Review by Booklist Review
Melody Joo finally landed her first job as a producer in the male-dominated video game industry. She has to deal with sexist coworkers, including a particular intern who got hired because his family has connections to the head of the company. It doesn't help that he is handsome, and that her parents are hounding her to get married, making him doubly tempting. One day, she jokes with a friend about a new video game idea where protagonists are female, and the CEO overhears her, and assigns her to the project. Thus began her foray into a video game launch of epic proportions--and scandal. Park's first book for adults (after the YA The Perfect Escape, 2020) is a funny and feminist geek novel. Melody's Korean parents provide comic relief as well as the realistic pressure of parents wanting their adult child to settle down. Melody proves to be a strong character as she fights for her rights as a woman in the workplace. Readers into both gaming and women's fiction will scramble for this fast-paced charmer.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Enemies turn to lovers in YA author Park's punchy adult debut set in the world of video game design. Melody Joo, a newly hired production assistant at Seventeen Studios, is determined to fight the "unescapable bro culture" within the gaming industry. But this proves nearly impossible while surrounded by cardboard cutouts of the studios' scantily clad, anatomically impossible heroines. When her misogynistic boss, Ian MacKenzie, overhears her joking about a gender-swapped version of their popular games, which would follow male strippers fighting off the apocalypse, he tasks her with launching it as a mobile app to prove that the company is, in his words, "menstrual friendly." But it was never meant to be a serious idea and Ian only gives her six months to achieve the impossible. If Melody's going to prove herself, she can't have any distractions. But Nolan MacKenzie, the handsome, infuriating intern who also happens to be Ian's nephew, is a distraction too tempting to resist. Though they initially butt heads, Melody can't deny the butterflies that follow when he smiles at her. Park (The Perfect Escape) makes tough topics go down easy by couching them in wry humor and lighthearted romance, and her fierce, snarky heroine is irresistible. This smart rom-com is a winner. Agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US Literary Agency. (Aug.)
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Review by Library Journal Review
Melody Joo thought landing a job as a video game producer was a dream come true, but her misogynistic boss and coworkers quickly turn it into a nightmare. When she's tasked with creating a game about male strippers in a postapocalyptic world, a concept she invented as a joke, intern Nolan MacKenzie is assigned to her team. Melody does not want to work with the privileged nephew of the CEO, but her initial dislike turns into begrudging respect, which leads to friendship and the possibility of more. After her game idea is leaked to the public and she finds herself the target of online harassers, she has to decide what's worth fighting for, both in her career and in love. Told through Melody's snarky, curse-laden, first-person narrative, this workplace dramedy with a romance subplot highlights the sexism and racism that Melody faces within the white male-dominated gaming industry and also shows the injustices and microaggressions she faces everywhere by simply existing as a Korean woman. VERDICT Melody's characterization and voice sparkle throughout, despite extraneous plot points that make the story feel unfocused at times. Smart, punchy, and memorable.--Jenna Friebel, Oak Park P.L., IL
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