Book Review: Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

love-at-first-like-9781982121464_hrSYNOPSIS: Eliza Roth co-owns a jewellery shop with her sister, Sophie, that is struggling to stay open thanks to the rent going up for their store location. So, when Eliza accidentally posts a photo to Instagram that makes their followers believe she is engaged, Eliza decides to go with it and turn the situation into a way to increase their sales. Before long, venues and companies are offering their services for the wedding in exchange for cross-promotion, and now all Eliza has to do is find a groom…

AUTHOR: Hannah Orenstein lives in Brooklyn. She has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites before trying her hand at novels. At one time she even used to be the youngest matchmaker at a top dating service.

COVER: This was a cover buy for me as that is what captured my attention. It is a very simple image of a hand holding a mobile phone on a plain green background. On the phone is a photo of a girl’s back with her left hand reaching behind her to hold a man’s hand… she is also wearing a diamond ring. This plays into pop culture on a variety of levels – millennials taking photos of everything, the current craze of cartoonish illustrations, and also the fame of a photographer who took “follow me” pictures of his girlfriend like this around the world.

PLOT:  While a fair few females do plan their dream wedding, sometimes before they are even old enough to actually have a boyfriend, Eliza was literally booking venues and testing cakes before she had a groom. If I had heard of someone essentially staging a wedding as a marketing gimmick in real life I would be a bit angry at such disrespect for what should be a very special moment, but I think because this novel is a comedy of errors I found it amusing instead.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: Despite all the stress and craziness, Eliza did not actually change throughout the course of the novel. She was driven and impulsive from beginning to end, and it did not seem like she fully learned from her mistakes. While she did see the error of her ways I have no doubt she would pull something like that again, so I would have liked to see her grow a bit more than she did.

ROMANCE: Eliza basically had near identical meet-cutes with both Blake and Raj. She had a bad date and then met each of these guys in the bar afterwards and hit it off. However, one was friend-zoned and the other given a chance. It makes you realize that when it comes to meeting someone timing can make all the difference in decided what that person’s role will be in your life.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS: I had hoped the story would end with Eliza calling off the wedding and finding another way to save her company rather than following through with the ceremony; I feel that this would have made her a stronger character. While I am not entirely certain her company really would have managed to stay afloat during the scandal that may have followed, perhaps her followers would have rallied at the news of the broken engagement and thus give the business the influx of profit they needed that way.

QUOTE: My wedding is exactly six months from tomorrow. All I have to do now is find the groom.

VERDICT: If you go into this novel for a bit of light-hearted fun and don’t consider real world application, it is quite enjoyable. Even though the storyline did not go entirely as I had hoped it would (and there were a couple of options I thought about), it was still a cute read. I found it to be a well-written romcom and have already recommended it to one of my friends.

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading, writing, and editing.

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