Cover Image: Must Love Books

Must Love Books

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book!  I love books about books so that was a win already. The characters were interesting and I was rooting for them  as I read. It is about romance but it is also about Nora's development. The author also did a great job touching on more difficult topics. I definitely want to check out her next book.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars
It was an ‘enjoyable’ story, and I sadly could relate to some things that Nora was going through. But at the same time, the story was rather predictable and slow to read. It was sometimes hard for me to actually pick up the book. Overall though, Nora’s feelings and the story seemed to me like they could be real which I also think is really valuable.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fun, sweet romance, but it’s greatest strength is the insider depiction of publishing houses, particularly from the perspective of lowly EAs who get stuck waiting on the higher ups. Nora’s biggest dilemma—how to survive on an entry level publishing salary—will ring true to many.
Was this review helpful?
The setup was intriguing and a big positive of this book was the insight into the world of publishing, including its inequalities. However, this just could not capture my interest. I think I cringed too much at the onset knowing what the downfall of the character would be and nothing else hooked me enough to distract me from this. 

I think millennial readers trying to make their way in corporate America will appreciate this novel and any avid reader will find the details about the publishing industry interesting. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eArc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you very much to the publisher for the advance copy of this book. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect well with this book and it was a miss for me. I found the story very slow to start and I wasn't overly interested in the details of working for a nonfiction publishing house. I struggled to identify with Nora's difficulty in simply leaving a job she found highly unfulfilling and underpaid when she'd received other offers. I think my negative opinion of the book stems from my own misinterpretation of the plot from the synopsis. I was expecting more of a romcom. I often appreciate the series mental health content, but I wasn't expecting it based on the advertising. Ultimately, this is an issue of my mood not matching the storyline.
Was this review helpful?
Nora Hughes wants to be in publishing, so she has a job she thought would get her into editing. However, after 5 years, she is still in the same position, surviving layoffs, but taking on more responsibilities and a pay cut. This is not where she thought she would be. Her best friend is leaving for another job, and she does not know how she will pay the next month's rent. A former coworker, now at a competing publishing company, offers her part-time work, and she takes it. However, she's still in her current role.

Nora gets involved with a client at her full-time position. She is promised a promotion if she can get him to sign a contract. Sparks fly and their relationship evolves, but Nora finds herself digging a deep hole into her double booked working life. Lies start to interfere with her personal and work life, and she finds herself dealing with the one demon that continues to lurk around the edges and just will not go away.

This novel did not take the route I expected it to. What I thought would be a fun, romantic romp turned out to be an expose on how the young adult crowd faces work-life balance and mental health issues. It was an unexpected turn, but one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Being further along in my own career, it's easy to forget how those first year jitters hang around; where you are not so certain of anything and you feel like the other foot will drop at any minute if you aren't perfect.

Shauna Robinson does an excellent job of delving into the troubled character of Nora, revealing her demons and discovering the path she needs to take to find and fulfil her dreams. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for sharing this digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinions.
Was this review helpful?
Nora is a book lover and has what she thought when she started the job, the best job. She gets to work with books all day long. After many budget and personnel cuts, Nora is overworked and not advancing in her career. Nora is unhappy and something has to change.

This book is about pulling yourself out of a situation you are unhappy with. I loved this theme because many times people stay unhappy because they don’t/can’t make changes. I absolutely loved Nora. The book is part comedy, part personal growth, and part romance. It is a quick read that leaves you wanting to be your best self.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book! I loved how Nora was so honest and straightforward about her mental health struggles. I loved how realistically it was portrayed that she was disgruntled with her job and how it made her act out. It was so relatable. 

This book is tense with all of the untruths that Nora is juggling. It was well written, and satisfying watching it all play out. Her relationship with Andrew is cute but stressful. 😬

Overall, I definitely thought this book was great. It brought up a lot of real world issues and possible solutions that a reader could take away for themselves.

CW: suicidal ideation
Was this review helpful?
You know what's better than books about books? Books about 'how' books are produced. Of course, that's mostly if you aspire to work in book publishing someday, which is the sort of reader Shauna Robinson's feel-good debut novel caters to. 

The title 'Must Love Books' is a requirement in the description of a job protagonist Nora Hughes applies for, to escape the boredom of working at Parsons. Having entered publishing with a dream of working in fiction, Nora only gets to work with business books in Parsons. All her workplace friends have found jobs elsewhere and she's burned out to the point where she isn't even sure if publishing is meant for her. Add to this a pay cut. 

This initial premise of the book is perfectly laid out, such that we sympathize with Nora, despise her workplace and yearn for the better. When she lands a remote part-time job at Parsons' competitor Weber and starts getting close to author Andrew Santos under the guise of a professional relationship, things get interesting as her loyalty to both the jobs is tested.

An aspiring fiction editor myself, this book was the first of its kind on my shelf. I read in awe as Nora navigated the kind of life I would like to have one day (given that I will be promoted xD) and falls for a charming author. Their banter had me smiling throughout the book and I appreciated the subtle remarks about racism in the industry as well, though the book had space for a more confrontational approach. Nora's friendship with Beth and the annoying yet hilarious exchanges with Henry Brook were perfectly placed too. 

While I couldn't have imagined the book to end in any other way as it did, I feel that the climax (where everything falls apart) could've appeared a bit earlier in the novel because the author stretches the initial premise a bit too much. Not saying that the book needed any more subplots, but the whole Weber-Parsons-Santos situation starts feeling repetitive at a point. 

I'll give it a 3.8 though for the intricate writing about the publishing industry and a wholesome, dreamy romance! Thanks to Netgalley for the e-arc!
Was this review helpful?
The premise was so good and I couldn’t wait to get to it. However, the pacing and the characters I had a hard time engaging with  and I found it very slow. I loved the insight into books and the publishing world but I think some aspects could have been fleshed out more. I appreciated the intended message of setting out on your journey and creating a life you love. It definitely has an intended audience of people who are trying to find their passions and pick a career path!
Was this review helpful?
I'd like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I think what I liked most about this book was how Nora discovered herself. Nora is a woman in her 20's who thought she was on the path she wanted to be on in her career and then comes to the knowledge that it's not what she wants after all. She starts to question herself and her worth and what direction she wants to go in to feel better about herself. Then add a little romance and questionable work decisions made for a great read.

I really thought this was going to be a romance - which there was but most importantly it was a story of how Nora fought her depression by going back to finding out what makes her happy. I think this is all something we can learn from. I loved that she didn't stay in a job where she had so little satisfaction and was bold enough to make that jump.
Was this review helpful?
Nora Hughes works in publishing. She always wanted to work with books, but she's rethinking everything when her pay is cut. She tries to make ends meet by getting a second job, but things get… complicated, to say the least. And when she meets this young, ambitious writer called Andrew Santos, her life turns upside down.
To be honest, I wasn't quite sure what I thought about this book when I started reading it. However, a few chapters later, I was hooked, and I couldn't take my eyes off the pages. I was so invested in Nora's relationship with Andrew, and I was rooting for them to get together. I love enemies to lovers, and while this probably doesn't qualify as enemies to lovers, there are certainly some similar vibes, and I was a hundred percent here for it. 
The book was enjoyable and well written, so it wasn't difficult to read, and that's what I always like to see in romance books because reading romance is about relaxation for me. I hate when the book is slow-paced, and the language is too complicated. 
This book is primarily character-based because we see significant character growth for the main character, so if this is what you like to see in books, this one may be for you. 
Overall, this was a great read, and while I got the ARC from Netgalley, I'm seriously thinking about getting a physical copy to have it in my library. And I'm very excited to see what the author comes up with next time.
Was this review helpful?
I was provided a free advanced copy of this book by @netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 
When Nora first got her editorial assistant job at Parsons Press she believes it to be the perfect step to her dream job! However, after five years she realizes things aren't always as great as they seem, and she's not even sure what her dream job would be anymore. Throw in the pressure of increasing workload (as others are leaving), decreased salary, and a cute author who she is starting to fall for and need convince to sign a new contract, and you get a lot of pressure, secrets, and books! 
I felt that Nora's struggles were very similar to many people starting out in the workforce. Starting with lofty goals and dreams of the future that don't always line up with reality. And, like many people, Nora isn't sure how to come to terms with this realization, and how to move forward. Although this was a good, and pretty easy read it was a lot deeper and heavier than I anticipated. But I think those unexpected elements added realism to the story. It wasn't just a fluffy, woah is me but then suddenly everything is better story. Nora struggled, and wrestled with her monsters, and slowly, with the help of others, took steps in the right direction!
If you're a fan of bookish books, romance, but also stories with real talk, overcoming struggles, and finding your way, you will enjoy this book! 
It is set to be published on Tuesday, 18 January, so keep an eye out for it! 
#NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this feel good novel that addresses some of the hard questions we all ask ourselves. What do I want to do with my life? For work? And what if I don’t like it? And how can I get my life to a happy place? Nora wrestles with all these questions and in trying to find answers she works herself into an awkward position. It’s a hopeful debut.
Was this review helpful?
Must Love Books 
by Shauna Robinson 
Pub Date: January 18, 2022 
Sourcebooks 

* Books about books  * Romance * contemporary * Fiction 
I love books about books so that is what attracted me to this one. Meet Nora Hughes—the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now.

When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.
Thanks to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.  It was an easy read and caught my attention. 
Overall: I easily empathize with Nora. The publishers world always picks my interest. It was well written, riveting, genuine, lovely novel I absolutely enjoyed to read!
4 stars
Was this review helpful?
The cover and title of Must Love Books do kind of portray it as what might be a cute romantic comedy but there are a lot of deeper issues in play throughout. This book was alarmingly relatable at times for me. Nora is not a perfect character and makes many missteps along the way - but not everyone has a clear path in life. As someone who used to work in publishing myself - and quit with little-to-no plan in place - Nora's struggles with finding passion and happiness in her life, being scared of taking risks or experiencing change, and dealing with feelings of depression felt incredibly authentic and thoughtful. And Andrew Santos may be one of the most thoughtful love interests I've found in a book in a while. Overall - Must Love Books was a really poignant and enjoyable read - a great debut novel from Shauna Robinson. Thank you to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for the chance to read this book.
Was this review helpful?
This book started off strong for me, but after a while I just got a little bit irritated with the characters. It was strange because I did tear up once or twice with the plot and the writing, so I will say it obviously moved me and was well written, but I just wanted to like the characters a little bit more maybe?
I do appreciate that the main character, Nora, was going through things that I've never experienced in the least, but I just kind of felt like there were ways to change her situation. Then again, that's maybe easier said than done. Overall, not a bad book and not mad I read it but wasn't a fave. Also - NOT really a true romance.
Was this review helpful?
Nora Hughes is the last editorial assistant left at Parsons. Overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated, she toils away and grits her teeth against the microaggressions of being a Black woman in a mostly whyte field. Parsons was only ever supposed to be a stepping stone to her Dream Job, but lately she’s just been stuck. With the latest rounds of downsizing, she finds her pay cut and her tasks doubled. Scrambling to figure out how to pay her bills, everything is looking down…until she gets an offer to take a part time freelancing editorial gig with Parsons’ rival. It’s an opportunity she can’t pass up. Even if she has to lie and say that she’s not working for Parsons anymore. It’s a small lie, and she can keep her shit together…right?

At this rate, she’d probably end up taking a third and fourth job to get out of the problems caused by her first and second jobs, and she’d never be free of the cycle.

Okay, so first off, the cover and title are a bit of a lie.

This is not a cutesy contemporary romance, nor is it really a happy contemporary story about a young woman bumbling happily through life and failing upwards (think of this more of a realistic critique on those happy-go-lucky stories, and a critique on the “find your purpose”/hustle culture things millennials were told).

However, despite the mismarketing (which is such a fucking pity because this is a good book that will ring true with a lot of millennials), Nora’s troubles spoke to me in increasingly uncomfortable ways. Her unhappiness in her soul-sucking job, the depression that took over her life, the slow realization that Dream Jobs just might not exist for her at all.

“But I don’t think I want to do anything.” She spoke slowly at first, but her words spilled out faster as she went on. “When I think I do, it turns out I’m wrong. I think I just don’t have a parachute color. I don’t even have a parachute. Maybe I’m not even on the plane. Maybe that happens, and maybe some people are fine with doing something pointless for the rest of their lives, but I’m not. If my life is pointless, that’s not a life I want to live.”

But I really did enjoy it, if I’m treating enjoy in a sense that does not mean “make me happy.” It was a cathartic read, one that would have had me crying a year ago. Now, since I quit the job that *should* have been my Dream Job over a year ago because it was crushing me heart and soul and I could not take the underhanded pettiness of it all, I only teared up. Because I’ve been there. Not quite in all the ways as Nora, but enough.

Depression is a bitch, and this was a very personal read for me.
Was this review helpful?
This story belongs to Nora Hughes who is an editorial assistant at Parson Press. She thought she had the dream job of reading books and editing them and helping make them better. Alas, that was far from the truth. Nora was stuck in the job doing only administrative and secretarial work and with a salary that could not even pay her rent.
A chance meeting leads her to bestselling author Andrew Santos and their relationship builds and Nora begins to think she could make gold out of this opportunity.
I picked this book believing it was a romantic comedy. But romance is a very small theme in this story which primarily focuses on the process of publishing and books in general. It also deals with themes like suicide, mental depression, and loneliness.
While I did enjoy parts of the book I skimmed through long pages of publishing information that I found a bit dull, frankly. Also, the book was not dialogue-oriented, which are generally the books I enjoy more.
But the way Shauna Robinson has busted the myth of a dream job and how things don’t work that way job-wise have been plotted very well. How one could feel trapped in a job that they always dreamt of having and that job choices evolve as we experience work, has been shown quite well.
Overall I think it is a good one-time read and a light one. I would recommend it to readers looking for stories related to publishing or books or writers in general.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to @sourcebooks @bookmarked @netgalley for the ARC in return for my honest review. 
.
My thoughts…
Surprising. I was pleasantly surprised that this book turned out to be more than romance. In fact, romance was more of an afterthought as the book was more about finding yourself. Robinson did a good job in showing how flawed the characters were, making them more relatable and believable. I like how the ideologies were subtle, yet they all intertwined well to make for a more thoughtful read. It was a quick, light read, but it also reminded me of what it was like when I was a new university graduate. And, trying to make a decision for what would be the rest of my life. Talk about pressure 🥴
Was this review helpful?