Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Boomerang by Noelle August


Title: Boomerang (Boomerang, #1) 

Author: Noelle August

Rating: 4 Stars

If Julie James's Practice Makes Perfect had a half-child, Boomerang would be the result. And, since Practice Makes Perfect is my favorite James novel, of course I fell for Boomerang. For those of you who don't know, Practice Makes Perfect chronicles the blooming romance between two lawyers who compete for exactly one prestigious position in their firm. Boomerang, similarly, is the love story of two young, ambitious, and disastrously attractive interns competing for one job opening at Boomerang, an up-and-coming dating site.

Noelle August's debut New Adult novel--an effort co-authored by Veronica Rossi herself--doesn't break new ground in the genre yet, it's still massively entertaining. Boomerang opens with our protagonists, Mia and Ethan, waking up in bed together. Unknowingly, the two wound up celebrating their internship positions together, not knowing that they'd soon be competing for a job. Or, for that matter, that their new company would have a strict policy on inter-office dating. Both Mia and Ethan know they have chemistry--the sparks just won't stop flying!--but for Mia, Boomerang is the opportunity she needs to launch her career as a filmmaker and for Ethan, Boomerang equates to the salary he desperately needs to earn in order to pay back his student loans and afford grad school after his dreams of becoming a soccer star were shut down due to an injury. But, the real question here isn't who will land Boomerang's exclusive position--it's whether Mia and Ethan can abide by company rules and keep their hands off each other...or not?

Alternating from Mia and Ethan's perspectives, Boomerang is the type of romantic comedy that hits all the right queues: targeting the humor, hitting the laughs, and keeping the storyline short and sweet without dragging it longer than necessary. It's a self-aware novel--rare, but necessary, in this particular genre--and though there are a variety of typical tropes such as petty jealousy, they are dealt with in such an honest and forthcoming light that, as readers, we find ourselves charmed instead of irritated. What's more, the characters have valid reasons--beyond plot-spun dilemmas--to prolong their happily-ever-after. Both Mia and Ethan have been burned by their past relationships and coping with the aftermath of those tragic romances have molded these two into different, more cautious, individuals. Thus, to jump into a relationship--real life consequences and job hunt be damned--isn't quite as easy as it seems for Mia and especially for Ethan with his financial difficulties.

In the small details, Boomerang shone. Mia, the daughter of a famous photographer and a self-made father, wants nothing more than to rise to success on her own two feet. Unlike typical protagonists following this storyline, her goal isn't to escape from the shadow of her parents but rather to find her own artistic voice separate from theirs. It seems like an identical concept, but the subtle differences truly make a change. Mia's ambition, her love for film, and particularly her drive to chronicle her Alzheimer's suffering grandmother on video are all such raw, true glimpses into who she truly is, teasing at the type of naivety and emotion found only amongst the New Adult age group, that Boomerang benefits from it. Ethan, as well, struggling under the burden of not having quite enough to live by comfortably but, at the same time, not wanting to trouble his parents represents a much more relate-able lifestyle. One line, in particular, where he remarks that his parents are currently putting his younger brother through college and really can't afford to pitch in for day-to-day expenses like his rent--those thoughts felt all-too authentic. Now, heading off to college myself with a younger brother in the house, these are the tragic thoughts I know will plague me some day as well.

While Boomerang still stumbled in areas, namely the sexual tension between the love interests steaming up the page far more than the actual sex did (kind of a bummer, not going to lie...), I found this debut to be full of charm and oozing with promise. Mia thinks to herself, at one point, that being out of college and in the "real" world, sustaining a job and building a career, still feels like playing at adulthood. For me, Boomerang hit the nail with one-liners like these which mirrored my own tumultuous and confused thoughts about growing up all-too-well. (Seriously, internships feel like dress-up! I traveled to NYC for a research internship all of last summer and sitting on the train every morning with actual adults who made money and paid taxes felt far too surreal.) Needless to say, I'll be picking up the companion novel to Boomerang once it releases and I certainly hope Noelle August continue to write honest, open, and downright entertaining romances--I certainly won't be tiring of them anytime soon.

17 comments:

  1. This really was a fun read and yes full of sexual tension and even though it was light on the actual scenes, I couldn't help but love it.

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  2. I really do want to read this one because it looks like a lot of fun and everyone has been giving it glowing reviews--I love the concept of it too.

    Fantastic review, Keertana! <33

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  3. I really liked how Mia was trying to find her own way and distinguish herself from her artistic parents. And, yeah, the banter and chemistry was much steamier than the actual smexytimes. But I liked how reality got in the way of their love lives, as it does.

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  4. Well I will have to rethink about not reading NA books any more. This one sounds really entertaining and I like that. Both characters sound really good and the whole story seems really interesting. I can only imagine what the two of then will to do one another go get that job. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Keertana :)

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  5. I don't usually do very well with NA / romance novels, but this sounds absolutely fascinating. I love the sound of the premise and the romance and, being an actress myself, the focus on film. Definitely going to check this out after reading your wonderful review though Keertana - even if I was a bit doubtful at first. Thanks for sharing, and BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  6. Well, since you mentioned Julie James, I am in

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  7. Normally, I'd see NA and run, because the genre just doesn't really work for me. There's something about this one that screams "honest" though, and I'm glad to see you thought it transcended a lot of the normal, petty issues we might otherwise see. Great review, Keertana!

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  8. YAY!!!!! I'm so glad you loved this one too Keertana! I was so impressed with it and the way it didn't take itself too seriously. It gave us realistic protagonists without dark, tragic backgrounds that rear their ugly heads and threaten to tear the couple apart at every turn, and I loved that about it. I definitely want more NA like this!

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  9. I wasn't sure this one was for me, but after your review, I'm starting to reconsider. The plot sounds like your typical romcom, the movies that I love, but there also seems to be a few differences that really make it stand out as unique. Plus, I can definitely relate to feeling like I'm playing dress up, as I don't feel like an adult most of the time either. Lovely review!

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  10. I'm happy to hear the back and forth was charming instead of irritating because that would be worry for me in picking this up. Glad to see you really enjoyed this! I did love Rossi's other series so I'll have to check this out. Wonderful review, Keertana!

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  11. Sounds super cute! I haven't read this book and I haven't read the Julie James books you've mentioned here, but perhaps I should pick those up. The competitive part of the stories sounds fun.

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  12. Now this is one I passed on because I thought it was going to be too dramatic. As in creating drama where there shouldn't be drama. However, I love what you had to say about this book. The humor is what really sold me. Oh I'm so going to have to read this book!

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  13. I'll admit I haven't read anything by James, nor do I think I've read anything that could be classified as NA. But I'm thinking that Boomerang may just have to be my first foray into this genre. The premise sounds cute, but I am also relieved hearing from you about how real it all seems. That the characters do struggle with issues outside of their romance. Well-rounded characters are always a good thing.
    Lovely review, Keertana!

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  14. I had such a good time with this! I totally agree with you about the sexual tension trumping the actual sex. I guess the relationship between Ethan and Mia charmed me enough that I didn't mind. It was so refreshing to read a NA that wasn't overwhelmed with angst. Even the more cliched parts of their flirtation didn't bother me at all because it was light and self-aware, and I believed Mia and Ethan were good people, even when they were playing games. Fantastic review! Can't wait for the next one!

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  15. I really like where you talk about this book being self aware. Despite not breaking new ground and using common tropes, it's well written, and never becomes frustrating. However, I did see the catalyst for the Big Break coming a mile away. Whenever one character keeps something from another, I can predict what will happen. Still, this was delightful and I cannot wait for the next. Thoughtful review as always.

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