I really wanted to like this book but I didn’t connect with either of the main characters.
Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!
Samiah Brooks would have never imagined that she would find out that her boyfriend is a catfishing, unfaithful jerk through a Twitter thread. She also would have never imagined that when she confronts him, alongside his two other girlfriends, the incident would go viral.
With their laundry sufficiently aired, Samiah, London, and Taylor decide to swear off men for good–well, for the next six months at least–and focus on themselves in what they dub “The Boyfriend Project”. With the love and support of these new (and unexpected) friends, Samiah is determined to spend all of her energy on work and finally launching the app she’s been putting off for years.
But when new-hire Daniel Collins shows up at her job, the attraction between them is undeniable. Suddenly, Samiah finds herself forced to choose between seeing The Boyfriend Project through or letting herself fall for a man that, once again, might be hiding something from her.
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Review (No Spoilers)
FINALLY back to writing reviews for the books I read last month during Readathin. I know I’ve posted a few reviews this month already, but those were pre-written and just sitting in my drafts. This is the first one that I’m actually sitting down in December to write.
The Boyfriend Project was a book that I wanted to love so badly. I am a huge fan of illustrated covers, and the blurb for this was right up my alley. Watching two people try to ignore the chemistry between them is something that I love reading and that’s exactly what the premise of this book is. Samiah and Daniel both have very valid reasons to not pursue a relationship, but they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Thus begins the battle of heart vs. mind.
The reason this book ended up falling short for me was because I was not a fan of the writing nor the characters. The book is written in third person, and the author liked to do this thing where a character would be thinking through something and then randomly say one sentence out loud, even when they were completely alone. The lines chosen weren’t particular “aha!” moments, so I’m still not sure why this was done. It felt as if the author didn’t want to go too long without someone speaking and decided that this was the best solution for when characters were alone.
Moving on to the characters! While I appreciated Samiah and Daniel’s go-getting and determined attitudes, both of them made choices that I couldn’t rationalize. As a result, a lot of the tension and conflict in the book seemed unnecessarily contrived. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the book does try its best to include the reasoning behind each main character’s actions–which I can definitely appreciate–but a lot of the time, the character would just be flopping back and forth, sometimes completely contradicting something they said not long before.
On top of that, I have a strong inkling that Daniel was specifically written to be the “perfect man”. I recently learned about how “Mary Sue” is often what people call characters who represent the author’s ideal self, and I felt like Daniel was written to be the author’s ideal man. Don’t get me wrong, he still had flaws, but most of the time I felt he was unrealistically molded to be exactly what Samiah needed.
I’ll definitely be giving Farrah Rochon another shot as this book was really good at promoting self-love, diversity, and feminism. If there’s a book coming out about Taylor or London, I would definitely jump at the chance to read it. Those two characters were so unexpectedly complex that they were probably my favorite part of the book. I’d definitely read spin-offs of their stories.
I should be posting at least 3 more reviews this month of books that I read in November, so stay tuned!
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