Loathe at First Sight
Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with its share of challenges. Namely, an insufferable CEO and a team that consists of mostly male co-workers who make the term “misogyny” pale in comparison to their obnoxious comments. Then there’s the infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—MBA intern Nolan MacKenzie, a.k.a. “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss”. Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes on a dime. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly, Melody’s “joke” is her studio's most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show. When Nolan is appointed a key member of her team, Melody’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she sees he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man. But she’s here to work—and nothing more. All she has to do is resist the wild thoughts coursing through her mind whenever Nolan is near. Easy . . . or so she thinks.With her pet project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a social media trolling scandal that could end her career. She suspects one of her co-workers is behind the sabotage and is determined to find out who betrayed her. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and love?

Loathe at First Sight Details

TitleLoathe at First Sight
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 4th, 2020
PublisherAvon
ISBN-139780062990709
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Loathe at First Sight Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    this looks like EVERYTHING i'd ever wantBlog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch this looks like EVERYTHING i'd ever wantBlog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch
  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    CWs under the spoiler tag. I strongly believe that CWs will help readers prepare for the potentially upsetting content. If you don't want spoilery details, I think it's important to know that racist/misogynistic online harassment is a significant subplot (if not the central storyline) of LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT. (view spoiler)[CW/TW:- Toxic tech/workplace environment with relentless racism and misogyny (both microaggressions and explicit/deliberate acts that cause heroine's eventual doxxing).- Her CWs under the spoiler tag. I strongly believe that CWs will help readers prepare for the potentially upsetting content. If you don't want spoilery details, I think it's important to know that racist/misogynistic online harassment is a significant subplot (if not the central storyline) of LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT. (view spoiler)[CW/TW:- Toxic tech/workplace environment with relentless racism and misogyny (both microaggressions and explicit/deliberate acts that cause heroine's eventual doxxing).- Heroine is called racist epithets such as ch*nk, j*p, sp*c, and g*ok on online message boards (these slurs are spelled out in the text repeatedly. I did not want to include them in this review but felt the need to be detailed for CW purposes. I hope my asterisks are okay; apologies if I messed up here).- Heroine is a victim of racist/misogynist online harassment (she gets called an attention-seeking whore, slut, ho, d*ke, cunt, bitch, SJW, fat, disgusting, and more. She also receives pornography and rape/death threats from anonymous trolls).- Heroine is doxxed (cell phone number, apartment building address, and work location are leaked online) and her identity/photos/appearance are used as fodder for vicious harassment.- Heroine has a stalker that follows her to a physical location and makes her feel unsafe/scared with text threats (this stalker subplot is not addressed much after this scene. We don't find out identity of stalker and they don't receive punishment). (hide spoiler)]1) This is a weird DNF because I almost read the whole book. As I was writing my GR comments, I realized that it wouldn’t be fair to rate the book for the following reasons: 1) I was not expecting the level of harassment present in the book (yes, it’s in the blurb but I overestimated my ability to tolerate and enjoy that storyline. I assessed wrongly) and 2) since my dislike is caused by the unexpected difficulty to enjoy the harassment storyline (a plot point that is laid out in the blurb), I don't feel comfortable rating the book. 2) I want to discuss Melody's parents. Discussion under spoiler tags. (view spoiler)[I appreciate that the book is #ownvoices and written from the author's authentic experience. However, Melody's parents are always used as the comedic relief and Melody is frequently embarrassed/mortified by them. That narrative choice didn't work for me, but humor isn't universal. What's funny to one person isn't funny to another. The tone of two scenes really, really didn't work for me. My reaction to the scenes are personal interpretation, not a criticism of the #ownvoices rep. SCENE #1: As I untangled myself from my bedsheets, my mom texted. MELODY CALL BACK VERY IMPORTANT1!!!Three missed calls from her, and two from my dad. My hands shook as I returned their call. “What’s going on? Are you guys all right?” Please God, let my Mom and Dad be okay.My mom shouted, “What is happen with you? Someone call our house in the middle of night and asking for you. He say he is secret admirer or something blah blah and want to talk to you. I told him he has wrong house because no way my Melody have any secret admiring boys. He get very angry and curse at me and then hang up.”Those trolling assholes had moved on to harassing my parents. “Mom, are you and Dad okay? If you get any more calls like that, please call the police.”“We be okay. No one usually bother us, so we call you right away. We hope you not ever dating him. That’s why we want you to marry nice Korean boy.”Deep breath in, and exhale. “Could you guys just turn your ringer down and let the calls go to voice mail? It’s a long story, but a bad person posted some information about me online, and now it’s really blowing up.” I put the call on speakerphone and logged in to my work email.My dad jumped on the other line. “Melody? Are you famous now?”I skimmed my emails quickly on my laptop. Three hundred forty-two messages. “Am I famous? Not really. But I am getting a lot of hate mail and fan mail, so I guess I’m more famous than I was just twenty-four hours ago.”“Okay, call our cellular phone later. We going to IHOP now. They have senior citizen early lunch special. Goodbye!”SCENE #2:I called my parents early in the morning after my apartment building was swept for bombs (yes, BOMBS).“Your daddy and me still wonder how you get a stalker. Stalker usually go after beautiful girl.”“Thanks for being so supportive, Mom.”“We watch local evening news every day. All the stalkers want to be boyfriend. Maybe you have secret admire crush.”I closed my eyes. “Mom, not all stalkers are infatuated with who they are stalking.”“Well, if you choose doctor or lawyer career like we want, you not have this problem. Those job you don’t have people stalk you. Unless you are psychiatrist or criminal defender, maybe that is problem.”I sighed deeply. For once, I’d have to agree with them about this. “That may be true about doctors and lawyers, but I still don’t want either of those careers.”If you read the CWs above, you’ll realize how serious Melody’s harassment is. Scene #2 occurs right after a terrifying/sobering scene where Melody realizes a troll has stalked her to a friend’s bachelorette party in a club. The stalker texts her: “You girls look like you’re having fun tonight. Congratulations to the bride.-DDay.”What follows is an infuriating/serious scene where she talks to a police officer. The officer takes her statement but basically says that it’s impossible to find/punish the perpetrator. The next scene is the phone call with Melody’s parents (Scene #2). Humor is subjective. I actively disliked the depiction of Melody’s parents as the constant comedic relief and the fact that she was always embarrassed by them (thus allowing the reader to always laugh at them). I also recognize that the rep is #ownvoices and that many other readers will love it. Because of that fact, I categorized my dislike as a mismatch in humor subjectivity. Different readers will react differently, and someone loving the humor is equally valid. That being said, it would be disingenuous if I wrote this review and omitted my strong negative reaction to the quoted scenes above. Melody has just been through the most terrifying experience of her life. I’m scared for her. I can’t handle the tonal shift into the comedic phone call conversation. How am I supposed to laugh when Melody’s mom says that stalkers only hunt pretty girls (her surprise implying that she doesn't consider Melody to be attractive)? Or her criticism that Melody wouldn’t be suffering if she chose a different profession (she’s wrong. Lawyers and doctors can be harassed, too. Harassment isn’t the property of WOC video game developers). I couldn't handle the jarring shift from terror to a more light-hearted phone conversation. I hate that this scene was played for laughs, so the reader could have a moment of levity after two serious/terrifying scenes. Perhaps I'm guilty of projection; I readily admit to that possibility. This is my personal interpretation and I think it’s a valid response. There are other scenes (including with Melody’s parents) that are supposed to be humorous; my response was the opposite. I won't go into detail because this review is already too long. To be honest: I found almost nothing in this book to be funny. Most of the humor accompanies very serious topics like workplace frustrations/harassment. I was unable to laugh because I was always stressed out by the serious issues. I recognize that certain sections are meant to induce laughter, but I was rarely amused. The example above is the most egregious instance and I feel obligated to be honest. I know that other readers won’t have the same reactions as I did, and that’s also valid. All reader interpretations are valid. (hide spoiler)]3) An important note about genre categorization: Helen Hoang’s Instagram says that while she considers LAFS more women’s fiction than romance, it still has a love story (Hoang blurbed the book). https://www.instagram.com/p/B786zzNAF...To add to the confusion, these are the three author blurbs on Amazon: “LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it! Park is a hilarious new voice in women’s fiction.” (Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient) “Hilarious and poignant, Park’s debut sparkles as a great addition to the new voices of the rom com renaissance.” (Roselle Lim, author of Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune) “Park gives us the story that only she could create. It's hilarious, smart, and the rom-com we need!” (Alexa Martin, ALA Award-winning author of Intercepted)Interestingly enough, Hoang's blurb is shortened for the cover quote, which leaves out the WF sentence and just says, "LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT bursts with humor, heart, and great energy. I loved it!"All these contradictions confused me. One author says it's WF (but that part is excluded in the cover quote), the other two say it's a rom-com. It can’t be both! The marketing/publisher/blurb/Edelweiss tags made me assume that LAFS was Genre Romance (central romantic arc with HEA/HFN). I decided to investigate and read the book earlier than I would have (it isn’t out for another five months). After reading the book, I agree with Hoang’s assessment that LAFS is more women's fiction than romance.In my opinion (or perhaps it's a fact), LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is not a romance novel because it does not have a central romantic storyline. The book focuses more on Melody's single POV, her career, and her experience with workplace/online harassment. The MCs don't spend that much time together on page. There are a couple kisses. They don't verbally express romantic interest in each other until the very end (the MCs agree to start dating after their confession). There is a love story, but it's not central. While there's nothing wrong with a non-central love story, I want to make genre/romance expectations clear for interested readers. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    An enemies to lovers romance ABOUT VIDEOGAMES????!!!!!!!!¡!!!!!¡¡¡¡¿??¿¿¿???GIMMEE
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    I think I got why the author named this book like this: because a few chapters later I started to loathe the chapters I’m reading and wanted to put those male colleagues into spit bath. I haven't read something hateful and irritating for so long!This is my second rodeo with the author! (She only wrote two books so that means I looked like a devoted fan! But both books are received as ARC copies. I was so lucky I guess!) I had hard time to connect with Perfect Escape’s characters and post-apocaly I think I got why the author named this book like this: because a few chapters later I started to loathe the chapters I’m reading and wanted to put those male colleagues into spit bath. I haven't read something hateful and irritating for so long!This is my second rodeo with the author! (She only wrote two books so that means I looked like a devoted fan! But both books are received as ARC copies. I was so lucky I guess!) I had hard time to connect with Perfect Escape’s characters and post-apocalyptic zombie competition universe! But when I saw another fantastic covered book of the author, I told myself, the first book was debut so let’s give another try. At least this book’s plot seems more intriguing even though it’s still about the video games and I hope the romance parts won’t fail me. Fingers crossed! But when I reached the middle of the story, I wanted to stop reading and throwing my Ipad against the wall or throwing myself out of the window with so much angst, frustration and volatile anger. I chose to read this book because I wanted to relax and read something funny, soft, chic lit, frenemies story. But instead of that, I bottled up more stress that I can take! The racism, toxic work environment, harassment, stalking, psychological abuse the heroine endured way too much to handle! I clenched my fists, took several deep breaths, cursed a lot and truly boiled in anger. The heroine/video game producer, brilliant Melody Joe, still living with her family, got so many death/rape threats from anonymous trolls, humiliated by her vicious, wild, ignorant male coworkers and followed by an obsessed stalker (by the way we still don’t know his identity and his motives!) And the relationship with her parents was unreliably annoying. They seemed like added to the chapters to take a break from terrifying harassment parts to entertain the readers but I haven’t found anything funny about their involvement and the way they put their daughter into embarrassed and humiliated positions! And at the work place: even her love-hate relationship with Nolan (cousin of the boss) didn’t save the story as well. And of course, Melody’s mobile game app about male strippers’ fighting against the post-apocalyptic world to survive and her sudden success are also interesting plot choices but I found them unrealistic as well. I think I found the harassment parts were too much irritating and toxic. I didn’t find anything funny, humorous or feel-good theme about this story and romance part is also overshadowed by those serious and suffocating issues. So unfortunately this book is not my cup of tea.Special thanks to Edelweiss and Avon/Harper Collins for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review. I wish I could enjoy it more.
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  • Suzanne Park
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE THIS BOOK!
  • Lacey (Booklovers For Life)
    January 1, 1970
    Enemies to lovers? Video games? Office romance? I need.
  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    June 20, 2020: Buddy reading with the lovely, Lili!May 19, 2020: I'm ready to see how Melody navigates this misogynistic world of working for video games. Thank you, Books Forward for the digital review copy! June 20, 2020: Buddy reading with the lovely, Lili!May 19, 2020: I'm ready to see how Melody navigates this misogynistic world of working for video games. Thank you, Books Forward for the digital review copy!
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  • Janet Rundquist
    January 1, 1970
    So much to love about this book. I loved Melody so much, who works her butt off to prove herself in a profession dominated by white males: the gaming industry. It was easy to share all of the emotions of frustration and anger of the racist, misogynistic environment of Melody's workplace because it was all spot on. And then, those victory moments came when I wanted to high five Melody because she is all kinds of smart, savvy, and funny. TBH, I think the title is misleading because while there is So much to love about this book. I loved Melody so much, who works her butt off to prove herself in a profession dominated by white males: the gaming industry. It was easy to share all of the emotions of frustration and anger of the racist, misogynistic environment of Melody's workplace because it was all spot on. And then, those victory moments came when I wanted to high five Melody because she is all kinds of smart, savvy, and funny. TBH, I think the title is misleading because while there is definitely a good story thread featuring a romantic interest (well-paced, too), I felt like this book was all about Melody and I was 100% behind her the whole way.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    Besides being funny and romantic, which it absolutely is, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT gives us a smart heroine who's easy to love. Melody Joo is a video game producer new to her job at Seventeen Studios. Early on, she jokes with a female coworker about fighting the patriarchy by making a video game about male strippers in a post-apocalyptic world. Although she was only kidding, before she knows it, the idea's been passed to the board of Seventeen Studios, and it's quickly named their next big thing. M Besides being funny and romantic, which it absolutely is, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT gives us a smart heroine who's easy to love. Melody Joo is a video game producer new to her job at Seventeen Studios. Early on, she jokes with a female coworker about fighting the patriarchy by making a video game about male strippers in a post-apocalyptic world. Although she was only kidding, before she knows it, the idea's been passed to the board of Seventeen Studios, and it's quickly named their next big thing. Melody should feel ecstatic to be running such a high-profile project as a junior producer (and of course, she is deservedly happy), but it's not an easy road. As a woman and Korean-American in an industry known for its bro culture, she never gets the same level of support that her white, male counterparts on other projects get. Everything she accomplishes is through grit, smarts, and savvy thinking on her feet. I absolutely loved her blend of toughness and vulnerability and think readers will really relate to this wonderful character.The story is hilarious and well-written. Plus Melody's blossoming romance with the office intern is all kinds of sweet. I can't wait for LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT to hit shelves!
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  • Whitney Schneider
    January 1, 1970
    I read an early version of this book and loved it! It’s an empowering read with charming characters and a lot of comedy! I couldn’t help but root for Melody as she tackled creating a video game in her male-dominated workplace. Suzanne Park does a great job of creating a realistic character anyone can identify with, and she kept me laughing the entire time. I can’t wait for this to hit shelves so I can read it again!
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book and it did not disappoint! I laughed...a LOT. Suzanne Park's novel is effortlessly funny and entertaining, while also fully immersing readers in the world of tech & gaming (the good and the terrible). I couldn't help but root for Melody, who was brave and messy and wonderful. My heart ached reading about the alarming sexism and racism she experienced simply by trying to do her job. There were some turns at the end I didn't see coming. I look I was so excited to receive an early copy of this book and it did not disappoint! I laughed...a LOT. Suzanne Park's novel is effortlessly funny and entertaining, while also fully immersing readers in the world of tech & gaming (the good and the terrible). I couldn't help but root for Melody, who was brave and messy and wonderful. My heart ached reading about the alarming sexism and racism she experienced simply by trying to do her job. There were some turns at the end I didn't see coming. I look forward to seeing what this author writes next!
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  • Lily Herman
    January 1, 1970
    I hope you've got your morning brew and a comfy chair because I have lots! to! say!Suzanne Park's Loathe at First Sight is an interesting journey into the world of video game production. It's obvious that Park did a ton of research into how that the mechanics of that industry work, and Melody Joo was a really fun, self-aware, and pithy protagonist.I'd say the biggest problem with this one has nothing to do with the book itself but the marketing. Between the title and the official description, it I hope you've got your morning brew and a comfy chair because I have lots! to! say!Suzanne Park's Loathe at First Sight is an interesting journey into the world of video game production. It's obvious that Park did a ton of research into how that the mechanics of that industry work, and Melody Joo was a really fun, self-aware, and pithy protagonist.I'd say the biggest problem with this one has nothing to do with the book itself but the marketing. Between the title and the official description, it's pretty clear that the idea was for this to be sold as an enemies-to-lovers romance (very much My Shit™!!!) taking place against the backdrop of the misogynistic and racist world of video game development. The professional feminist politics and culture writer in me SCREAMED because it sounded SO PERFECT.However, I'd say the romance was definitely relegated to a secondary storyline (and tied in terms of airtime with a whole separate subplot featuring Melody's two friends Jane and Candice), and it wasn't even an enemies-to-lovers story. (I don't consider one brief argument at the beginning enough to be worthy of the term "loathe," especially because it wasn't really followed up with much else.) That's probably where a few readers will be disappointed.Aside from that, after a while it seemed that a lot of storylines were just blowing through all of major social issues within online gaming without necessarily a ton of reflection and with a too-tidy ending. Just wish there was a tad more nuance there. Some folks might also find the blatant misogyny, racism, and brief homophobia triggering.I wanted to love this one because the premise was so cool, and I'm sad that I didn't!
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 35%I really really tried, but this is yet another book that did not work for me this month. I wanted to love it but the MC's voice as well as the way she perceives/talks about everyone around her starting getting on my nerves. This book just wasn't for me, I guess.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    Fast-paced and funny, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a rom-com that doesn't shy away from serious issues. The protagonist Melody is a new employee at a gaming company who often finds herself trotted out for the company's diversity initiatives, both because she's a woman and because of her Korean heritage. When she becomes lead producer on a game catering to women gamers (a game that she came up with as a satiric joke), she quickly becomes the target of an online smear campaign. The abuse leveled again Fast-paced and funny, LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a rom-com that doesn't shy away from serious issues. The protagonist Melody is a new employee at a gaming company who often finds herself trotted out for the company's diversity initiatives, both because she's a woman and because of her Korean heritage. When she becomes lead producer on a game catering to women gamers (a game that she came up with as a satiric joke), she quickly becomes the target of an online smear campaign. The abuse leveled against Melody by these online trolls is awful—and all too real. As much as I enjoyed Melody's dance around a relationship with her attractive, well-connected intern, it was the misogyny and racism she encountered at work and online that really got me fired up. I was rooting Melody the whole way!
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  • VL
    January 1, 1970
    I love Melody so, so much. This is such a fantastic book
  • faith ✨
    January 1, 1970
    Suzanne publishing 2 books in a year is the energy I'd like to have
  • Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    *Huge thanks to Books Forward PR for the eARC! All opinions are my own.*Suzanne Park has officially become one of my favorite contemporary authors, I loved reading Loathe At First Sight! ❤️✨ It was funny, witty, feminist, nerdy and just absolutely amazing. I had recently read The Perfect Escape (also from Suzanne) and I enjoyed reading it so much that I was thrilled to find out about her next work: Loathe At First Sight.Omg, where do I begin?!! Melody is so cool, a true inspiration. When she nai *Huge thanks to Books Forward PR for the eARC! All opinions are my own.*Suzanne Park has officially become one of my favorite contemporary authors, I loved reading Loathe At First Sight! ❤️✨ It was funny, witty, feminist, nerdy and just absolutely amazing. I had recently read The Perfect Escape (also from Suzanne) and I enjoyed reading it so much that I was thrilled to find out about her next work: Loathe At First Sight.Omg, where do I begin?!! Melody is so cool, a true inspiration. When she nails a job in the video game industry, she finds herself with several obstacles including a very obnoxious co-worker and a privilege work team member. However the way she manages every situation is so clever, she constantly had me laughing! But I was equally frustrated of the injustices she had to suffer in a work environment of mostly men employees that had little respect for "women opinions". Ugh, the unfairness!!! My feminist heart loved how this story progressed though. 🥰And can we talk about Nolan?! He is so cute and smart and a very nice guy! I loved how he supported Melody and even ended up doing a crazy marketing plan alongside her. I LOVED that part! 😂 My second favorite scenes where whenever Melody's parents appear. They are hilarious!!!Anyway, you must all read this book! I promise it does not disappoint. It is now one of my favorite contemporary reads! 📚❤️✨
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  • Aleya
    January 1, 1970
    It was fun reading about a gamer girl. I feel like this book was more about female empowerment than the rom-com aspect. I'm totally down for that, especially as a gamer girl. Melody Joo was a fascinating character who had her flaws throughout the book. It was great getting to see her rise above everything and show everyone her badassery. Also, Nolan was a precious ray of sunshine. You could never hate that adorable puppy.
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  • Tabi (ᕗツ)ᕗ
    January 1, 1970
    sign me up for all the books with kdrama plots
  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    Real rating: 2.5/5 stars
  • Ky Baeza
    January 1, 1970
    ANOTHER AUGUST BOOK, OMG!
  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, there is a romance here, but more than that, this is a story of a woman fighting to succeed in a male-dominated career. Melody Joo is a Korean-American woman employed by a video game company. When a game idea that starts as a joke is taken seriously, she finds herself leading a team in the creation of a new, female-centric first person shooter game featuring male strippers and female warriors fighting zombies, vampires, and aliens. It only takes a bit of leaked intel to the online gaming co Yes, there is a romance here, but more than that, this is a story of a woman fighting to succeed in a male-dominated career. Melody Joo is a Korean-American woman employed by a video game company. When a game idea that starts as a joke is taken seriously, she finds herself leading a team in the creation of a new, female-centric first person shooter game featuring male strippers and female warriors fighting zombies, vampires, and aliens. It only takes a bit of leaked intel to the online gaming community to set off a firestorm of vitriol directed at Melody, most of it heavily misogynistic and racist. Melody weathers personal and professional attacks with the help of the women - and men - who support her. I love that this is a book about finding and creating support systems, fighting against stereotypes, and finding success on your own terms.
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  • Audrey
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsMelody, a game designer is put in charge of creating a game she made up on a lark. She becomes attracted to an intern, who is also the boss’ son. Meanwhile, she starts to get trolled and doxed by racists and misogynists. Melody is smart and organized and despite being worn down, always meets her deadlines with the help of some supportive co workers and friends. This was smartly told and conveys the hardships in working in a toxic environment. I received an arc from the publisher but all 4.5 starsMelody, a game designer is put in charge of creating a game she made up on a lark. She becomes attracted to an intern, who is also the boss’ son. Meanwhile, she starts to get trolled and doxed by racists and misogynists. Melody is smart and organized and despite being worn down, always meets her deadlines with the help of some supportive co workers and friends. This was smartly told and conveys the hardships in working in a toxic environment. I received an arc from the publisher but all opinions are my own.
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  • anna ✩
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so sad to only be giving this book 2 stars, I was genuinely so excited for it and always thought I would love it. An enemies to lovers story featuring a female Korean-American main character who works as a video game producer sounded right up my alley and like something that we definitely needed in the book world. However, I feel Loathe at First Sight can be a bit misleading at first glance. Despite having the perfect enemies to lovers title, it isn't really an enemies to lovers story. In fa I'm so sad to only be giving this book 2 stars, I was genuinely so excited for it and always thought I would love it. An enemies to lovers story featuring a female Korean-American main character who works as a video game producer sounded right up my alley and like something that we definitely needed in the book world. However, I feel Loathe at First Sight can be a bit misleading at first glance. Despite having the perfect enemies to lovers title, it isn't really an enemies to lovers story. In fact, I wouldn't say that romance is even at the core of the story. The main plot line follows our main character and her struggles of working in a male dominated world as well as dealing with online harassment. Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for giving me an arc in exchange for an honest review. Loathe at First Sight follows Melody Joo as she embarks on her new job as a video game producer at Seventeen Studios. Being part of a world that's mainly male dominated, Melody has learned to stand up for herself and defend her worth to everyone who thinks less of her. One day, jokingly, Melody and a friend from work discuss a new idea for a video game that follows strippers in a post-apocalyptic world fighting off zombies, vampires, etc. Suddenly Melody's idea becomes an actual concept for a mobile game that she has to develop in an unrealistically short amount of time. As a character, Melody Joo is great. She is smart and capable and strong and has no time for misogyny. Nolan, our love interest, is also a very well developed character and instantly likeable. Rooting for Melody and Nolan was one of my favourite parts of this novel, however as I previously mentioned the romance isn't at the centre of the story and we rarely get any romantic interactions between the two. Another thing I would like to point out as a reason to why I couldn't particularly enjoy this book was the comedy. Being advertised as 'bursting with humour' I was definitely expecting something very different to what we get in the novel. Most of the comedy comes from Melody's over the top Korean parents and although I understand how some interactions/scenes could be humorous to some people, I really struggled with seeing the funny aspect of it. I'm really disappointed that I couldn't enjoy this book more because I was really looking forward to it. Perhaps if I had gone in expecting that romance wouldn't be a big part of the plot line and that it was mostly going to revolve around Melody's work and harassment, it could've worked out differently.
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  • Kimberly Kowalski
    January 1, 1970
    Deep down I knew who the love interest would be before he was even introduced, but part of me was hoping it was someone else simply because the hate didn't last long enough. I greatly enjoyed this book, though the title feels a bit misleading. I was expecting a full blown hate to love trope, and instead got more of a workplace/friends to lovers vibe. Slow burn! The characters were well developed and enjoyable, the gaming/tech environment was fun for me as a female that enjoys gaming. I particula Deep down I knew who the love interest would be before he was even introduced, but part of me was hoping it was someone else simply because the hate didn't last long enough. I greatly enjoyed this book, though the title feels a bit misleading. I was expecting a full blown hate to love trope, and instead got more of a workplace/friends to lovers vibe. Slow burn! The characters were well developed and enjoyable, the gaming/tech environment was fun for me as a female that enjoys gaming. I particularly loved the cosplay portion and I would play the crap out of the game that Melody inadvertently imagines and then brings to fruition.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a character-driven exploration of the racism and misogyny within the gaming community and industry. Melody Joo is deeply human character who I found myself rooting for as she battled obstacle after obstacle with resilience and humor. The inclusion of the relationship with her friends and parents provided balance to heavier topics and humor. Though readers should be prepared for the extent of harassment the character experiences including threats, stalking, doxing, and wo LOATHE AT FIRST SIGHT is a character-driven exploration of the racism and misogyny within the gaming community and industry. Melody Joo is deeply human character who I found myself rooting for as she battled obstacle after obstacle with resilience and humor. The inclusion of the relationship with her friends and parents provided balance to heavier topics and humor. Though readers should be prepared for the extent of harassment the character experiences including threats, stalking, doxing, and workplace harassment, as a non-gamer, I felt almost part of the community—Park weaves together a vivid setting and characters. Thank you to the author for an advanced copy of this book.
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  • Bookgyrl
    January 1, 1970
    3,5 starsThis is a well written book with some very difficult subjects. Melody is a young woman trying to make it in the gaming industry. I was actually appalled at the way she was treated in this book. Her co-workers were hateful and annoying. It was such a toxic environment! I applauded Melody for hanging on and just working so hard to get what she wanted. And it was not just the people at work and in the industry. Her Korean parents treated her very badly as well. They only talked to her abou 3,5 starsThis is a well written book with some very difficult subjects. Melody is a young woman trying to make it in the gaming industry. I was actually appalled at the way she was treated in this book. Her co-workers were hateful and annoying. It was such a toxic environment! I applauded Melody for hanging on and just working so hard to get what she wanted. And it was not just the people at work and in the industry. Her Korean parents treated her very badly as well. They only talked to her about finding a suitable young man and not in a very nice way! If you can't count on your parents to love you no matter what... I abhorred her mother. What I expected was a book about a workplace romance (enemies-to-lovers), like The Hating Game. But this is not really a romance, it is a story about Melody's struggles in the workplace as a young female in a male-dominated world and I loved that she finally got success. There is a little romance, but not enough to call it such. I understand what the author was trying to do, but I did not enjoy reading about all the things she had to put up with so it was kind of a struggle for me to finish this. I do look forward to another book by this author as the writing was good. *** I received an ARC via Edelweiss and this is my honest and voluntary review. ***
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  • eatbookseatworlds
    January 1, 1970
    Suzanne Park is a unique voice, and this story about gaming companies and culture really blew me away. The characters, particularly Melody, are quirky and interesting, and the pressure of the game launch is a really effective narrative thread that builds tension and had me turning the pages long after I should've stopped for the night. I really admire the deftness with which the author deals with multiple different issues: the toxicity of male chauvinism in the workplace, nepotism, harmful stere Suzanne Park is a unique voice, and this story about gaming companies and culture really blew me away. The characters, particularly Melody, are quirky and interesting, and the pressure of the game launch is a really effective narrative thread that builds tension and had me turning the pages long after I should've stopped for the night. I really admire the deftness with which the author deals with multiple different issues: the toxicity of male chauvinism in the workplace, nepotism, harmful stereotypes (gender, racial, etc.), and the difficulty of labels. The romance definitely takes a backseat to the previously mentioned issues, and I have to say Nolan is possibly the least interesting guy in the story, but the other males more than made up for it.I know a little about some of the doxxing that's been leveled at female gamers and female critics of gaming culture over the past decade, and I applaud the author for doing such a great job of demonstrating the mental, emotional and even physical effects of this horrible behavior. This is an important book, one I wish every gamer was forced to read. Four solid stars for this book (and I should mention as well - this author's style reminds me more than a little of Helen Hoang, so Hoang fans, take note!).*I received a review copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*
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  • Caitlin Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Melody is one of my favorite protagonists I have read this year. She is a game producer at Seventeen Studios who came up with the creative idea to produce a game featuring male strippers in a post apocalyptic world. I loved that Melody was a strong Korean-American who held her own against her white male coworkers. This book had a lot of laugh out loud moments and I loved Suzanne Parks writing style. Nolan was completely lovable and I loved the chemistry between him and Melody. However, romance w Melody is one of my favorite protagonists I have read this year. She is a game producer at Seventeen Studios who came up with the creative idea to produce a game featuring male strippers in a post apocalyptic world. I loved that Melody was a strong Korean-American who held her own against her white male coworkers. This book had a lot of laugh out loud moments and I loved Suzanne Parks writing style. Nolan was completely lovable and I loved the chemistry between him and Melody. However, romance wasn't the focus of this book. Loathe at First Sight tackled stereotypes and female empowerment. Thanks to Edelweiss for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!
    January 1, 1970
    'Loathe at First Sight' shouldn't be considered a romance novel. It wasn’t. The storyline primary's focus was on Melody's career and the struggles she faced through the racist (subplot mostly), misogynistic and sexist work environment she was stationed at. The general romance aspect of this read was few and far between and with the minimal interactions Melody and the intern Nolan had, I was surprised that a romantic relationship was established between them by the end of th 'Loathe at First Sight' shouldn't be considered a romance novel. It wasn’t. The storyline primary's focus was on Melody's career and the struggles she faced through the racist (subplot mostly), misogynistic and sexist work environment she was stationed at. The general romance aspect of this read was few and far between and with the minimal interactions Melody and the intern Nolan had, I was surprised that a romantic relationship was established between them by the end of the novel. It was such a disappointment because I was anticipating an enemies turned lovers office romance but ended up getting humorless triggering read that left me irritated enough to not bother finishing this read. There were too many underlying issues with this novel making me realize that this just wasn’t my cup of tea.
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