ARC Review: Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Griffin and Netgalley for letting me read an e-ARC of Make Up Break Up! As soon as this one was announced, I knew I wanted to read it, so I was super excited when I was approved for an e-ARC, and man, even though it was a good book, I think I just had way too high expectations, so I wasn’t as happy with most of the book as I wish I had been (but in no way does that make this a bad book).

Make Up Break Up 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”

High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.

As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

Ok so, let’s start of with the fact that I went through this entire book and I still couldn’t tell you what Make Up does. Break Up I understand- that’s an app that’s pretty straightforward (and as someone who has been ghosted so many times, I would have totally been fine with someone else texting me and telling me that things were over, as long as I had an answer of some sort!). At least a third of the time, Annika was making me cringe and Hudson was so over the top with how into her he was, but I did like their banter and overall, I loved Annika’s relationship with her father and with June. I thought those were definite highlights of the book for sure. I also was a huge fan of how Menon showed that Annika and June could do something so technical and set up these neural networks with OLLI and break into those normally male dominated industries. Overall, I liked how Hudson and Annika’s relationship progressed, but there were so many cringey moments that made me have to pause reading for a few seconds (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just have a very low cringe tolerance haha). And I loved the ending and finding out why Hudson created Break Up- I had guessed the reason beforehand, but it was nice that that was validated.

Small rant here- I did hate how the whole Indian parent pushing their child to become a doctor stereotype was done in this book- like I get it, that’s how a lot of people see Indians and lots of people of Indian descent are doctors, but that doesn’t mean that every Indian parent is going to push their child to become a doctor! Annika’s dad’s reasoning was explained, but it was explained really late in the book, and by then, I felt as though the stereotype was already strengthened, and while in the long run, it isn’t really a big deal, it’s a little annoying because things like that are the reason people feel comfortable telling me that my parents are so different because they didn’t care that I didn’t go into medicine when in reality, most parents just want their kids to be happy and successful in whatever they end up doing (rant over).

Overall, even with the issues, Make Up Break Up was a fun read and I enjoyed reading it and getting to know the characters. I’d love to read a spinoff about Blaire or June/Ziggy.

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