Ana Takes Manhattan
by Lissette Decos
Release Date: February 28, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
As a reality TV producer, Ana Karina orchestrates extravagant marriage proposals that always (well, mostly) go as planned. When they don’t, she’s not afraid to cut and paste scenes to make the moment picture-perfect. If only Ana’s own life was as simple to direct. Her colleagues are getting promotions. Her best friend and her younger sister are both getting married. Everyone is moving forward—except Ana.
Sick of feeling stuck, she decides to start living with no regrets. She’s going to pitch all her ideas at work, no matter how unlikely. She’ll take a chance on a guy even if he doesn’t check all her boxes for Mr. Right. Soon, she’s swept up in a roller coaster of exhilarating dates—a comedy show, a Jane Austen reenactment, a rave pool party, and a whirlwind trip to Vienna. With all this excitement, Ana should be on her way to her own happily-ever-after, but instead her life is getting messier by the second.
Yet throwing caution to the wind may still bring Ana more than she hoped for as she begins to listen to her heart and realizes the life—and man—truly meant for her might be the one she never saw coming.
What an absolute delight! I loved this book! First of all, it's hilarious. I lost track of the number of times I laughed out loud. The situations Ana finds herself in - or puts herself in - are ones to which many of us will be able to relate. I found myself thinking back to my younger (dating and work) years, nodding my head, and having many "oh, yeah" moments while tagging along on her journey.
While this book is filled with humorous moments it's not all laughter, no substance. Decos does an admirable job of layering the story with sub-plots, such as Ana's complicated relationship with her Cuban American family, that bring a poignant depth of emotion to the process. Then there's her work life which affords many opportunities for personal growth as she navigates the shark-infested corporate waters of reality television. As a fan of reality TV, I loved the authenticity of the behind-the-curtain perspective of producer (Ana) and crew as told by an actual reality TV producer (Decos). And, finally, there's romance. Again, I found myself catapulted back to my dating years and the guys who checked one - or two - of my HEA boxes but not the whole bouquet. Maybe Ana has the right idea. Opening herself up to saying yes to all of them has her experiencing some amazing dates while at the same time learning what it is she actually wants. And doesn't want. No spoilers but let me say I was 100% on board with the final outcome.
If you're in the mood for a hilarious romcom with poignant undertones, complicated family dynamics, long-lasting female friendships, reality TV shenanigans, discovering love in unexpected places, and finding yourself in the process, this is the book for you. It has my very enthusiastic recommendation!
Are you a fan of reality TV? Which shows do you watch?
One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, March 2 will receive a print copy of Ana Takes Manhattan.
*Must be 18
I realize that I am a minority of one in this country, but I do not watch reality shows. Well that is not exactly true, I watch sports....that is reality. Unfortunately, I do not believed that most reality shows are very real.ReplyDelete
You're not as alone as you think, Annette. I know a lot of people who don't watch reality TV. I will say though that this book will probably reinforce many of the opinions you have about those shows. ;-)Delete
I used to watch Survivor and Big Brother, now I would rather spend my time reading! I have this one on my TBR list, can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
I never could get into Big Brother. Very excited about the upcoming new season of Survivor though!Delete
I haven't watched reality shows ever. I prefer real life drama and profound movies. Reading is my favorite entertainment.ReplyDelete
I don't watch reality shows. I enjoy reading and relaxing in the evening and have always been immersed within the pages of a book rather than television.ReplyDelete
Love watching Survivor! Sounds like such a fun book!ReplyDelete
Very fun book!Delete
I know I'm strange, but I watch a lot of Food Network and their cooking competitions. (I have Chopped on right now actually.) They aren't the normal reality show, but neither are they typical scripted dramas or comedies.ReplyDelete
I do too! We just watched the finale of Kids Baking Championship Monday night. Love the young ones. :)Delete
I watch The Bachelor, 90 Day Fiance, Married at First Sight, Love Island, Love is Blind, Are You the One, Survivor, The Amazing Race and others.ReplyDelete
I missed the last season of Amazing Race. Grateful for streaming services! ;-)Delete
I’m not a fan of reality tv, but I think it makes for an interesting set up in fiction. Something about it in real life stresses me out, though, for whatever reason!ReplyDelete
I don’t watch reality TV. I’d rather read.ReplyDelete
This is a good idea for a story!
Another new author to check out.