In an underweight debut, needy Marissa learns to love herself and take control.
Marissa Rogers' emotional barometer is stuck on self-doubt. Undermined by her mother's constant criticism and bullied in middle school, she has spent years disbelieving she's worth it. At college, could cute student Nathan really be in love with her? At Svelte magazine in New York City, where she works as diet editor, can she really be as highly-regarded as her boss says? Does Dave—the handsome, kind, patient corporate tax attorney she's dating—really want her to move in? This constant state of "Who, me?" can be tiring for the reader. Supposedly Marissa's BFF Julia is the one solid spot of equality and mutual dependence in Marissa's life, except that the old Julia, who forced Marissa to give up Nathan for the sake of their friendship, is gone, after a traffic accident delivers a personality-disordering brain contusion. Pagán's rom-com ticks the boxes for empathy, good humor and empowerment but is light on originality. Will Nathan attract Marissa back? Will her pushy assistant undermine her? Will she find a better job, get engaged and lose those pesky last ten pounds? The answers are as predictable as the questions.
A pleasant but transparent primer on self-esteem.