Krawitz’s debut novel, set squarely in Nicholas Sparks–style territory, offers a romance between a computer programmer and a public relations executive.
Greg Janera is a 20-something man without a plan. He’s gainfully employed as an app designer and happily devoted to his dog, Rocky, but he’s less attached to his girlfriend, Heather, a successful event planner who’s four years his senior. Although there isn’t anything particularly wrong with the relationship, he just can’t see himself settling down with her in the way she expects. When the two take a relationship break following an awkward moment involving an engagement ring at Tiffany’s, Greg isn’t sure what to do. Then he crosses paths with single PR exec Kate Shuster at the park, and the two immediately hit it off. Greg is drawn to her kind, easygoing nature, and Kate finds Greg funny, intelligent, and very handsome. Before long, they fall in love, and Greg decides to break up with his old girlfriend permanently. But when he meets with Heather, she reveals that she’s pregnant. What was once a no-brainer decision becomes an agonizing choice for Greg, who wants to do right by his babies (Heather’s pregnant with twins) but can’t imagine a life without Kate. Instead of being honest with Heather, he makes a decision that has repercussions that last for years. There are moments in this book that appealingly feel like real life; Greg and Kate’s initial connection is believable and charming, and Krawitz has a knack for capturing day-to-day moments with perfect clarity; one particular incident involving a tuna casserole will ring true to any frazzled new parent. However, the author is less successful at garnering sympathy for Greg. It’s only correct for him to want to be a good father to his children, but it’s disappointing that he doesn’t feel the need to be honest with Heather, a woman who deserves the same love and respect that he feels for Kate. He paints himself as making a noble sacrifice, but he sometimes comes across as cowardly. The ending, which removes any sort of accountability from Greg’s shoulders, is also unsatisfying.
A romance with a believable premise, but its unsympathetic protagonist makes it fall flat.