My rom-com kick continues with Sandhya Menon’s adult debut under her pen name–Lily Menon–and it didn’t disappoint. It’s Silicon Valley tech life meets strong women and enemies to lovers romance with a nice, slow burn and a happy ending. My only concern is that this is like the sixth book I know of about “rival app creators” and while I know they probably all sold the same month or something, I hope this book can stand out!
Annika Dev is the CEO and creative visionary behind Make Up, an in-works app that she thinks will revolutionize the way people talk to each other and help them heal wounds that might break them apart and teach them a better way to communicate in their relationship. The only problem is…she’s a bit behind schedule, she’s running out of money, and the rent is due…a lot of it. So she’s SUPER excited to find out her rival–the hit app Break Up which is like an Uber courier serving for dumping your SO–is moving in next door. Did we mention Break Up’s super hot CEO who Annika spent a week hooking up with the previous summer at a tech thing in Las Vegas? I didn’t? Oops. Well, there’s that, and there’s an EPIC pitch looming, and of course, the two apps will have to go head to head for those angel investors as they go head to head to find out what the heck is going on between them.
This is part enemies-to-lovers romance, part heartfelt family story, part women-in-tech prose, and all fun. Like I mentioned above, I hope it can stand out in a world of “rival app creator” romances, but I think Menon comes with a lot of trust for her readers, and while this does have a sex scene, I don’t think it’s too raunchy and older YA readers will enjoy it as well–by that I mean older teens, not ladies in their 50s, lol. They, of course, can handle it. The sex is way less explicit than some of the stuff in certain fantasy novels, if you know what I mean. This feels like the grown-up version of When Dimple Met Rishi in the best ways.
I really enjoyed Annika’s personality, her relationship with her Dad, and her fire and ambition. Hudson was swoony, obviously, and I liked the way the book had tech in it but not being techy didn’t keep you from enjoying it. The pacing felt a little strange at the end–once the pitch contest started, but that’s just life sometimes.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m excited to read more from Menon in all the genres!