13 Aug / So We Meet Again by Suzanne Park [in Shelf Awareness]
Suzanne Park (Loathe at First Sight) crafts another engaging enemies-to-lovers romance in So We Meet Again. Back in junior high, Jessie Kim and Daniel Choi were pitted against each other by their competitive Korean American parents as beacons of near-perfection. Both eventually escaped: Jess landed on Wall Street, Daniel in Silicon Valley. Now almost 30, both unexpectedly return home to Nashville: Jess was dismissed by her high-power investment firm (“you’re not a leader”); the rumor mill insists elite corporate lawyer Daniel is fleeing a painful mismatch.
Two 50-pound rice bags (hey, they’re on sale!) and a runaway grocery cart reunite the nemeses. Jess bitterly recalls the ways Daniel wronged her, but she also can’t help noticing he’s lost his chipmunk cheeks and his bowl cut – and that he’s ridiculously hot. He’s also “Confident. Cocky. Smug.” No, thank you; Jess is too busy orchestrating her comeback: elevating premade food kits into easily enhanced Korean feasts. Her first live broadcast gets interrupted by her mother, but viewers are instantly enthralled by charming (on-screen, anyway) “Umma to the rescue!” Daniel even temporarily manages to make himself useful, but that quickly turns to distraction – and maybe even betrayal. Can Jess win this time?
Park might be adapting a tried-and-true formula, but she also ensures her rom-com has plenty of bite. Folded into the toothsome pairing are less appetizing reminders of corporate glass ceilings for women and minorities, blatant boardroom sexism, unchecked white male privilege, and casual racism. After confronting and overcoming such challenges, success feels that much sweeter.
Discover: Sparks fly in Suzanne Park’s engaging second rom-com when a pair of junior high nemeses reunite at almost-30, seeking refuge in their hometown from their high-power careers elsewhere.