The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi
Published January 31, 2023 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Date read: April 4, 2023
Sora and Jack
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The Plot (from Goodreads):
Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples’ dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won’t do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.
The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.
When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?
Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?
While the premise of The Second You’re Single was fun, the book didn’t grab me as much as I expected it to. I’m not exactly sure why, because there was plenty I liked–I just didn’t love it.
The pros: a cute one-eyed dog, a hot childhood second chance, and a fun premise. I loved the idea of the “go solo” challenge, despite being happily engaged. It’s so important to learn to love yourself first before jumping into a relationship.
Unfortunately, the way that Sora was portrayed as the crazy ex-girlfriend kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The book could have delved into some heavier topics that were mentioned just in passing–like Sora’s miscarriage–and it just left me wanting more than a surface-level love story. I also felt like I couldn’t get behind the romance, because they never seemed to get to know each other.
Even though I didn’t love this one, it might be perfect for a lover of slow-burn second-chance romance or someone looking for a quick Valentine’s day read.
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