The most compelling part of this story is completely omitted from the blurb, and barely touched upon in the actual book – the fact that these two have been friends via email for SEVEN YEARS. They’ve connected while editing love stories, exchanging jokes, and playing online chess together. They’ve never met in person, and our heroine has always assumed that she was communicating with a woman her mother’s age… but what was our hero thinking? The story is told exclusively from the heroine’s point of view, so this sweet, cinnamon roll of a hero remains a mystery throughout. I wasn’t a big fan of the first half – there’s almost zero romance, our heroine has a major overreaction, and she’s engaged to another man – but the second half ended up being refreshingly great. I’d love to rate this higher, but the best parts are completely underdeveloped.
The story follows Lanie, a book editor who is finally getting her big break. When her boss quits, it becomes Lanie’s job to handle her company’s biggest client, reclusive romance author Noa. While the two have been exchanging emails for years, Noa has never missed a deadline – until now. With the future of the whole company in jeopardy, it’s Lanie’s job to get Noa writing again. The only problem? Once they meet in person, Lanie discovers that Noa is not the sweet older woman that she always envisioned – he is a young, attractive guy who knocks Lanie off-balance. She feels deceived and lashes out, causing plenty of friction in their ever-changing relationship. But as the two work on finding Noah’s inspiration, their connection grows.
Part of me really wants to rate this as four stars (for the concept), but the other part of me knows the execution doesn’t warrant more than three. The author knows that she’s got a great concept buried within the story, but she didn’t do enough with it. The first half was just a lot of Lanie – Lanie talking about her job, Lanie’s relationship with her fiancé, Lanie whining that Noa is a man. It’s not until the second half that her relationship with Noah even goes anywhere, or they even spend any time on the page together. I would’ve loved to have seen some of the emails they wrote to each other in the past, experienced the friendship they had developed before things shifted. Lanie’s reaction is so over-the-top that she forgets that Noah is a human being with feelings. I needed more insight into him, not just small observations from Lanie’s point of view. I get what the author was trying to accomplish – and would’ve absolutely LOVED it had it been done well – but it wasn’t entirely successful. The ending is jarring but very solid, and left me wanting THAT book – the one I didn’t get to read. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this women’s fiction / romance crossover.
“So this is it. This scary, inconvenient, exhilarating, stomach-tightening, I’ll-do-anything-for-it feeling is finally, really, really love.”– Lauren Kate, By Any Other Name
From # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about an editor, her bestselling author, and one life-changing secret.
What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?
But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.
About the Author:
Lauren Kate is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of nine novels for young adults, including Fallen, which was made into a major motion picture. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. She is also the author of The Orphan’s Song, her debut adult novel. By Any Other Name is her second adult novel. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her family.
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