Sophie Sullivan’s ‘Ten Rules for Faking It’ is a sweet, witty rom-com that doesn’t shy away from the heroine’s struggle to manage her anxiety.
Every year Everly Dean dreads her birthday. So when the big 3-0 arrives, it shouldn’t have surprised her that she’d start the morning discovering that her boyfriend is cheating on her with his personal assistant, and that she’d unwittingly air all of her dirty laundry on-air at the radio station where she works. When her distant (and annoyingly handsome) boss, Chris, sends her home for the day, it’s just icing on the proverbial cake. Left alone with her anxious thoughts, Everly starts to obsess. Can she turn her 30th year around? Will she finally be able to manage her at-times debilitating anxiety? She’s not sure, so she’ll make a list to help her, just in case: Ten Rules for Faking It.
One of the things I most appreciated about this novel is its unflinching look at anxiety and how it can affect someone’s daily life. Everly is constantly exhausted by the mere task of managing all of her anxiety, and her resilience and strength translate to the page. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, I found the invitation into Everly’s thoughts and feelings to be wholly authentic and relatable. I also love how Chris accepts Everly for all the parts of who she is.
Additionally, there is a beautifully strong female friendship between Everly and Stacey that is a delight to read. The dialogue is witty, poignant, and real. And the chemistry between Everly and Chris is slow burning and delicious, though hardcore romance readers expecting an intimate scene may feel slightly let down that the actual act occurs off page. But trust me, there is still enough sizzle to make this a wholly satisfying read.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of ‘Ten Rules for Faking It’ in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC. This review contains spoilers.
Everly has a bad history when it comes to birthdays and this year is no different. Her 30th birthday starts off to a terrible start when she walks in on her boyfriend and his personal assistant in bed and continues to get worse. After accidentally announcing her unexpected birthday surprise that she walked in on to thousands of radio listeners, her life starts to get complicated. In a bid to get ratings, her hot boss pitches an idea to run a Bachelorette-style dating game to set Everly up with her happily-ever after.
Everly suffers from serious anxiety, especially in social situations. She has a hard time opening up to people, being in crowds, being the center of attention, and has difficulty with normal everyday situations. This makes the competition especially difficult for her- but she is determined to open up more and be a better version of herself. She tries new things, gets out of her comfort zone, and realizes what she wants in life (which so happens to be her boss, Chris.)
I liked all the characters and enjoyed this story. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I understand that things are hard for Everly, however, it seemed too much. If she struggled that much with her anxiety, she should have seen a therapist long ago. She stands in her own way of overcoming her anxiety and by the end of the book, I just wanted her to realize she needed help. I think her seeking outside support, rather than rely on her friend would have positively added to her character arch and was disappointed when that didn't happen.
There were MANY spacing errors in this ARC that I hope gets fixed . There was also a continuity error (she gave the list of why a relationship with Chris wouldn't work out to him, but then it is magically back in her notebook later in the book).
Overall, I would rate this 3 stars.
This book was not really my thing. This does not mean it will not be yours, but I am certainly not into the book overall. It isn't bad, but I also cannot say that I enjoyed it. Throughout most of the beginning of the book, I thought it was fine, not good or bad, just fine. But as the novel progressed, I became less interested in the story and that characters and less satisfied with the resolution to plot conflict, hence the 2-star rating as opposed to three.
I will start with what I did like about the book! I do think the premise is very cute. A woman, Everly, finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her 30th birthday. When she goes into her radio producing job, her best friend accidentally broadcasts her relationship drama to the listeners, a series of events happens, and the radio station ends us doing a contest sort of like the Bachelorette with Everly at the center. I thought that seemed cute. Also, I liked the portrayal of Everly's anxiety, I really related to a bit where Everly is ranting about people to tell her to relax where she says "When someone tells me to do that, I just want to say, 'Oh, thanks, why didn't I think of that? All better now.'" I thought that bit was highly relatable, being told to relax is the worst. Aside from this, I was pretty meh about a lot of the book.
I found a lot of the plot resolutions unsatisfying. The ex who was hearing on Everly does not have much page-time either as a character on the page or in the thoughts of the main character, all I knew about him was that he banged his assistant. That is shitty, but it also didn't feel like he was actually a character and more that he was just the device to start the plot. Which he was, but I would have cared more if he had maybe had like two personality traits. Or if he and Everly had some sort of conversation about the incident, I found his character arc supremely uninteresting.
The love interest is Chris, Everly's boss, and the dude who pitches the contest, and I just kind of didn't care about his problems either. He has major Daddy issues, he and his brothers are star children who do everything right, and his sister is an idiot. I was particularly annoyed by the sister stuff. But that Dad issues drive most of his plot and I just kind of couldn't be worried about it much. I won't keep going through the plot resolutions I was not interested in, because you can just kind of assume I found them all uninteresting. In fairness, I did skim some bits of the novel, but I already firmly did not care by the time I began to skim. I don't know where I started skimming because it just naturally happen as I became less interested.
Maybe this book will be your thing; it was clearly not mine.
When I first read the blurb for this book, and saw the authors who had written so positively about it, it was an auto click for me. I must admit I thought the book started off a bit slowly - I felt like I had a decent grip on Everly's character, but Chris remained a bit of a mystery. As their story started to unfold I became more and more irritated with the games they were playing with each other. Chris pretending he was okay with Everly dating, Everly acting so final about Chris's past - it was a tad too dramatic for me.
However, as the story came to a close I felt things were handled better. Everly's conversation with her parents was such a growing moment. Chris and his brothers finally doing things for themselves. It was a satisfying ending.
Oh, and I wholeheartedly agree on one thing - don't go outside on your birthday!
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review..
A cute and quirky novel focusing on the adventure that is adulthood!
As Everly’s life takes a nose dive she has to find a way to not only keep moving personally but also professionally! She finds herself part of a “dating” game to save her job and hopefully repair her heart! What she discovers is that healing can come from the most unlikely sources!
Chris has been trying to carve his legacy amongst his fathers company but time ad time again he’s met with brick wall after brick wall! As time and patience start to run out he realizes that maybe a career isn’t what he needs, maybe it’s love!
When Men write the “one bad day” trope, we get Joker. When women write the “one bad day” trope, we get Ten Rules for Faking It. I think that this book had too much and not enough going on at once, but it was still an enjoyable read. 3.5 stars.
Slow-burn, soft, sweet, easy to read with likable characters and thankfully sweet, kind, adorable hero with great and realistic approach to the anxiety! It’s one of the feel-good romances but I wish it was shorter because way too much depictions and slow paced story-telling made me lose my interest about romantic involvement between characters.
So let’s get look at the blurb: Everly Dean has such a bad luck when it comes to her birthdays. At those days something always unexpected happens just like her thirtieth: she finds her boyfriend hooking up with his assistant. Ouch! The beginning of the story reminds me so many romcoms’ first acts. And of course when her DJ bestie Stacey forgets her mic open when she bickers about her ex-cheating asshole Simon the snake, her day gets even worse as like her growing anxiety attacks. But she doesn’t get humiliated reaction she expects, on contrary the fans want her find her own happiness. Some of them are so keen to date with her. So his sweet and sexy boss Chris sees an opportunity and turns these reactions into a dating contest radio format to boast the radio’s listenership numbers and helps Everly to focus on a new project to overcome her hurt feelings.
Everly finally accepts the conditions: she’s in but one thing she didn’t count before joining this faking date contest, she starts to have complex feelings about her boss and she slowly realizes her feelings are not unrequited.
Well, the story’s slow burning theme was a little bored me and I didn’t find anything original about the premise: I think I had a mash up too many romcoms at the same time. It was fun, entertaining and completely sweet read but I may forget the storyline a few months later. But at least characters are well-developed and the author’s intention to attract attention about the importance of anxiety attacks was remarkable. She drew an objective picture of the illness and conclusion about the story is also satisfying.
So I’m giving three solid stars. I didn’t enjoy too much but there are still concrete, well-written and effective parts kept my attention. As I admitted before if it was a little fast paced with less page numbers, it could be four starred read for me.
Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for sharing this sweet ARC in exchange my honest review.
This book was good. Some parts were very good and funny. The main character has social anxiety, and the author was sensitive in portraying that. The main male lead was kind, handsome, and treated the female lead well. Honestly, there wasn't anything wrong with this book per se, but it seemed maybe like a lot of other books I have read? A pretty run of the mill romance, and if you like run of the mill romance, then this is one will do you just fine. I don't think I will particularly remember this book for being bolder or better than others, but it wasn't any worse. I think one way in which it set itself apart was the the best friend handled the anxiety poorly at times, and the main character was able to articulate why. That will help readers who have friends with anxiety.
Sweet but slow romance. Every birthday Everly has is west than the last. This one she found her boyfriend heating on her. Now she has come up with a list to make her birthdays suck less in the future. In the meantime, her friend and DJ and boss, Chris come up with a bachelorette type radio show to bring ratings up and also help Everly.
But the only thing Chris and Everly really want is each other, but because they work together, they keep it secret.
Like I said, this one's sweet and very slow for the couple to get together.
Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a sweet, clean romance. Everly has had a bad day and her day gets worse when she discovers her boyfriend cheating on her on her birthday. One thing leads to another and she finds herself involved in a dating contest at her job. Chris, her boss, helps her through the process and they begin to develop feelings for each other.
Now while I prefer a little more heat in my novels, I did enjoy their easy interactions and slow burn romance.