Book Review: Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

Make Up Break Up

Author: Lily Menon

Narrator: Natalie Naudus

Publication Date: 02 February 2021

Genre: Adult Fiction – Contemporary Romance

Representation: Indian American (Own Voices)

Length: 9 hours 15 minutes

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

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?

When I read the synopsis of this book coupled with Natalie Naudus’ narration, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. While I don’t personally agree with the whole hiring a third party to break up with someone for you when it comes to my personal preferences, I can see how this would be a beneficial service thus my interest was piqued.

Cue our two main characters: Annika Dev (Indian American) who is working tirelessly to get her app Make Up off the ground. It is nowhere near as successful as Break Up the app that her competitor and nemesis Hudson Craft created. The issue? Hudson stole Annika’s idea during a convention trist in Las Vegas. Annika is just trying to focus on Make Up before her business completely goes under, which is made even more difficult when she realizes that Hudson is the new tenant occupying the available office space on her floor.

I am all for an angsty enemies to lovers romance, which this story very much started off as. There was lots of quick wit and banter shared between Annika and Hudson, which I really enjoyed. However, it quickly began to fizzle out as it became obvious that the heartless jerk that Annika labeled Hudson as just wasn’t true. And I say that because his reactions got to the point where you were just raining on the Hudson’s parade, and I wanted to scream OUT WITH IT ALREADY.

Normally, I don’t mind the miscommunication trope when it comes to romances because I totally understand that this sort of messiness is reflective of everyday life. That being said, so many of the assumptions that were made between both Annika and Hudson were infuriating. And I’m not going to lie, the final confrontation/resolution was a bit of a let down.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike this book, but I just didn’t love it either. It definitely falls squarely in the meh area. There were parts that I enjoyed (yay BIPOC women who are entrepreneurs in STEM fields!), but there were parts that just weren’t really for me.

Overall, this is a quick read and definitely gives some interesting insight into the app development world.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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