Unlikely friends fight their growing feelings for each other while placing bets on other people’s love lives.
Bailey met Charlie while flying from Alaska, where she grew up, to Nebraska, where she and her mom would be living after her parents’ divorce. Although they briefly bonded over their parents’ divorces, Charlie’s cynicism grated on the rule-following Bailey, and she was thankful to part ways with him. Three years later, to Bailey’s dismay, she runs into Charlie when they both land jobs at Planet Funnn, a mega-hotel that’s “like a giant landlocked cruise ship.” This time around, Bailey and Charlie begin to get along better. To entertain themselves during their long shifts, they observe and make bets about the hotel guests. But they risk taking it too far when they bet on whether their co-worker Theo will end up with Nekesa, Bailey’s best friend, who’s in “a perfect relationship with the perfect guy.” The book explores Bailey’s conflicted feelings toward her mom’s new relationship with Scott (who doesn’t “do anything wrong” but whose presence changes “the vibe” at home), but it does so in a way that diminishes a primary source of conflict. Bailey's and Charlie’s feelings become even more complicated when Charlie helps Bailey with a fake-dating scheme intended to scare Scott off. Some of the banter between the leads, who are coded white, feels more aggressive than playful, detracting from their intimacy, and the circuitous plot may fail to sustain readers’ interest.