Cover Image: Not the Girl You Marry

Not the Girl You Marry

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I read Not the Girl You Marry by Andie Christopher for free.  I was interested in the book as the blurb caught my attention.  Jack is a journalist who works for a web news who always does fluff articles because of his looks.  Hannah is an event planner that always does events that  involve athletes. Each want to expand their horizons and are given conditions by their boss.  Jack to do politics must write an article about How to lose a girl and Hannah to do weddings must prove that she can date.  They run across each other at a bar and Jack is smitten and Hannah feels all men are scum.  So when they are given the ultimatums, they text and set up a date.  Eventually, they are caught in the lie.  I love the banter and Hannah's  behavior to Jack, the way the both care for others and I hate the mean girl at Hannah's  workplace.  I would recommend  this book.
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This is one of my new favourite rom-coms. Fair warning, there is plenty of descriptions of male on female oral sex, a leading male described as a “Prime Cut of Chicago Man Mean” and un-apologetically dirty humour, including several phrases like douche-bro, dip your wick, the reoccurring reference to the “Debbie Does Dallas style bush”, and, my favourite, BONE (a term which, in my mind, will always be heard as Cpt. Holt screaming “BONE” in the middle of the 99th precinct that season where the squad was working the night shift…). Have I caught your attention yet?

Not the Girl you Marry is a modern version of the How to Loose a Guy in 10 Days with reversed roles, starring Jack and Hannah.

Jack, aka Man Meat, is a writer working at an online magazine where he’s been relegated to doing the “How To” column – a wildly popular video series where he does fluff pieces like “How to Make your Lady Scream – for More Ice Cream, Because you’re Going to Make It” (yes, that is one of the titles). He desperately wants out and onto a “real” beat, but his boss wont let him until he does one more column: how to loose a girl by doing common stupid douche-bro moves.

Hannah describes herself as having ethnically ambiguous looks, body sense of humour, and a filthy mind. Hence much of the dirty humour. Hannah is an event planner, who has been successfully delivering the “booze, beer and boobs” events for the past few years, but wants to break into the wedding game in order to secure a promotion to VP at her firm. Only thing is, her boss doesn’t think she believes in romance, then subsequently challenges Hannah to try to keep a man for the next 2 weeks to prove she’s ready to take on the wedding gigs.

And therein lies the conflict: after a chance meeting at a bar one night, Jack starts dating Hannah while trying to ‘lose her’ and Hannah dates Jack trying to ‘keep him’, both trying to hold out long enough to get their respective promotions i.e. a recipe for a romantic comedy.

This book does so well in striking that balance between enough content to be “adult” without tipping into “mature adult” – reminds me of a book version of movies like “Friends with Benefits” and “The Ugly Truth”. Honestly, apart from the dirty humour, this tale is actually quite sweet. On one hand you’ve got Jack the self-proclaimed “perfect” boyfriend with his love of long-term relationships and his deep-seated mommy-issues. On the other, you’ve got Hannah who describes men as the enemy after a series of short-term flings with men end poorly. When you put them together, I feel like so many of their blind spots complement each other in such a good way, and they unknowingly force each other to face their respective issues. Plus their banter is on point. And I definitely laughed my ass off when Jack tries to pull the “I’m actually saving sex for marriage” card midway through their hook up in his attempt to convince her to dump him. Especially when it backfires and leads to some naughty business… Oh Jack. It was a good try. I guess.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

I got to 33% and then DNF.  I didn't enjoy being in the head of the MC H at all.  I don't know if men Beta read this and said, yes, that's how men think or if this is just how the author thinks men think, but either way, I did not enjoy it.  It was VERY crude and some of it just didn't make any sense.  

Now, I read an eARC, so HOPEFULLY a lot of the lines to which I objected were amended, but since they might have been and I didn't read a finished copy, I'm not going to quote any of the lines here.  Let's just say that the h was compared to a "sexy rabid raccoon" and the H liked it....  So yeah, I hope that was changed.  

Also, the entire premise was just MEAN.  I thought it would be cute, but no.  So the H can write the political expose article he wants, he has to write about how to lose a girl.  The h is said girl, who he met before this deal with his boss.  Also, she wants to plan weddings, but is anti-men for herself, so she is using him to pretend she has romance so her boss will let her plan weddings.  

This would be fine, but they are both emotionally vulnerable, so the lying on both sides is just going to cause pain and problems.  They could just TELL the other person what they need so they could work together as a team, OR the H could just write the article he wants to write and hand it to his boss and if it is as good as it should be, the boss publishes it anyway.  And the h could tell her boss that is an antiquated way to view a relationship and that one doesn't have to be straight and in a happy relationship to plan a wedding and then go to HR.  

But then we wouldn't have this book in this way.  And I am sure there is a growth arc for both characters, but I didn't feel like reading to that point.  I read to escape reality and this was not the escape I was looking for at this time.

Ok, sorry, that is what I didn't like about this book. What I DID like, the author has a forward where she discusses that she is mixed and her MC h is also mixed.  So actual representation, always a plus in my book.  

Not one of my favs and maybe just the wrong time for me and this book.  I would recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary romance, want representation and don't mind some crudeness and a bit of heat.  

2, it's probably me reading it wrong, stars.
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*DNF @ 50%*

You know, this is my own damn fault. Once I saw that this book was a spin on How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days I shouldn't have even started this book considering I did not like that movie. I should've just stuck with my instincts because I didn't vibe with this book at all.

First, this isn't even a fake relationship romance since neither Hannah or Jack are aware that the other is using them to further advance their career. They're just basically misleading one another while falling for each another at the same time.

Secondly, what's the deal with making Jack seem like he's the "perfect" boyfriend? He talks about his past relationships as if he did nothing wrong and he questions why those relationships didn't work out if he was such a good partner and frankly, I ain't buying this mister nice guy act.

Thirdly, I didn't really care for Hannah like I thought I would. I get why she's sworn off men and relationships but the girl just keeps repeating the same thing throughout this book and sorry not sorry, it makes her sound bitter. Jack and Hannah both need to stop living in the past because it's clearly not healthy for either one of them.

And lastly, where is the passion? The romance? The swoon? I just don't like how this romance is progressing. Everything moves kind of fast and I wish this was more of a slow burn.

Though this book didn't work for me, I'm sure it'll probably work for other readers who were also fans of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days so take my review with a grain of salt.
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This was enjoyable to read, but I never fully connected with the story or the plot. He's trying to make a name for himself in journalism. She's trying to prove to her boss that she can be more than the party girl planner, which means she needs to be in love. The tropes were plentiful, basically. I would like to see what else this author can do.
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FULL REVIEW ON FRESH FICTION
NOT THE GIRL YOU MARRY by Andie J. Christopher is a vivacious, modern romance with fresh and fun storytelling. Hannah is a sarcastic hardworking woman who knows she’s ready to move forward, professionally and personally. As a biracial woman, Hannah has always felt like she’s had to fight to belong somewhere, and most of the time, people--namely men who only want to sleep with her and women who feel threatened by her--eventually end up dismissing her. She had a tumultuous relationship with a man who later plays a key role in the story, who always made her feel less than, so in turn, she decided to take control one aspect she knew she would excel in. Jack, on the other hand, comes across as a guy’s guy, but has a softer side to him, which is explained through his reflections on his previous relationships where he thought he was doing the right things that just resulted in breakups.
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I love Not the Girl You Marry. It is an engaging and witty read. The romance enraptured me. Andie is a talented author, and this story shines.
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Not The Girl You Marry is a predictable but fun contemporary romance. If you've seen the movie this book is based on then you won't find any surprises here. Some of the humor and scenes are a little dry and lack depth. However, this is a generic fun read that could be enjoyed on a beach somewhere.
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I really wanted to like this book. The author's note made me cry so I gave this book more chances than I normally would. I have tried multiple times to really immerse myself with the characters but I can't engage with them. I think the How to Lose A Guy overtones were odd and forced and the characters just didn't click in my head. I decided not to finish. Thank you for the opportunity!
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DNF

The attempt at gender flipping 10 Things I Hate About You is such a good idea, but it's been done in such a way as to keep the gender dynamics the same and merely flip the jobs. That's completely the opposite of the point.
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Maybe I would've liked this a bit more if it wasn't pushed so much to be like "How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days" because I just kept thinking of how much I liked that movie better. Not a bad attempt at it, but the characters weren't as likable as in the movie.
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I know the synopsis says it but this is literally a retelling of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Hannah is an event planner and her boss won’t consider her for promotion unless she starts doing weddings. The catch is that Hannah has to prove to her boss that she actually loves love so she lies and says she’s dating Jack (which now she has to string along long enough to present him to her boss). Jack on the other hand wants to get a promotion at the newspaper he works at and his boss has told him in order to be considered he must write an article on how to lose a girl in 2 weeks. 

Honestly, both of them need therapy lol. I thought it was interesting how the guy was all about commitment but our female protagonist wasn’t. I also really enjoyed the authors note on why writhing a biracial character was so important to her. I definitely enjoyed the representation! The banter was a little cheesy for me but some of it was laugh out loud funny. Overall, I thought the plot was kinda predictable. It was a quick, kinda funny romance, and I promise both characters will frustrate the shit outta you. 

The Steam rating on this is a 🔥🔥🔥/5. If I could pair this with a sex toy it would be a clitoral stimulator that mimics the sensation of oral sex. 

I posted this on my bookstagram and business page
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I loved that this was an inclusive romance story but I struggled with the writing style and I just never grew to like Jack or Hannah. If you love How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days though, definitely check this out!
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Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher felt like a deeply personal exploration of approaching dating as a person of mixed-race. While I didn't dislike the main characters, Hannah and Jack, I actually enjoyed them more when they were apart, with their friends and family, rather than when they were together. By and large they were very emotionally guarded during their interactions together, and struggled to build beyond their physical attraction to each other. This dynamic left the ending feeling more like a dubious "happy for now" rather than a well-earned happily ever after. Berkeley seems to have developed a habit of publishing romances with Black or mixed race heroines who (wrongly) feel themselves unworthy of love, and I hope they’re more thoughtful about their depiction of women of color in the future. CW: racism, misogynoir, divorce, feelings of parental abandonment; Tropes: fake dating; Readalike: Jasmine Guillory
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This one by far had How to Lose a Guy in 10 days vibe. The best twist was that it was written with a gender role reversal. It’s nice to see a story with such a cliche storyline have a writing style that really stood out.

Hannah was a very career driven, event planner who wasn’t big on planning weddings. At this point she wants a promotion so needs to seem more like a romantic person. She decides she is going to date jack to make her look like a romantic wedding planner. I would described her as a sex loving, emotionally unromantic person, and I love that! Jack is a journalist that’s doing a how to lose a girl article to get his boss to agree to letting him write things aren’t too “fluffy” any more. I would describe him as a very charming, trusting and romantic person.

This one was definitely a cute rom-com that kept my interest. I liked that you got both perspectives throughout the book. If you enjoy light hearted romantic reads, I would say pick this one up!
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DNF
I hard a tough time with the writing in this book. I'm sure other readers will enjoy it but Not The Girl You Marry wasn't for me.
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This book was just an okay read, I felt like I was reading it just to say I read it. It wasn’t a badly written book, the story just was not holding my attention. There was no surprises. No big plot twists. Jack and Hannah has good chemistry but it felt like this story has been done before.
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i enjoyed this book, but it has been a long while since i have read this, and i do very much apologize for that. but this one just wasn't that enjoyable for me, even though i did somewhat enjoy it.
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i loved everything about this book. The characters and the humour really hit the spot!
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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Yikes, terrible writing. And so VULGAR. I really didn’t need to know that much about the “hero”’s oral sex habits with his exes right in the first chapter. Unbelievably boring instalust between the MCs as well.
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