Blurb from Goodreads
Dumped by his fiancée, not only is Miles couch-surfing across New York City, but downsizing has forced him to set up shop at a café. Also, he no longer believes in love. Not a good look in his line of work . . .
Zoey’s eccentric L.A. boss sent her packing to New York to “grow.” But beneath her chill Cali demeanor, Zoey’s terrified to venture beyond the café across the street . . .
The only thing Miles and Zoey share is their daily battle for Café Crudité’s last day-old biscotti. They don’t know they’re both ghostwriting “authentic” client profiles for rival online dating services. Nope, they have absolutely nothing in common. . . . Until they meet anonymously online, texting on the clock . .
Soon, with their clients headed for dating disaster, both Miles and Zoey’s jobs are at stake. And once they find out their lines have crossed, will their love connection be the real thing–or vanish into the ether?. . .
Mismatched in Manhattan (known as Ghosting in some territories) follows the story of two characters, Zoey and Miles, who start out as enemies but slowly (very slowly!) realise that there’s something more behind their bickering.
Unknown to each other both Zoey and Miles work for two companies that offer their services to users of dating apps. They both are employed for their ability to write flirty and interesting texts / messages to help clients of dating apps make more successful matches. Zoey finds herself writing for a girl named Bree and Miles for a guy named Jude who surprise surprise end up being matched… and all sorts of Cyrano de Bergerac style drama ensues.
The book is described as an ode to the New York set romantic comedies that we all know and love… think When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail …
…and it certainly shares a similar style of snappy dialogue from those famous rom-com stalwarts. And that dialogue was actually my favourite part of the novel; I really enjoyed the moments where dialogue and instant messaging was used to tell the story between Zoey and Miles as to me it really helped to liven up what was for the most part quite a slow paced novel.
I do enjoy a slow burn romance but I think this novel erred a little too much on the slow side. I found the first half of the novel quite difficult to get through as to me it felt as if the plot was plodding along to a predictable ending rather than feeling properly engaging.
And part of this problem was how each chapter was begun with an email from either Zoey or Miles’ respective bosses. Both characters were far too hammy in tone and not only did their presence in the novel feel super cringe but these melodramatic emails took too much of the attention away from the main story of this book.
As for the main characters… I really didn’t care much about either of them during the first half of the novel.
Zoey was meant to be dealing with a lot of anxiety but I felt that this was poorly portrayed as instead of feeling empathetic towards her I found her to be too whiny which I’m sure was not the intention of the authors.
And as for Miles? He was dealing with a broken engagement and needing to find a place to live… but he too had this whiny quality and at times was a little too overbearing and borderline smug in tone.
However, in the second half of the book things dramatically improved.
This was when there was more physical and verbal interaction between the main characters; therefore I was able to get a sense of how suited to each other they were and began to feel much more invested in their relationship. I particularly enjoyed a scene where Zoey had a birthday dinner with her parents and how Miles supported her during that event. It was the first moment that I truly felt Zoey came alive on the page as it helped to inform why she was so anxiety ridden and it also helped to show that Miles was more than just a smug kind of guy.
The book certainly requires some suspension of belief too… lots of things are a little bit too neat and convenient e.g. the way the dating companies are set up, how Zoey knows Miles’ sister, Zoey and Miles’ bosses are actually rivals who are divorcing each other, they end up living in the same building etc etc… but that’s to be expected in light and fluffy books such as this.
So definitely this was a book of two halves for me. It’s such a shame that the beginning was so slow as this had a very enjoyable, whimsical feel to it once the book got going.
*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This edition publishing 26th May 2020, Little Brown Book Group UK