Romantic Comedy (Reese's Book Club): A Novel (Hardcover)
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April 2023 Indie Next List
“It’s a joy to read Curtis Sittenfeld’s fun new novel. Clearly written as a healing project during the pandemic, it emphasizes the magical nature of crushes and human connection, and how we come together with other people against all odds.”
— Pete Dyer, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
“Full of dazzling banter and sizzling chemistry.”—People
“If you ever wanted a backstage pass to Saturday Night Live, this is the book for you.”—Zibby Owens, Good Morning America
Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.
But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.
Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy—it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her . . . right?
With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Curtis Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.
“A love letter to the prototypical rom-com . . . Sittenfeld’s work exists in the dissection and comprehension of female desire: what we want, what we absolutely don’t and, maybe paramount, what we’re even allowed to have. . . . A fizzy ride.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“From the heart to the funny bone . . . What makes all this particularly delightful is that the woman narrating Romantic Comedy is hyper-aware of the conventions of romantic comedy, and she knows full well that real life is no fairy tale. But could it be this time?”—The Washington Post
“Zingy . . . electrically compelling, with steady warmth as well as drama . . . [Romantic Comedy’s] command of structure, pace and dialogue is faultless. . . . [An] affable, intelligently crafted tale of work and love.”—The Guardian
“If you’re in need of [a] smart, sophisticated, and fun diversion right now (and who isn’t), this is your book. Like her literary foremother Jane Austen, Sittenfeld brings together exquisitely sharp dialogue that fizzes, excruciating sexual tension, and incisive social observation.”—Oprah Daily
“Sittenfeld’s meta-romance is an utterly perfect version of itself, a self-aware and pandemic-informed love story that’s no less romantic for being either. . . . Fans will flock to this pure-fun, feminist romp.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Romance artfully and entertainingly deconstructed.”—Kirkus Reviews