Would Like to Meet
I don’t know about y’all, but These Times have made it exceptionally difficult for books to hold my attention. There’s not even a magic formula either where I know a certain trope will work or even a certain author. So when I do find one that I struggle to put down, the feeling of “ahhhhhhhh” book-related euphoria is just…. Well, it reminds me of days before I knew what it was like to wear a mask all the time.
The most recent book to perform this delight in my life is Rachel Winters’ Would Like to Meet. The premise is a trope fest – Evie is a talent agency assistant who agrees to find love through a series of cinematic meet cutes in order to bribe a recalcitrant man child of a screenwriter into finishing his pages. Along the way, she gets into a kinda-friendship-but-obviously-more with single dad Ben and his precocious 7-year-old.
There are definitely a few downsides to this book – the daughter is too twee, too perfect, and rarely acted a consistent age to me; there’s a plot point involving a movie premiere that was just too much; it all felt a little too drawn out – but this is basically Devil Wears Prada in the movie industry and set in London and it was charming as all hell and enough to make me overlook quite a few of the ‘meh’ points and just enjoy myself.
For example, in this book, Evie communicates with her friends through text and we get to read those conversations. I adore when books feature this type of communication, as it is how we all talk these days, especially us millennials. Ms. Winters was able to balance several voices at once, making them all feel authentic while they tripped over each other to reprimand and encourage Evie in equal measure. Now, most of those friends were tropes of their own (the gay best friend, a couple Evie thinks is perfect but isn’t, a bridezilla) and I would have liked a liiiiiiiiiitle more exploration of them and a little less time with the man child, but that’s taste and not necessarily to the downfall of the book.
The execution of her meet-cutes are entertaining – especially when she tried to recreate the house swap in The Holiday and the juice incident in Notting Hill – and I always love when romcoms are talked about with the respect they deserve.
Overall – my gripes notwithstanding – I was entertained and grateful for it. If it sounds like it might do the same for you, I hope you give Would Like to Meet a shot.