Must Love Books
By Shauna Robinson
Must Love Books is insightful into the book world and the unexpected path’s life can take you down, when at first, your dream job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a copy. Discover the blurb and my review below.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill meets Younger in a heartfelt debut following a young woman who discovers she’ll have to ditch the “dream job” and write her own story to find her happy ending.
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. Parson’s 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 Parson’s 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.
Your next book club read touching on mental health, happiness, and the peaks and perils of being a young woman just trying to figure it all out. Nora Hughes is the perfect heroine for anyone looking to get past their own chapter twenty-something and build their storybook life.
The book begins with rather sardonic tones and you get the feel for the type of company Nora works for, straight away. It draws you in with the sense of humour and a relatability I am sure many readers will see within their own jobs and businesses. It begins with Nora interviewing perspective candidate – Kelly at publishing company Parson’s Press. This was, she decided, 5 years ago, to be her dream job and landed the post of Editorial Assistant, when she was all young and less jaded, with a love of books, even when younger, when she enjoyed Judy Blume’s “Just As Long As We’re Together” (a book I myself also remember fondly and still own a copy of”). Fantasies of what she would be doing had gone through her head and she sees a bit of this in “bright-eyed” Kelly across the table as she is on the look out for a replacement to fill the hole that friend, Beth would leave when she move onto pastures new. Nora seems to wish she could do the same.
The book is interesting. It has quite a cutting edge and brings readers a huge dose of reality to swallow that brings a real eye-opener; it’s nonetheless entertaining throughout. Between that and work, the book is incredibly believable and relateable as a woman’s dream job isn’t what was expected and tries a different tact, especially when things at work go from bad to worse with the job itself and the office politics, which makes living and working needlessly hard. So, she tries out for a job at new start-up company – Booktap, which sounds hip and relaxed and the complete opposite of Parson’s, to see if her happy-ending could exist there or at Weber, but the question is, whether she really wants it, if she was offered. It’s an interesting book in that it goes through quite a lot of how people feel when applying for a new job and the feedback from interviews is spot-on too. It’s also about a woman trying to discover where she fits best in the working world. It’s a book that would appeal to any person of working age, looking for a change in their lives, especially if they’ve “been there, done that, and even going through it again” as you’d really get a feel for this and perhaps identify with it.
It’s a great life adventure to see what path Nora does take and what she discovers. There’s some romance along the way too. It carries with it an important message, that sometimes not everything works out as you think it would, but you still survive.