to the mix an office romance, overbearing parents, and the responsibility to be the maid of honour at a friend’s wedding and you will start to understand the stress Melody is facing. This is a quick and enjoyable read. 🙋🏼‍♀️ Thank you, Books Forward for sending me an ecopy of this entertaining book. LOATHED AT FIRST SIGHT by Suzanne Park is now available at your favourite bookstore. #bookstadog #poodles #poodlestagram #poodlesofinstagram #furbabies #dogsofinstagram #bookstagram #dogsandbooks #bookishlife #bookishlove #bookstagrammer #books #booklover #bookish #bookaholic #reading #readersofinstagram #instaread #ilovebooks #bookishcanadians #canadianbookstagram #bookreviewer #bookcommunity #bibliophile #bookphotography #loathedatfirstsight #suzannepark #bookreview

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    DNF @ 35% I really really tried, but this is yet another book that did not work for me this month. I wanted to love it but the MC's voice as well as the way she perceives/talks about everyone around her starting getting on my nerves. This book just wasn't for me, I guess.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book and it did not disappoint! I laughed...a LOT. Suzanne Park's novel is effortlessly funny and entertaining, while also fully immersing readers in the world of tech & gaming (the good and the terrible). I couldn't help but root for Melody, who was brave and messy and wonderful. My heart ached reading about the alarming sexism and racism she experienced simply by trying to do her job. There were some turns at the end I didn't see coming. I look I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book and it did not disappoint! I laughed...a LOT. Suzanne Park's novel is effortlessly funny and entertaining, while also fully immersing readers in the world of tech & gaming (the good and the terrible). I couldn't help but root for Melody, who was brave and messy and wonderful. My heart ached reading about the alarming sexism and racism she experienced simply by trying to do her job. There were some turns at the end I didn't see coming. I look forward to seeing what this author writes next!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jen Ryland

    Like Suzanne Park's recent YA, The Perfect Escape, Loathe at First Sight isn't really as advertised. (I liked The Perfect Escape even though it really had nothing at all to do with zombies, which was okay with me.) Loathe at First Sight? That title + this cover suggests to me a hate-to-love rom com. A mismatch between a book's cover and description vs its actual content is not super helpful for matching the book with the right reader. Or giving a reader the right expectations. To me, Loathe at Fir Like Suzanne Park's recent YA, The Perfect Escape, Loathe at First Sight isn't really as advertised. (I liked The Perfect Escape even though it really had nothing at all to do with zombies, which was okay with me.) Loathe at First Sight? That title + this cover suggests to me a hate-to-love rom com. A mismatch between a book's cover and description vs its actual content is not super helpful for matching the book with the right reader. Or giving a reader the right expectations. To me, Loathe at First Sight seemed mainly a story about harassment and misogyny in the gaming industry (something I consider a worthwhile and interesting issue) with romantic elements. I don't object to serious issues being incorporated into a romance but if those issues take over the story, you no longer have a romance. Given the very deep dive this took into the issue and the level of detail, maybe this book should have been women's fiction marketed in the #MeToo vein, not the rom com vein? Just a thought. (Though Undercover Bromance did address the issues of misogyny and sexual harassment in the restaurant industry and managed to put the romance front and center. So it is possible.) Also, some of the humor in the book was a little uncomfortable for me. Other reviews seem to cover this and I'm not sure I'm the best person to discuss it so I will leave it at that. Setting this aside for now as I have a lot of other ARCs to get to! I will definitely try this author again, as I think she writes things worth reading! Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Fast-paced and funny, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a rom-com that doesn't shy away from serious issues. The protagonist Melody is a new employee at a gaming company who often finds herself trotted out for the company's diversity initiatives, both because she's a woman and because of her Korean heritage. When she becomes lead producer on a game catering to women gamers (a game that she came up with as a satiric joke), she quickly becomes the target of an online smear campaign. The abuse leveled again Fast-paced and funny, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a rom-com that doesn't shy away from serious issues. The protagonist Melody is a new employee at a gaming company who often finds herself trotted out for the company's diversity initiatives, both because she's a woman and because of her Korean heritage. When she becomes lead producer on a game catering to women gamers (a game that she came up with as a satiric joke), she quickly becomes the target of an online smear campaign. The abuse leveled against Melody by these online trolls is awful—and all too real. As much as I enjoyed Melody's dance around a relationship with her attractive, well-connected intern, it was the misogyny and racism she encountered at work and online that really got me fired up. I was rooting Melody the whole way!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)

    *Huge thanks to Books Forward PR for the eARC! All opinions are my own.* Suzanne Park has officially become one of my favorite contemporary authors, I loved reading Loathe At First Sight! ❤️✨ It was funny, witty, feminist, nerdy and just absolutely amazing. I had recently read The Perfect Escape (also from Suzanne) and I enjoyed reading it so much that I was thrilled to find out about her next work: Loathe At First Sight. Omg, where do I begin?!! Melody is so cool, a true inspiration. When she nai *Huge thanks to Books Forward PR for the eARC! All opinions are my own.* Suzanne Park has officially become one of my favorite contemporary authors, I loved reading Loathe At First Sight! ❤️✨ It was funny, witty, feminist, nerdy and just absolutely amazing. I had recently read The Perfect Escape (also from Suzanne) and I enjoyed reading it so much that I was thrilled to find out about her next work: Loathe At First Sight. Omg, where do I begin?!! Melody is so cool, a true inspiration. When she nails a job in the video game industry, she finds herself with several obstacles including a very obnoxious co-worker and a privilege work team member. However the way she manages every situation is so clever, she constantly had me laughing! But I was equally frustrated of the injustices she had to suffer in a work environment of mostly men employees that had little respect for "women opinions". Ugh, the unfairness!!! My feminist heart loved how this story progressed though. 🥰 And can we talk about Nolan?! He is so cute and smart and a very nice guy! I loved how he supported Melody and even ended up doing a crazy marketing plan alongside her. I LOVED that part! 😂 My second favorite scenes where whenever Melody's parents appear. They are hilarious!!! Anyway, you must all read this book! I promise it does not disappoint. It is now one of my favorite contemporary reads! 📚❤️✨

  27. 4 out of 5

    VL

    I love Melody so, so much. This is such a fantastic book

  28. 5 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    This definitely had an unsteady start for me, but over time... I actually found myself enjoying it, interested to see what would happen next. - Follows Melody, a video game producer who has to grapple with misogyny and sexism in the gaming industry when producing a joke-turned-high-profile game - all while slowly falling in love with her company's intern. - This is an entertaining book that also challenges sexism, misogyny, trolling, and what it means to succeed as a woman of colour in a very whit This definitely had an unsteady start for me, but over time... I actually found myself enjoying it, interested to see what would happen next. - Follows Melody, a video game producer who has to grapple with misogyny and sexism in the gaming industry when producing a joke-turned-high-profile game - all while slowly falling in love with her company's intern. - This is an entertaining book that also challenges sexism, misogyny, trolling, and what it means to succeed as a woman of colour in a very white and male-dominated industry. It makes light of these issues without entirely diminishing their importance as issues (though the portrayal is far from perfect), making the book quite readable and fun. - The thing with the writing was that it toes a fine line between subverting and challenging bigotry and playing into it. I was really uncertain at first - though, the more I read, I realised that the writing does challenge bigotry. - The humour here is a little self-depreciating, especially when it comes to being Korean and Melody's Korean parents (whom are really caricatured). It worked in some places, but I felt like it was... really shallow in others? So the humour worked for me in a few places, but not all. - I actually enjoyed the bridesmaid subplot because I REALLY related to Melody's overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. - I struggled to connect to the romance. I liked Nolan's character, but I just didn't understand their connection as a couple -- so the romance didn't do it for me. I was provided an eARC of the book by the author's publicist. This does not influence my opinion of the book in any way. Trigger/content warning: (view spoiler)[blackmail, doxxing, racism, sexism, stalking, harassment, cyber bullying, mentions of rape (hide spoiler)]

  29. 5 out of 5

    laurel [the suspected bibliophile]

    Trigger Warning: Sexism, Racism, Harassment, Doxxing, Discrimination Melody Joo has made a drastic career change, leaping the opportunity to get into the world of video game producing. But she's not prepared for the level of intersectional racism and misogyny leveled at her from all sides—from her famous boss to her coworkers to her team. When a joke idea to a female coworker is overheard and stolen by her boss as a last-ditch effort to the higher ups, Melody is thrown into the game as lead produ Trigger Warning: Sexism, Racism, Harassment, Doxxing, Discrimination Melody Joo has made a drastic career change, leaping the opportunity to get into the world of video game producing. But she's not prepared for the level of intersectional racism and misogyny leveled at her from all sides—from her famous boss to her coworkers to her team. When a joke idea to a female coworker is overheard and stolen by her boss as a last-ditch effort to the higher ups, Melody is thrown into the game as lead producer. She's not going to let the whispers get to her, however. She's going to produce this game...or else. I feel that this book was horribly mismarketed from the start. That cover, that title, that blurb...it all screams contemporary romance when the relationship between the intern and Melody is slow-burn and recognized as taboo as hell (and not acted upon at all) until the very, very end when the intern is no longer an intern. However, I loved this for what it was: an insightfully scathing look into the gaming industry, and definitely not a contemporary romance. "You shouldn't stay there if you hate it so much." A woman of color (note: an Asian woman, the subject of far too much fetishization within the gaming industry...and elsewhere) gets a job in a predominantly white male environment that has never felt the push for diversity because any push was ridiculed by the top. But I was ten minutes late to a mandatory sexual harassment training in the Orson Scott Card large conference room. And despite the set-backs, the micro-aggressions, the flat out harassment and discrimination and targeted attacks by coworkers and the gaming industry trolls and everyone else, despite having her flagship game getting consistently sidelined in favor of "woke feminist" games developed by her male peers, she succeeds and earns the respect of her team by being a true leader. "And you're probably doing what you always do...you take on everything by yourself, keep piling on responsibilities, and then burn out in the process." And Melody does reach lows. She's inherently clumsy, something that both is a nod to actual contemporary romance that has weirdly klutzy cute heroines, and a critique of that trait. She takes on the world and drives herself to the brink of exhaustion and beyond. She is targeted and harassed and doxxed and receives absolutely no support from her awful boss, who wants her gone so he can continue with the way life has always been: light and breezy with no need to think about implications of his comments or actions upon marginalized communities. I did like that this book talked about the whiteness and toxic masculinity of the gaming world, from the idolization of white fantasy writers who were um, really problematic towards women and people of color, and yet revered without criticism. This was shown in mildly subtle ways, with the naming of the various conference rooms: Tolkien, Martin, Card, Butcher, Rothfuss, etc. You name a problematic white fantasy author, he had a room named after him—which further elevated those authors and erased the contributions of women, people of color and the LGBTQIAP+ community in the realm of science fiction, fantasy and gaming. So who should read this? I'll be real: it's not a 100% pleasant read. There were so many micro-aggressions and flat out aggressions that it's going to be incredibly painful, particularly if you are a woman who has worked in an all-male environment that was inherently lacking in actual introspection. But if you watched or read about the 2020 Hugo Awards and your blood boiled, then this is the book for you. I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    A Million Books

    TW: Doxxing, toxic work environment, harassment, online bullying I had HUGE hopes for this book. The gaming industry + a cute romance + a game that sounded absolutely amazing + defeating sexism in an industry where it is rampant? SIGN ME UP! I dove in almost as soon as I got an eARC from the wonderful folks at HarperCollins International - I simply couldn't resist. Unfortunately, THIS BOOK DID NOT WORK FOR ME. AT ALL. FOR MULTIPLE REASONS. Here we go - 1) Melody's parents were HORRIBLE, and she was TW: Doxxing, toxic work environment, harassment, online bullying I had HUGE hopes for this book. The gaming industry + a cute romance + a game that sounded absolutely amazing + defeating sexism in an industry where it is rampant? SIGN ME UP! I dove in almost as soon as I got an eARC from the wonderful folks at HarperCollins International - I simply couldn't resist. Unfortunately, THIS BOOK DID NOT WORK FOR ME. AT ALL. FOR MULTIPLE REASONS. Here we go - 1) Melody's parents were HORRIBLE, and she was HORRIBLE right back. "Your daddy and me still wonder how you get a stalker. Stalker usually go after beautiful girl." "Thanks for being so supportive, mom." "We watch local evening news every day. All the stalkers want to be boyfriend. Maybe you have secret admire crush." I think that pretty much sums up my point. 2) That work environment was insane I KNOW the description says that the work environment was basically the definition of the phrase toxic masculinity, but GOOD GOD. They kept busty Asian cut-outs in the office of one of their only female employees, the sexual harassment training was a joke, the boss was absolutely terrible and sexist and while I knew to expect this, it still made my blood boil. When things come to light in the latter half of the book about who leaked Melody's info, I was shocked even more. I'm not really counting it against the book, but it was so extreme to me (and the solution at the end so easy for such a built-in culture) that it held me back from enjoying the book. 3) The Cyber Crimes Division + Everyone's Reactions Scared Me No, really. The state of what could be done when someone was being stalked, doxxed, bullied and threatened and how the police responded was absolutely terrifying. Even Melody's friends and parents didn't seem NEARLY concerned enough for what she was going through. It made me feel a certain disconnect to the book and characters that I never got over. 4) Melody Didn't Seem... Real? I felt like with all the HORRIBLE things piling on her, her character and what she was going through wasn't properly explored. She was also quite a two-faced person with her friends, clearly looked down on her parents, somehow entered a new industry and figured out how to run an entire project with no mentor to guide her (wow? pls teach me how one does this?) ... and I just didn't feel her character was properly ironed out. Ok that's it. I don't really recommend this book. Clearly.

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