ARC Review: Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”

High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.

As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about? 

I was quite excited when the author announced that she was writing an adult romcom because despite adoring her YA novels, I seem to prefer the adult books more these days. So I was very happy when I got the arc very early.

The writing is very easy to breeze through, it’s fast paced and so easy to find myself lost in the story. The signature Sandhya’s charm and banter is all over in the dialogue, which I really enjoyed. I liked both the main characters Annika and Hudson too, though I would have preferred a dual POV. Only seeing everything through Annika’s eyes felt a little dissatisfying, especially when she got on my nerves a little. Hudson seemed to have lot of shades to himself and it was interesting getting to know him better. I also adored the side characters June and Mr. Dev who were so supportive and just there for Annika at all times. The romance could probably be called a slow burn but there is also a yearning aspect throughout, which kept me on my toes. I never could guess how the next scene would go – if it would be more flirty banter or aggressive rivalry – and that helped me finish the book very quickly.

To conclude, the book was definitely enjoyable with a good set of characters but it just wasn’t very special. I also didn’t like the way the issues between the main characters got resolved towards the end – it felt like a cop out and I was quite frustrated. But it’s also not a bad book, just something that is entertaining enough to read once.

PS: Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.

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