Cover Image: Must Love Books

Must Love Books

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Member Reviews

I found the pace of this book to be rather slow and I had trouble connecting with the characters.  It turns out this book just wasn’t for me.  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Nora has been at her job for some years and it's stuck. I like how the story gave insight to the publishing world. I love books that are centered around books. The characters are relatable, likeable, and realistic. The main character was trying to find herself. The themes are  mental health, depression, stagnant, self-discovery, and unexpected love. This book took me on a slow roller coaster ride but in the end I enjoyed it. The cover caught my attention and of course the word “book” that I had to read. I enjoy the author's writing style which was relaxed, precise, and to the point. I recommend it to all readers. I give it five stars.
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“Must Love Books” is a strong debut novel by Shauna Robinson! As a former English major and teacher, I automatically gravitate to any *books about books* so to speak. Nora’s mental health struggles strongly resonated with me too. Robinson comes to realize her dream job isn’t what she thought—- and maybe there isn’t such thing as a dream job anyway. Thank you so much to NetGalley for the ARC!
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This is a Women's fiction, not really a romance. Also, not really a book about books, the MC has fallen out of love of them because of her job, I can relate a lot about not feeling motivated, not knowing exactly what to do and depression. 

The blurb is misleading, all of it happens, but it makes you think this book will be the love story about an editorial assistant an author, it has tiny moments of that, but it's not the focal point. Sometimes something has to happen for you to make a decision, otherwise it would take more time, even though you're so unhappy, it's easy to get used to that feeling, we can adapt to anything. Getting out of that rut is hard, so if you have an aha moment you have to take it.

I would have liked it a lot more if this whole book was the first half of the book and the rest we continued with our heroin's journey.
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A superb debut from Shauna Robinson. A feel good, rom-com, quirky story. I can see Nora evolving and hopefully a book two!
Thank you to NetGalley and sourcebooks for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Title grabbed me on this one. I love books.
But not this one. Whiny, insipid main character who whines a lot but doesn't really do much.
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A book called Must Love Books?! It was love at first sight (of the title) for me. Unfortunately, I fell out of love over the course of the book, due to issues both with the main character and the plot itself. 

Our main character, Nora, is 5 years into a dead-end job as an editorial assistant at a publishing house that works with business-related topics. Not exactly what she'd hoped for when she'd entered the publishing world as a starry-eyed booklover. From the start, I related to that part of Nora. For example, in the first chapter, we get this heartthrob of a line "Her childhood spent smuggling books and cracking hardcovers everywhere she went - at the dinner table, in the lunch line, occasionally in the shower..." I mean, it's so beautiful. I loved this line! I loved the title! My hopes were so high. Sadly, the book devolved into a lot of drivel about the ins and outs of her job (her job was boring, so the detailed descriptions we got of her job and her job search were...you guessed it, also boring. 

I also related to the part of Nora that hated her job. I have been there! I have also been driven to the point where my happiness was a 3 (maybe less!) out of 10 because of the havoc my job was wreaking on my everyday life, and the heavy weight of making a career decision without knowing which way to look for answers. I wanted to feel a connection to Nora because I felt I had a lot in common with her, but she continued to make horrible, selfish decisions one after another and I just could NOT get on board with her. That's not to say that she doesn't learn from her mistakes - she's relatively self-aware and she attempts to make amends later on, which I appreciated, but overall I just couldn't care for her to the degree I wanted to/needed to in order to love this book. 

I will say that I think part of her apathy/listlessness is that she's clearly suffering from depression, so I want to make it clear that I don't think my lack of love for Nora was due to any faults of the author. The author wrote Nora exactly as she was supposed to be, and I wish I could've liked Nora more, but as much as I related to her, I just didn't think she made a great main character, and I feel bad about that. Who am I to say that a character with depression should be more likable? But that is my honest opinion. I mean, at one point towards the end of the book when she's in "fix it" mode, she calls a meeting at work with 3 co-workers she's barely taken the time to get to know to ask their advice on how to find a career she's passionate about. That's after she's realized it was wrong of her to use the company conference room to take work calls for her side job. I mean, what? So have you learned your lesson, or not? 

Her relationship with Andrew was also a bit of a letdown. With a title like Must Love Books, I was assuming that romance would be a large  part of this novel. Sadly, I was mistaken. The majority of this book is about Nora secretly trying to balance 2 jobs at competing publishing houses while developing a relationship with a guy who deserves better than what she's able to give him as she manipulates him to enhance her career prospects and figure out what kind of career she wants. So overall the plot was not very interesting, and the main character was kind of loathsome. HOWEVER, the writing was a major strong point. The author's voice is lovely when not being bogged down in the minutia of her characters' every thought process and task at work. 

Sadly, Must Love Books was not a must love book for me. 
Thank you to SourceBooks and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. 
3.5 stars rounded down to 3.
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I was really excited about this read--a book about books? A main character in basically one of the (seemingly) coolest jobs, or at least industries, ever? Count me in!

Unfortunately, it didn't end up being the book for me. A lot of language, as well as some crudeness, turned me off and ultimately turned the read into a DNF. All the perks (or potential perks) kept me reading far longer than I might have otherwise.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I think this was a really solid debut - generally well-written, the kind of prose that will only get better with time and practice, paced well, and with interesting characters. I guess my biggest issue is with the marketing? I'm not one to knock covers, most of the time, but this one definitely has light, rom-com vibes and this book is neither of those things. It's definitely women's fiction (it is not a romance by genre conventions), and it leans hard onto the heavy side.  I'm thinking specifically of the scene where Nora is remembering her passive suicidal ideations as a child as they kind of resurface for her, and while it isn't out of nowhere for the situation, it is kind of out of nowhere for the reader? I think this book (and all books like this, tbh) would really benefit from an author's note detailing the mental health concerns presented, because they're a huge part of this book and impossible to know from the blurb.

Overall, I think this is a pretty accurate depiction of the publishing industry, from what I know, and of the burnout that comes from trying to make a living off what you love. I'd pick up another book by this author, but I'd really like for Robinson and Sourcebooks to include more information on the potential triggers.
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TW: Suicidal thoughts
While this book has some romantic elements, readers should be advised that it's not strictly a romance (I definitely thought it was, and I think from some other Goodreads reviews I'm not the only one). However, it's a relatable, interesting story about Nora, who is at her breaking point when her once longed for publishing job cuts her salary to an unlivable number as her duties continue to increase and her bestie leaves for another job. She makes the kind of questionable calls that people in challenging circumstances sometimes do, and while readers might be able to see the ways in which the situation she gets into can epically fail, Nora is in too deep to do so. I loved the inside publishing viewpoint of this story, and I ultimately found this to be a really good read for me, I do have one main quibble with this story. What I found frustrating is that when others around her find out how much Nora is struggling with her mental health (though I do not think she mentions her suicidal thoughts to anyone), not one person, even those closest to her that definitely love her, seem to suggest that she needs to get professional help. Nora's depression isn't going to be solved by a listicle about things that increase happiness. I hope that on her quest to find fulfillment, addressing her mental health goes hand in hand.
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Well first off, how can you go wrong with this title and the cover? Anything with a book theme gets my attention and this didn’t disappoint. 
Nora is stuck in a dead end job, barely making ends meet and seriously unhappy with her life. Her mental health is struggling as she tries to find her way. She needs to figure out how to make things better but she feels really stuck until she goes to a publishing conference with the hopes of getting an author to sign his contract, which her boss said would increase her likelihood of getting a new position. In spending time with the author, she finds a kindred spirit who helps her find her parachute color and see things in a new light, which leads her to make some big changes to improve her life. 
I liked reading about some of the behind the scenes of what goes on in getting a book published and that making self care a priority was stressed is something we don’t see often enough. 
Thanks to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.
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Must Love Books is a charming story that follows Nora Hughes, an editorial assistant at Parsons Press in California. Nora is struggling to figure out what to do with her life as more work is piled onto her low paying job.

There were a lot of things that I really liked about this book. While it was a bit slow paced at the start, once the plot and characters were established it really came together. The mental health representation and the diverse characters were great and I think the struggles Nora goes through are relatable to a lot of people. As someone who doesn’t know a lot about the publishing industry this book was a great insight into the ins and outs. Plus, it’s always fun to read a book about books!

Thanks to @NetGalley and @bookmarked for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. As an English major, former English teaching, and someone who has always been intrigued by the world of publishing, I found this book to be somewhat insightful about what it would mean to work as a woman of color in the overwhelmingly white space. At times, it felt that the job was the sole factor contributing to Nora’s mental health issues, and beyond Parsons, it wasn’t clear who Nora was as a person...but maybe that was the point. I didn’t like how the book positioned the idea that a job would make up someone’s entire identity, but I do see how this could be somewhat helpful to someone struggling to figure it all out. Couple with the slight romantic interactions between her and Andrew, this book was an easy read, however, I do think the ending was a little rushed.
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What a wonderful debut by Shauna Robinson! Of course, the title and cover captured my heart. And I could definitely relate to main character Nora Hughes, stuck in a low-paying job she hates. We’ve all been there! Turns out even publishing jobs can do a number on one’s psyche, as it did to Nora. The real strength of MUST LOVE BOOKS is the way the author deals frankly with depression. Wonderful books like these help remove the stigma and give hope for a new, happier life. Brava!
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Publications day 22 January 2022
Thank you to netgalley, Shauna Robinson and the publishers for the ARC of must love books in exchange for my honest review  

Nora started working for as an executive publishing assistant five years ago. When she say in their advert the candidates must love books she knew it was for her. But things change, lay off are made and she is doing the work of 3 people with no current career progression. She's still working in the only job she's had, she is broke, she is unhappy and she has lost all hope . But opportunities present themselves and she is left making some tough decisions, doss she do what's best for her or Andrew?

I found this one a bit hard to get into at first and I actually started and put it down 3 times before I could get into it. But once I did I quite enjoyed it. Instead of a happy go lucky live struck woman, we are presented with a woman with some complex mental health issues battling to stay alive everyday. There's a section in the book that relates to a happiness scale and I found that so empowering reading Nora's number and the reason other characters scored themselves higher. Nora us so the kind of character I would be friends right so I found it easy to connect with her as pur protagonist. Although this is a romcom at heart it wasn't at all ad I expected, in a good way. 

The characters at time were vague but as our main focus is Nora I didn't mind thst fact  although I would of liked to get to know Andrew a bit better. But it works and the prose glows quick well, so no problem there. The descriptive writing is done well and the sex scenes are hinted rather than graphic which I sooo appreciated. The author writes so well almost ad though the story is personal to herself. 


Would I recommend this book? Yes I would, if you are into a more realistic romcom if there's such a thing. The writing is quite unique so not sure what to compare too. But honestly  It's simple but realistic and it's rare to read this kind of character who openly in narration talks of her suicide thoughts. I would rate this book 3 stars there's room for it to be more catchy from the start
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This book is about Nora who is trying to find out what she wants to do in life. It was an easy read and I flew through it. I loved how fun and easy it was to read it and how you could relate to Nora. I especially loved the ending as it was not really an ending I was expecting.
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I enjoyed Must Love Books for the most part, and I’m very glad I read it. However, it was a bit slow for the first half of the book. Nora has a terrible job, and her frustration and depression with her life are very evident during the first half of the book. But, it did pick up and I liked that Nora started looking at her job, and her life in a much better light. Must Love Books is a good look at what it’s like to find out your dream job, is not a dream at all, and it’s time to re-evaluate your life and make some tough decisions.
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DNF 
I found this boring and lacking personality. Nora came off as very bland and sad. It didn’t draw me in or have depth on my opinion. Not bad just not for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free preview in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for providing the ARC.

Honestly, this book confused me so much. I felt like read two completely different stories by the time I finished. The first half of the book seemed to be a set up for a rom-com, with a number of hijinks and a generic love interest. But then about halfway through the book the author throws something into the mix with absolutely no lead up or indication that it's even a thing, shiftinf the tone to a book that's about self-discovery.

It didn't vibe with me in the way that the author probably had intended. The shift was too abrupt and too unfocused for me to really be invested in the rest of the book. Additionally, there were some plot points that are conveniently brushed over for the sake of the story, but would be completely unrealistic in the real world. I can suspend belief for a lot, but these were so blatant that the whole story didn't make sense.

Overall, not a cohesive or well-planned book.
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I loved this book!  Shauna Robinson perfectly captured that mid 20's feeling that you get when you're sire your life is going nowhere.  Nora is incredibly relatable.  As a book lover, I could totally identify with her and her desire to be around books.  I loved the chemistry between Nora and her author, and found the narrative to be delightfully propulsive and entertaining.  This book is a total treat and I look forward to ordering it for our library and recommending it to our patrons.
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