Wednesday, January 25, 2023

ARC Review: The Second You're Single by Cara Tanamachi

The Second You're Single

Cara Tanamachi
Publication: St. Martin's Griffin (January 31, 2023)

Description: Cheerfully irreverent, bitingly funny, and filled with romantic charm, Cara Tanamachi's The Second You're Single is all about navigating the most romantic month of the year, and how love always seems to arrive when you least expect it.

Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples' dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won't do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.

The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.

When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?

My Thoughts: Sora Reid is thirty-two and works from home in Chicago as a freelance writer. After still another romantic disappointment, she pitches a new story to her editor. She suggests #GoSolo as a theme for February since Valentine's Day really won't work for her. She suggests taking a dating break and working on oneself as a way to empower women. She finds herself at the head of a movement which really isn't what this risk-averse young woman was looking for.

It especially won't work for her now that she has connected with Jack Mann. They were in elementary school together where they were great friends but lost track of each other after fifth grade. Now Jack is a baker at the grocery store where Sora shops. He rescues her when she runs into her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. He seems like the perfect guy - friendly, considerate, caring - but the time couldn't be worse.

Meanwhile, Jack who is planning to start his own bakery is having issues convincing a former girlfriend who is the heir to a hotel empire that their relationship is really over. She keeps trying to restart the relationship which makes Jack look like a liar when he's with Sora.

This was an entertaining story with some moment of laugh-out-loud humor, i.e. Sora's experience with aerial aerobics, but also some touching moments when Sora and Jack share hurtful memories from their pasts. I loved Jack's optimism which was a nice foil to Sora's more pessimistic viewpoint. 

Fans of contemporary, very contemporary, romance will enjoy this adventure in modern love and dating. 

Favorite Quote:
"What the hell is this?" I whisper to Mom.

"Aerial aerobics," she says. "Haven't you heard of FlyFit? And what did you think it was?"

"My idea of hell. Since when is this a thing?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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