A new college grad figures out life, love, and the tech world in Yen’s breezy debut.
The outspoken daughter of traditional Taiwanese parents in the Bay Area, Sophia Young returns home newly graduated from college with a very clear life plan: a few years working at a shiny investment bank until she meets “The One,” and then “the white picket fence, two kids (preferably twins), and the Mrs. Homemaker lifestyle” that’s been her dream since childhood. So when speaking out of turn gets her fired at the bank, she’s momentarily distraught—until her best friend helps her get a paralegal gig working on initial public offerings and Sophia is initiated into the startup world, where her no-nonsense pluck makes her a star. Soon, Sophia is managing investor relations and doubling as the right-hand man for a Steve Jobs–like tech founder, and her white picket fence visions give way to new dreams. But finding a partner who can support her ambitions isn’t necessarily easy, Sophia discovers, and amid her success, she’s started neglecting her health. But the biggest test is yet to come: When Andre Stark, a flashy tech founder, convinces her to come run investor relations for him—leaving her beloved old team behind—she finds herself miserable in his Ivy League boys’ club and is forced to make her biggest decision yet. A lone mismatched boyfriend aside, Sophia's world is populated with benevolent and powerful mentors who consistently recognize her hard work (if nothing else, the novel offers a road map for good management), doting parents, a ride-or-die best friend, and few personal flaws of substance, giving the novel a certain fairy-tale quality. While the plot takes the occasional off-kilter jag, this is a much-needed professional coming-of-age story; one only wishes it were a slightly more insightful one.
Like so many startups, glossy, fun, and ambitious if not particularly deep.