You Deserve Each Other, by Sarah Hogle
Publication: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; April 7, 2020
About the book:
Naomi Westfield has an Instagram-perfect life, including the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family every bride dreams of being a part of. They never fight, complain, or disagree. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And they are miserably and utterly sick of each other.
Tired of contorting herself to fit the ridiculous standards demanded by Nicholas’s family, Naomi wants out of the relationship. But there’s a catch: Whoever calls off the engagement will have to foot the enormous bill for the wedding. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of wills to see who can annoy the other into surrendering through pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely. As Naomi discovers hidden feelings for Nicholas buried under three years of simmering resentment, she wonders if he feels the same way. Suddenly, the countdown to the wedding that may or may not come to pass feels more like a race to mutual destruction–and Naomi doesn’t want to be left alone at the finish line.
Oh my goodness I am so glad that I saw this on NetGalley and was approved! If you need a happy, funny romance – then this is your next read! I was crazy excited about the overall premise because who wants to actually admit that they are being the worst versions of themselves? Well, after being together a while and engaged, Nicholas and Naomi are no longer in love, friends, passionate, and so on. They tolerate one another and live the “perfect fake life,” until they stop.
This book is funny, romantic, frustrating and at times, cringeworthy, as Nicholas and Naomi try to come to terms with their feelings and I honestly loved it. I think I am a bit partial towards Nicholas’ character because out of everyone, he seemed the most honest. As they battled their way back to one another there were several romantic and heartfelt gestures on his part, although it seemed to take Naomi a little longer to come around. Naomi, in general, was difficult to figure out because she literally had no ambitions in life. I found this odd for a twenty-something young woman engaged to a dentist to have no passions or dreams of her own. Nevertheless, her character had some positive qualities. The odd part about my opinions of the characters is that this is written from Naomi’s POV, yet she couldn’t make herself more likable.
One thing that repeatedly popped into my head while reading this was, “thank God I have been blessed with sweet and loving in-laws, and even better – they live hours and hours away from us.” Nicholas’ mother was ridiculous with her cowering and controlling ways, however, I am also aware that Nicholas allowed it to continue for far too long.
A huge theme of this novel is that often times, people work better as a team and there is no more important time to remember this then when you’re discussing relationships and marriage. Having one another’s back is critical to a successful relationship, as is being yourself and being honest. How much time do people waste in their lives trying to be something they are not? Keeping things real and putting your loved one first goes a long way in happy couplings, and I think the author did a wonderful job demonstrating that lesson.
Congratulations to Sarah Hogle for such a fantastic debut novel! I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future.
*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review