Love at First Like

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

No, no, no, no.
Ugh this book.
I thought this book was going to be a cute rom-com about this girl who accidentally posted a photo of a ring on her engagement finger on Instagram, and then spent the whole book trying tell her followers that she wasn't getting married.
The protagonist in this book was the biggest liar I've ever seen within a story before, and I couldn't believe that everyone went along with her string of lies! This book is ENTIRELY unrealistic, and I kept listening and reading because I thought FOR SURE the author would turn this story around. Nope.
No one in their right minds would accidentally post a photo, and then try and recruit a guy to marry them within 6 months all for a free wedding, and some publicity for their jewelry store. And then A BIG EYE roll for who she does end up with.
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First of all, please congratulate me for reading a book on my Netgalley backlist! Go me! Second, congratulate me again for reading a book based on a premise I despise: sitting on a throne of lies! :)

When Eliza discovers via Instagram that her last serious ex-boyfriend, Holden is engaged, she flips out. Despite the fact that she runs a successful business, Brooklyn Jewelers, with her sister, Sophie, Eliza feels as if she's lost the breakup--and life--when Holden gets engaged first. After all, she's still single. To console herself, she takes out some of the jewelry store pieces and snaps some insta-worthy shots of them on her left (ring) finger. This process is accompanied with a little alcohol to soothe the loss. Everything seems fine until she wakes up in the morning and realizes she's posted a shot to the store's page--and it's basically gone viral. From there, Eliza makes the perfectly rational (??!!) decision to pretend she's engaged and line up a free wedding and honeymoon to drum up business for Brooklyn Jewelers. All she needs now is a groom.

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

I have no idea why I picked this book, I'm guessing it was a Netgalley widget, because I really really hate books based on lies like this. It truly makes me nervous and on edge. I almost didn't keep reading, but I decided to give it a shot. And I will grudgingly admit that Eliza grew on me, okay? If you aren't as bothered by me by the "throne of lies" concept, you might enjoy this book. And if you are into Instagram and jewelry, you could even love it.

Some pluses... Eliza has a lesbian sister. Sure, it's token lesbian representation, but at least it's there. Eliza pines for a man, but she's also a strong businesswoman and her business is very important to her (so much that she'd go along with this harebrained scheme to keep it). She and her sister are running a fairly successful storefront in New York. They admit part of that is because they received an inheritance, but Eliza also puts a lot of work into it. That's cool.

Some negatives... a lot of the dilemmas and plot points come across as very flat and one dimensional. Oh no, suddenly the rent is being raised, heightening the stakes in Eliza's fake wedding scheme?! Her sister's health insurance no longer covers IVF, so she needs more money to have a baby with her wife? You don't say, etc. At times, the plot feels like a trainwreck, where you know something horrible is going to happen, but you just can't look away. Eliza is determined that she's getting married--no matter the cost to anyone. The book stressed me out a lot. (Just tell people the truth!)

Still, much like a Hallmark movie, I found myself invested. I knew how it would probably all wind up, but I was weirdly captivated by it all. The Instagram heavy scenes, Eliza's dramatics, the looming wedding date. Somehow it worked in the end. It was crazy and ridiculous, but oh well. 3 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Atria Books in return for an honest review.
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This was just not good. The one thing that has to happen in a contemporary/romance book is you have to like the main character. And I did not like the main character. She was bratty and entitled and every character in this book made stupid decisions. It just wasn't for me. I really wanted to like this. The concept was great and the cover is so adorable! But that's about all I liked about it.
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Okay, at first I loved the idea of the book but then I just couldn't buy the fact that the lie the entire story was based on was just perpetuated and perpetuated - it all seemed SO highly improbably that I couldn't suspend disbelief to sink into the story fully.
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I really liked Playing with Matches, so I was excited to check out another novel by Hannah Orenstein. Love at First Like impressed me just as much as it's predecessor, if not more.

Eliza felt relatable right away and I liked that she was an entrepreneur and owned a business. Her situation become complex quickly and I kept wondering where the story would go, but I also could figure out what might happen. Even with that level of predictability (which comes from me reading way too many books), I enjoyed where the story eventually went. I understood why Eliza made the decisions that she did and how she felt as a result. I felt like more conflict could have been added in though. The supporting cast was a lot of fun and I like that Hannah brought back characters from Playing with Matches as friends of Eliza's.

Overall, this was an enjoyable novel and I hope Hannah publishes more in the near future!

Movie casting ideas:
Eliza: Daniella Monet
Sophie: Olivia Thirlby
Blake: James Wolk
Carmen: Juno Temple
Raj: Nikesh Patel
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I could not finish this book because i found the protagonist and her sister unbelievable at best and very annoying. I closed the book when the sister was whining about needing to spend thousands of dollars for IVF (cuz it's her DREAM to have a biological child and so no one can argue) even though their business is in debt and her sister is planning an over-the-top pretend wedding because she accidentally posted something on instagram and then was too much of a 12 year old to simply explain that it was marketing, not real. I hated these girls (and I do mean girls--between them they had the emotional maturity of a high schooler).
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I started reading this book, but did not finish it. I read a few chapters but did not connect with the characters, so I wasn't interested in continuing.
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I wanted to love Love at First Like, but unfortunately I was unable to finish it. I do not like deception in my romances, and I had a hard time with that plotpoint. This was my first from Orenstein and while I did enjoy her writing style, I struggled too much with the storyline. DNF at 37%
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback.

The blessing and the curse that has become social media.  One wrong post and your life can take a drastic change of course…including fake engagements and weddings!

There were so many times in reading this book that I wanted to holler, grab her shoulders and give Eliza a good shake.  But overall, this was a good story to escape in.  I would laugh at the dialogue and how absurd the situations were.  Like many books of this genre, the outcome was predictable.  

In a moment of weakness, Eliza unintentionally posts a ring picture on Instagram announcing she just said “I do” to her jewelry stores followers.  The problem? She doesn't even have a boyfriend!  This puts the business owned by her and her sister at risk.  A business that is now the brink of closing.  

As the likes start accumulating, the online sales start booming and the money issues her and her sister have just might be over.  Eliza makes the decision to find a husband.  Simple.  Easy Peasy.  **Shaking head**

It is a silly love story that was a great break from some heavier books I was readying.  For this point alone, I loved this story…great or not.
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This book isn't going to be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. There's a lot of NYC references, influencer behind the scenes, and side notes about start-up culture and entrepreneurship. It's fun to see Eliza and her sister working on their own business, as well as her best friend trying to launch hers. However, the main character does try to trick a guy into marrying her for the 'gram while also confiding all of this to the bartender across the street which is where it seems to turn a lot of readers off. I don't need my characters to be morally perfect. Also, this book is  getting confused for a romance a lot, but is clearly women's fiction.

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria books for my copy in exchange for review.

Audio: Narrator was fantastic.
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Unfortunately, I could not finish this book.  I was disappointed in the deceptive nature and I just couldn't get myself to go beyond about 35% read.  Posting false information on Instagram by accident is one thing.  Keeping it up and taking advantage of the hype you receive is another.  But then it gets taken even further to try to find a guy to unknowingly be a part of it.  I know that lying is a part of life, but deceptive behavior should not be.
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This was a cutesy little book. I enjoyed the writing and the pace of the story. These books are perfect fluffy books to read after some of the dark heavy books that I read!
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This book was entertaining in a romantic comedy feel where you are shocked by the decisions of the characters, but also so invested in figuring out how it will all resolve! It was fun and unrealistic, but a great entertaining escape.
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This is my first novel by Hannah Orenstein, and I was so excited to dive into it. I loved the synopsis, because the digital age (and social media in general) is intriguing. We allow so much of our lives to be posted online, willingly removing any sense of privacy. This can make for a fantastic story, and in this case, it made for a solid rom-com.

My favorite genre is thriller/mystery/suspense, but rom-coms are a close second. However, where I find issues with the latter is predictability. Rom-coms aren't novels you read for the mystery. Very early on, you can make good assumptions about the main character, the inevitable romance, and the HEA ending. Love at First Like is no exception in that regard.

Where this book shines is characterization. The writer deliberately strays away from the cookie-cutter atypical rom-com narrator, and gives you Eliza, someone who dives steadfast into the unknown--and makes all the wrong decisions. Other reviewers have mentioned how she is manipulative, cheap, stubborn, and overly ridiculous. And they're right. She is. But she is also passionate and young. She is living in a world where follower count deems not only success but also self-worth, especially for businesses and businesswomen. Do I agree with that statement? No. But my opinion doesn't make that statement any less true or valid. After all, we live in a digital world. So when Eliza finds overnight success, she falls into that dirty pit and has to claw her way out and find herself again.

I experienced SO many emotions while reading this one. I laughed, cried, yelled, and, at times, absolutely hated Eliza for treating certain characters so horribly. But it was all necessary, because this was the road Eliza was on. In the end, she got her HEA--and so did the reader.
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I really wanted to like this book.  I thought I was going to be reading a romantic comedy, but the book felt a little flat for me.  I felt like Eliza was immature and self-centered. I would have liked the end to see her mature a little and learn a lesson, but I just felt all her bad choices were justified in the end. I did like that the author included the many challenges of social media and living your life out in the open, where its all documented. The book started out strong, I liked the writing style, and some parts were funny.
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I read Hannah Orenstein’s first book, Playing with Matches, which was light and enjoyable. Unfortunately Love at First Like fell flat for me. I never got a good sense of who Eliza was. Supposedly she was wild and adventurous, but I never got that from her. She was portrayed as impulsive, but can across as a user. I kept waiting for her big secret to be exposed but (spoiler) it never was! So anticlimactic.
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Love at First Like is adorable! I raced through it, really enjoying its tale of love in this Instagrammable age. The plot is familiar, it is true, but it's so deftly handled here and done with such humor and such joy that I couldn't help but be sucked in. Love at First Lite is absolutely worth your time if you enjoy a good romance. Highly recommended.
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Maybe I should have known that this would be complete fluff after only getting through half of the first book I read by this author, Playing With Matches. As with that one, the synopsis was interesting enough, but then it just went all over the place with these outrageous setups and the MC acted more like a floundering 20-something than a functional 32-year old. Good for a palette cleansing beach read, but not much more.
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Love at First Like first hooked me with its cute cover and  intriguing description. This novel was a quick read for me. I loved every minute of it.
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3.5⭐ rounded up

This book is a hard one for me to review because there were aspects that I loved, but I also felt there were things I didn't like. So I'm going to give it my best shot.

Things that I loved:

I loved how supportive Eliza's family was even if they didn't agree with her choices. I think it's very common for families to project what they feel is best onto the people they love unintentionally and get a bit judgmental along the way.

I really enjoyed how close Eliza and Carmen were and how supportive they were of each other. For so long females were always competing or jealous of each other so it's nice to see so many female relationships in books lately. I liked how they kept up their Thursday night dates even though they had busy lives.

While I found the plot a bit farfetched, it had realistic aspects of the effects of social media. Who hasn't accidentally liked a photo they didn't mean to or accidentally posted something they didn't intend to? You immediately start to panic, but Eliza went a different route. While her determination caused it to go way further than it should have, it exposed the fact that so much of what we see on social media is fake. People post things that make them look better and therefore feel better about themselves. We now live in a world where quite a few people base their worth on how many likes their photos receive.

What kept me from giving it 5⭐:

The main character Eliza was a bit dishonest and conniving which makes it difficult to completely like her and connect with her character. When a book has a character that I can't connect with I find myself less invested in their HEA. I also didn't like the fact that she told Blake she loved him when she really didn't just to get what she wanted. He was essentially in a fake relationship he thought was real. It's never ok to disregard someone's feelings for any reason. I felt more for him than I ever did for Eliza.

This was a modern romcom that was different than anything else I've read. Even though it had some issues, I still found it enjoyable and read it quickly. This book had a fun plot and I can't wait to see what the author writes next.
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