By: Angie Haddock
Meet Ellie Cooke. When it comes to all things environmental she’s, well, a bit ‘green’. But when the PR firm Ellie works for is taken over by keen environmentalist Nolan Reece, it’s clear that if she wants to save her job, she’s going to have to get serious about being green—or face being recycled.
I’m not much of a rom-com reader, but I was initially interested in this one because of the other topic addressed in it. I spent some time this year learning more about sustainability, and thought it was really cool that the idea was starting to leak into the fiction sphere. (I mean, one can only read so many scary, science-filled non-fiction pieces about the climate crisis, right?)
The formula here is pretty straightforward – each chapter presents the main character, Ellie, with a problem. She then tackles it, and things go awry and devolve into craziness. The level of craziness varies from one scenario to another, and some of them were kind of cringe-worthy (to me).
So, let me interject that I am the kind of person who feels embarrassment for characters when they do embarrassing things. I watched that scene in “Bridesmaids” through my fingers, because my hands had involuntarily flown up to cover my face. Not that many of the scenes here are quite that cringey, but… if you’re the kind of person who is not affected by that sort of thing, you’ll be totally fine here.
I actually liked the “not supposed to be funny” thread that ran throughout the book, despite it being fairly predictable: our heroine learns a lot, grows, and becomes a better person. One of the things I liked about this growth story is that it was not totally linear – it zigs and zags into other areas of her life a bit at times. After learning a lot about climate change, Ellie becomes kind of critical of other people who aren’t doing all the things she’s learned to do. One of the last lessons she learns is that it isn’t her job to be so judgemental. (Oof, I felt that one.)
Her final lesson is one she learns outside the “rom” part of this rom-com – or maybe in spite of it? She was fairly independent in the beginning anyway, but she was basically skating along to get by. She learns to be independent and in charge by the end, which is as happy an ending as I needed.
This book was released earlier in December, and I read an advanced copy from NetGalley.