This book was great in the prologue, nauseating in the first few chapters, absolutely stunning in the middle, and a slight disappointment in the end. But overall? I’ll let the goods cancel out the bads.
This is my first true contemporary romance read in forever, and it was very enjoyable. Also it made me cry at 3am. What can I say, some of the elements and dialogues were just a huge call-out to me, I guess. But also, the writing beautiful, but there were some phrases that just made me “???”, for a lack of better expression.
YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER — ★★★★
Meet Naomi and Nicholas: the perfect couple. They never fight! They never disagree! Even their names match! Their glorious, lavish wedding is coming up in only three short months . . . and they are utterly, disgustingly, miserably sick of each other.
But there’s a catch: whoever backs out first will end up bearing the brunt of the wedding bill. When Naomi finds out that Nicholas has been feigning contentment as much as she has, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of sabotage, pranks, and all-out emotional warfare to see who can annoy the other into surrendering first.
Now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves. They’re having so much fun getting on each other’s nerves that it starts to feel like something else entirely — and mutual destruction suddenly doesn’t sound so bad after all.
“All I know that it’s a bad idea to fulfil your physical needs if you won’t fulfil my emotional ones”
This is your classic enemies to lovers romance, but more like lovers to enemies to lovers. I won’t lie, everyone was insufferable at the beginning of the story. I was so vehemently against all of them, until around 50% when Naomi and Nick started interacting like proper adults.
So, Nicholas and Naomi are engaged, and their wedding is set for January. the problem is, they have fallen out of love with each other (or so says Naomi, since we’re in her first person POV) and they are having very separate lives. Nick is a dentist, and he is constantly tending to each and every one of his parents’ demands. his mom, Deborah, makes me want to rip out my hair. But nick helps then with everything anyways, and Naomi is constantly upset that he always brings his mom flowers, but he hasn’t brought her flowers in a year. Nick is a total momma’s boy, and really doesn’t have a life outside his parents and his job.
Naomi, on the other hand, is very cynical and only loves Nick 18%. She is sure that she hates everything about the relationship, and nitpicks at everything that Nick does. I personally felt that she was melodramatic and unfair to Nick most of the time, especially when she did her absolute best to make a scene in front of Deborah at a family dinner. The beginning definitely wasn’t a healthy relationship, and sometimes their hate just got taken too far.
However, I really loved how Nick and Naomi were developed through the story. Their relationship just gets so honest and communicative and adorable by the climax of the story, and I actually adore it. They learn to have fun together again, and it is so heartwarming. It shows in the most beautiful manner, how they put aside their differences and discover their similarities. Naomi also learns to be more selfless and help Nick out without demanding anything in return, which was just so beautiful to read about. She realizes all the small things that Nick does to make her life just a bit easier, and it was written so well that I may or may not have cried through most of it. This book is literally free couples therapy. The level of communication by the end? *chef’s kiss*. I’M HERE TO READ ABOUT THESE TWO ADORABLE NERDS WHO BICKER LIKE AN OLD MARRIED COUPLE!!
Although there were a number of side characters that were never developed, that’s okay because it’s a short romance book and I don’t have unrealistic expectations for the level of detail. I found it strange that Leon, Naomi’s coworker who apparently doesn’t like social interactions and tries to work the shifts alone, ends up being such a big part of their life. Also, they just swap houses and cars with him like it’s no big deal? We know for a fact that Leon isn’t rich, unlike Nick, so how does he afford to buy so much and pass it off like it got done super fast? Onto another side character: Brandy. Brandy is Naomi’s supposed best friend, but she’s very one-dimensional and not very present in the book. All the other side characters were only there to be name dropped, and acted just like caricatures.
Okay, but you know what really made me take off a star, in a book that was building up to be a 5-star read? Rosefield. a combination of Rose and Westfield (both their last names). I will not elaborate, but iykyk. I am actually cringing so hard,,, what in the Cressworth? (SJTR reference lol)
When we get back out to the car, we plot how to ruin each other’s lives.
So, I touched up on this a bit in the previous paragraphs, but I think the enemies to lovers arc was done quite well. The book made me so sure at the beginning that the two hate each other with a burning passion, and will do everything to make the other one break it off. And then it pulls a 360 and I’m rooting for them 100%. asjkghfdjsk I’ll never stop loving that aspect of the book, along with all the hurt/comfort and angst. They’re literally judecardan (FOTA) but in the real world, and I love it.
But you know what made me so angry? The fact that Nick plowed over Jason (as retaliation for one of Naomi’s prank), repeatedly, and the topic was never brought up again. He didn’t even plant another Jason for her, which would have been so sweet and memorable. What a missed opportunity!
“Are you trying to bury me?”
“Shut up and stop breathing.”
So, that was in their prank phase, between the hating and the loving. TBH I feel like some of the pranks were taken way out of proportion, and is slightly too extreme? Like, I’d understand if it was a small prank, but stapling underwear to the ceiling seems unnecessarily destructive and costly. but I’ve got to agree, it was very interesting to read about these two close-to-middle-aged people acting like kids. They have such a good dynamic, and I think that’s the part that really reeled me in.
My problem with the plot is, this entire book feels like a honeymoon phase. The second half is too happy all the time, and I simply don’t think that it will last. I would have loved to see more about how they overcome subsequent problems in their relationship, other than just the beginning problem that they’ve grown tired of each other. In time, they’ll probably grow tired of each other again? I don’t know, it might just be because I’m young and have no experience in the marriage area (thankfully lmao) so I am quite dubious of this working out in reality.
Someday, for some woman, he’ll feel like parting the curtains in an upper window, dust motes swirling in a sunny room, peering down on the curving back of a man building your children a swing set. He’ll be a thick wedding band of solid silver, the only place on his hand that doesn’t tan in the summer. He’ll feel like two old trees growing together, branches plaiting into an embrace.
The writing in this book. it was so beautiful, and I just… I can’t get enough of it. There are such detailed metaphors from Naomi’s perspective, and Nick gives the best heartbreaking speeches. I cried so many times because of the beauty of the prose.
“You stopped seeing me, Naomi. You stopped wanting me. You’re going to figure out one of these days that I can tell when you’re starting to disassociate, and it’s the most heartbreaking experience I’ve ever had. It’s nonstop. It keeps on happening. I try to bring you back to me every time you go to leave, off into your own head where I’m not allowed.”
Another pet peeve of mine: mixed in with the prose, were so many pop culture references. I’ve realized now that I stick to fantasy books because I need the escapism, and I really don’t love seeing Spongebob references in the paragraphs when I’m trying to be a whole new person. But maybe that’s just an acceptable thing in contemporary fiction? It’s just a nitpick from my behalf.
I loved the middle of the book, I really do. But the ending is just so cringEy that I am embarrassed for their future children. The buildup of hate wasn’t my favorite thing to read about (i was highlighting and writing notes saying “RED FLAG!!” every other page) but I’ll accept that because this is supposed to be an enemies to lovers romance, and they do grow past it. Overall, I enjoyed this book as a quick read, and it definitely touched my heart.
- What genre do you read most of? Is there a specific reason?
- Have you read this book? If so, did you enjoy it?