Summary (from the publisher):
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets You’ve Got Mail in this charming and hilarious rom-com following two teen booksellers whose rivalry is taken to the next level as they compete for the top bookseller bonus.
Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape.
When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan.
Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute (really cute), and he may be an eligible Jewish single (hard to find south of Atlanta), but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down.
But as the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Everyone knows that I’m crave bookish YA books, which made Laura Silverman’s Recommended For You one of my most anticipated releases this fall… not to mention that it takes place during one of my favorite times of the year, the holiday season! Shoshanna Greenberg is spending her winter break at her favorite place in the world, Once Upon, the local bookstore where she works. When her boss announces that the employee who sells the most books will receive a holiday bonus, Shoshanna is ready to up her book recommendation game even more so she can finally fix up her beloved car. What’s preventing her from doing so is Once Upon’s newest employee, Jake, both for that fact that he doesn’t even read and his charm.
Recommended For You is one of the cutest enemies-to-lovers books that I’ve ever read! It had such a fantastic atmosphere, between the holiday season and the bookstore & mall. The book takes place over the week leading up to Christimas, with Shoshanna’s family wrapping up their Hanukkah celebrations and Shoshanna working every day leading up to Christmas. Although I haven’t worked in a mall, I have worked in retail and Laura Silverman perfectly summarized the chaos surrounding last minute holiday shopping. Shoshanna’s best friends also work in the mall, and I loved their food court hang outs.
The majority of the book takes place at Once Upon a time and focuses on Shoshanna and Jake’s relationship, but it explores so many other themes and Shoshanna herself. I overall think that Recommended For You skews slightly more towards a younger YA audience (maybe more so the 12-15 year old range) mainly because Shoshanna does have some growing up or maturing to do. Although I completely LOVED her relationship with Jake because they were just so funny and sweet together, there wasn’t much steam or romance action – which was completely fine! Shoshanna also acts a little immature at times, or doesn’t really think before she speaks or does certain things. Shoshanna’s moms are fighting more than ever lately, and after they miss out on their annual latke making night during Hanukkah, Shoshanna is willing to do anything to help save her parents’ relationship. She somewhat funnily gets her PA privileges taking away while training Jake, and she maybe crosses a few boundaries while trying to help out her moms and friends.
Nevertheless, Shoshanna was a really sweet character, and she deeply cares about the people in her life. I think her bookishness, especially her love for a fictional sci-fi series and desire to write a book of her own, really allows us bookworms to connect more with her. From unpacking stock to setting up an author event, I loved reading about her work at Once Upon. Additionally, Recommended For You has a ton of Jewish representation, mainly between Shoshanna and Jake and their families. The book takes place in Georgia, so Shoshanna and Jake throw around a few jokes about they are among the few Jewish people they know. We do get to experience some of their Hanukkah celebrations, while they also use some Yiddish words and reference some of their other traditions.
I’m always up for an enemies-to-lovers romance, which is why I especially loved Jake and Shoshanna’s relationship. I loved the evolution of their relationship and really getting to explore Jake’s story, as Shoshanna begins to realize that Jake is much more than non-reader she thinks he is. I loved the sarcasm and jokes that were sprinkled throughout their conversations while they also got to some deeper things about themselves. I thought their ending was so cute, and I can’t help but want a sequel about them as a couple!
Overall, I loved Recommended For You! It was the perfect light-hearted read for any bookworm craving a cute contemporary over the holiday season. I can definitely see myself picking up it again this November & December!
Recommended For You comes out on September 1, 2020.
This review is based on an advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher. By no means did this affect my thoughts & opinions.
About Laura Silverman
Laura Silverman is an author and editor currently living in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her MFA in writing for children at the New School. Her books include Girl Out of Water, You Asked for Perfect, It’s a Whole Spiel, and Recommended for You. Girl Out of Water was a Junior Library Guild Selection. You can contact Laura on Twitter @LJSilverman1 or through her website LauraSilvermanWrites.com.
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Is Recommended For You on your TBR? Have you read any books by Laura Silverman? What bookish YA books do you love? Share in the comments!