Updated: Jan 18, 2021
by Lorelei Parker
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
In life, as in gaming, there's a way around every obstacle . . .
To pitch her new role-playing game at a European conference, developer Sierra Reid needs to overcome her terror of public speaking. What better practice than competing in a local bar's diary slam, regaling an audience with old journal entries about her completely humiliating college crush on gorgeous Tristan Spencer? Until the moderator says, "Next up, Tristan Spencer . . ." Sierra is mortified, but Tristan is flattered. Caught up in memories of her decade-old obsession as they reconnect, Sierra tries to dismiss her growing qualms about him. But it's not so easy to ignore her deepening friendship with Alfie, the cute, supportive bar owner. She and Alfie were college classmates too, and little by little, Sierra is starting to wonder if she's been focusing her moves on the wrong target all along, misreading every player's motivations. Maybe the only winning strategy is to start playing by her heart . . .
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
Crushing It is definitely an all around, feel good, romantic comedy. The story was actually ... kind of original, which is a breath of fresh air in the romance genre. All the video game references were awesome. The story was great. My only two problems plot wise, was that I didn't truly get into it until 40% into the book, which is way too long in my opinion, and it was predictable. Once I did get to a point where I was invested in the story (specifically when our main protagonist started to develop feelings for Alfie), I couldn't put it down. Even though I knew what revelations we would get in the last few chapters, I wanted to know how they resolved it.
The characters in this book are very down to earth, and relatable, in my opinion. Sierra is a successful video game programmer, who has a lot of passion for her field. She is scarred from an embarrassing moment in her life, when a prank is played on her during a presentation, and now she has a crippling fear of public speaking, which gets in the way of her presenting her own game at Gamescon. In order to get over her fear, her best friend enrolls her in a contest at a local bar, that requires you to get on stage and read an embarrassing journal entry from your diary. This is where she meets our two potential love interests: her biggest crush in college, Tristan, and Alfie, who had the biggest crush on her in college. Both men complete opposites of one another. It's quick to see who is the perfect one for her. Alfie is probably on my most adorkable character list. Very easy to fall for.
Crushing It, while predictable and the set up is more drawn out than I like, was a super cute, quick read. It's a book that makes you reflect on change. How people change as they grow up, and how they don't. Makes you think about consequences to particular actions. All the while using fun video game references that will make the geek in your smile.
Crushing It comes out on June 30th, 2020.