Saturday, May 16, 2020

Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton

GHOSTING is an enemies-to-lovers story about two people working at competing dating service sites who don't realize that they're Cyrano de Bergeracking each other on behalf of their clients whenever they chat online. It's a concept that has a lot of promise, but I had a lot of trouble getting into the romance.

❣️ The dating site element feels so unrealistic. Social media sites don't have unlimited money. Hiring ghostwriters and then letting them wine and dine clients seems expensive. Also, in this digital age, everything is done online with Zoom or Skype meetings, so it felt weird that Miles and Zoey would meet up with their clients in New York-- in person-- and then even watch their dates to see how things are going?

❣️ I didn't really like either of the two leads. At first, I LOATHED Zoey. She was so awful and petty in the beginning. I couldn't stand her "playful" fighting over the free pastry goods with Miles. I just wanted to be like, "LOOK HERE, KAREN." Eventually I warmed up to her, but by the end of the book, I no longer liked Miles, because naturally when the romance element finally picks up, there has to be a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING to ruin everything. And it does, I mean. Ruin everything.

You call that a grovel? It was a simper, at best.

❣️ It hinges on way too many coincidences. Not only are they Cyrano de Bergeracking each other's clients, but the CEOs of their firms are ex-husband and ex-wife, they both know the same gay couple who's getting married, they live next door to each other, and it turns out that Zoey's friend at work is actually Miles's sister (who's working for both companies like a spy), only it never gets out because everything she's about to bring him up OH NO SOMETHING HAPPENS LOOK AT THAT. I just felt like the book was working overtime doing double-gymnastics to make sure everything fit puzzle piece-neat, but because it was so over-the-top, it really didn't work as well as it thought it did.

Things I did like (diversity-- heroine is half-Filipina, hero is a "Jewslim", half-Jewish and half-Muslim Egyptian; although why is the hero so pale on the book cover? In the book he's described as having dark skin...). Fun descriptions of New York's, um, quirky culture (although it seems kind of sparkly and sugar-glossed... the way San Francisco's frequently is; there's an edge to that glamor). Zoey's friend, Mary, star of a cult classic fantasy movie, was fun... but she popped up in the book way too often  as comic relief. The epistolary chat elements were also pretty well done.

I don't know, maybe I went into this with expectations that were too high. At first, it did have a fun early 2000s chick lit vibe that I really liked, but then the heroine started getting annoying, and the big misunderstanding was just icing on the omg-why-tho cake. I think some people might enjoy this romance a lot but for me it ended up falling a little flat, even though I did read to the end.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

2.5 out of 5 stars

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