Loathe at First Sight

Original Title:Loathe at First Sight
Published Date:18th Aug 2020
Publisher:Avon
ISBN:9780062990693
Edition Language:English
Format:Paperback
Number of Pages:368 Pages
Rating :
About Suzanne Park
Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee. In her former life as a stand-up comedian, she was a finalist in the Oxygen Network's "Girls Behaving Badly" talent search, and appeared on BET's "Coming to the Stage." Suzanne was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC's "Stand Up For Diversity" showcase in San Francisco alongside comedians Ali Wong and Nico Santos.

Loathe at First Sight Overview

Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “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. 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 assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes 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.

With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and in love?

Loathe at First Sight Reviews

  • 3.5 starsI think reading a few reviews before I started this one helped as I had a heads up this book wasn't going to be a strong enemies to lovers romance so I was able to change my expectations a bit. And while there were some definite issues, overall my feelings are more positive than negative about the book.Melody Joo has recently landed a job as a video game producer. This is her first time working in the industry and her job is even more difficult given how sexism runs rampant at the company. Melody is joking around one day with a female co-worker about a video game concept she came up with involving male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Well, the boss overhears the conversation and decides the video game concept should be a top priority project for the studio and puts Melody in charge. The project could make or break her career. Assigned to Melody's team is Nolan MacKenzie, an intern who just happens to be the CEO's nephew. There's a lot going on in this story to the point in which it is overwhelming. At times it felt like the story meandered from one thing to the next without a clear focus. Good intentions by the author to bring substance with some relevant issues but it left some aspects underdeveloped. Eliminating some of the minor plot points like the ride share dilemma that was pointless or anything to do with the wedding might have helped a bit. And to be honest the interactions with her Korean American parents didn't seem to work well either in the story. So while I do have some complaints, I thought the video game aspect made this book unique. And even though the plot wasn't heavy on the romance, at least there was some chemistry between the two characters. I think this makes a better fiction read than romance. I always appreciate the chance to read something different and at least the writer mixed things up a bit. Just because the end result wasn't perfect doesn't mean I didn't find value in reading the book.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but was not obligated to post a review here. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • I actually really enjoyed this! I will say don’t go into this book expecting it to be fully romance & a hate to love story because honestly I don’t think it is. It’s more about a woman working in a field dominated by men & having to prove herself time and time again. It’s got a ton of misogyny in it and honestly horrible men but you will root for the main character, Melody to stick it to these men over and over. It does have some romance in it but it’s not the forefront of the book at all, I think if you know that you’ll like the book much more.
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  • DNF @ 51% The good: this story has a realistic portrayal of what life is like for many women, especially women of color, in the game development industry, even down to the ways the women themselves are almost always blamed for the harassment they receive. The bad: I didn't enjoy the writing itself, Melody's character, the total lack of chemistry between Mel and Nolan, or Melody's parents being raging assholes for comedic effort (like when she calls them out on being rude to Liftr/Uber drivers, one of her parents says to the other one something about "that Black person driver" and literally NOTHING is said about it — like it's a joke???).Also, please correct me if I missed something or just didn't read far enough into the story to get to this point, but... is Melody a gamer at all? Her motivation for getting into the industry felt like she was less interested in gaming and more interested in being able to say she did it. I never really understood why she wanted the job and it never felt like she had any passion whatsoever for what she was doing. I don't remember a single mention in the first half of the story to her actually liking video games. I went into this book expecting a gamer as an MC, but didn't feel like I got that at all.All of this combined had me wanting to stop reading anyways, but then it reached a point where I realized I just wasn't even remotely enjoying the story enough to justify how miserable the harassment plot line was making me. It's all 100% valid and very true to life, so don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing the way it was written — I just didn't want to read it.As a woman who's been in the gaming community, especially online, basically my entire life, the kind of shit Melody was hearing (aside from the racist elements, which I'm very aware I can't relate to but make her experience much more terrible than any experience I've had) was stuff women who game have been hearing as long as I can remember and it wasn't something I wanted to read about in my fiction, too. It was just bringing back WAY too many traumatic memories and I finally realized it was better for my mental health if I just put the book down.I felt like this message was one I could have enjoyed more if I wasn't a gamer myself. I also couldn't help but be bothered that (again, in the first half — please correct me if this changed in the second half) we literally only see ONE dude in the entire company who isn't a raging piece of shit, and much like our MC, there is NO mention at all of him being a gamer (he only works there because it's his uncle's company), which I feel like paints some sort of idea that the gaming community has no safe spaces at all for women and that the entire thing is a lost cause. Loving a community is holding it accountable, yes, but it also needs to allow a little room for celebrating its successes, and I didn't see that happening anywhere here.I didn't mean for this review to be so long or frustrated. I guess I'm just so immensely disappointed in this book and I had such high hopes that I can't help but vent. I think plenty of other people will love this romance for what it is, but it wasn't for me.Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • *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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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