Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park
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?
I received this book from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review. My review is unbiased.
Just going to start off with some trigger warnings for the book: Sexism, racism, doxxing, harassment, stalking.
Alrighty first of all when I heard about this book, all I knew was that it was rom-com and had to do with video games. It sounded fun and light but ohhhhh boy… it definitely wasn’t “light” AND it most definitely is not a romance. I don’t know why goodreads has it labeled under Romance because it was barely part of the plot.
Anyway, I did enjoy this book overall. it was pretty fast paced and easy to read. I wouldn’t recommend you read this alone though because there were so many moments I just wanted to scream and yell because the things the men did in this book were just… UGH. Just thinking about the sexism Melody had to face all the time in the gaming industry makes me want to run outside and just scream at the top of my lungs. And the fact that Melody just dealt with it?? Astounding.
While I did enjoy the overall story, especially because it brought up really important discussions about sexism and racism in the gaming industry, I did find the writing a bit choppy. I don’t know whether it’s because it’s an ARC or not to be honest, but it just felt like the plot jumped a bit from place to place in an effort to move the story along. Certain scenes felt like they’d been put in the original story but then trimmed and edited without filling in the edges that had been taken out, if that makes sense. It was kind of easy to overlook it just because the story was already fast paced and emotions were high because of how many terrible things were happening.
BUT there were a few scenes that just felt kind of put in there for no reason or to just add that little bit of romance that I wish there had been more of. The choppiness was a bit more evident after halfway through the book and it took me out of the story a few times but not enough to make me want to quit or make me hate it, just because I was so invested in Melody’s story.
What I really enjoyed about the book was the way that it made me angry. The discussions about sexism and racism in the workplace were pretty well done in my opinion. If the storyline had only been about her navigating the workplace, I wouldn’t have even minded because the romance wasn’t even a central part of the story.
I would recommend this to anyone who wants something that really gets their emotions running (especially anger, oh my goodness). If you enjoy sparking conversations about sexism and racism, a smidge of workplace romance, LOTS of drama, and a highly relatable female character that deals with all this crap way better than I could, then definitely check out this book!