By: Taj McCoy
A delicious debut rom-com about a plus-size sweetheart who gets a full-life makeover after a brutal breakup.
Savvy Sheldon spends a lot of time tiptoeing around the cracks in her life: her high-stress and low-thanks job, her clueless boyfriend and the falling-apart kitchen she inherited from her beloved grandma—who taught her how to cook and how to love people by feeding them. But when Savvy’s world starts to crash down around her, she knows it’s time for some renovations.
Starting from the outside in, Savvy tackles her crumbling kitchen, her relationship with her body, her work–life balance (or lack thereof) and, last but not least, her love life. The only thing that doesn’t seem to require effort is her ride-or-die squad of friends. But as any home-reno-show junkie can tell you, something always falls apart during renovations. First, Savvy passes out during hot yoga. Then it turns out that the contractor she hires is the same sexy stranger she unintentionally offended by judging based on appearances. Worst of all, Savvy can’t seem to go anywhere without tripping over her ex and his latest “upgrade.” Savvy begins to realize that maybe she should’ve started her renovations the other way around: beginning with how she sees herself before building a love that lasts.
I was really excited to read Savvy Sheldon. I like when a character gets to completely “fix” their lives while falling madly in love with someone. Sadly, this was not a romance, it is a book about a woman learning how to love herself, but not that way.
This is quickly becoming one of my most hated pet peeves. Women’s literature being marketed as romance. Just because there is some romance in a story does not mean it’s a romance book. It is abundantly clear this is what the publisher was going for too. You’ve got the illustrated cover which is the new trend in romance. You’ve got the blurb that talks about a sexy stranger and tackling her love life. There’s also the fact that it was recommended to me in marketing emails about romance books. Based on the reviews I’m not the only one that got pissed about that too.
Setting that aside, it’s clear that McCoy didn’t get the work reform email. Savvy starts out working a ton of hours. Works even more until she’s overwhelmed and screws something up. Then backs down to where she’s just working what she was originally working. I guess I’ve been reading too much reddit but I kept waiting for her to come to the realization that her job needed to hire more people and stop expecting her to do the work of an entire team. There was a team, but she was the only one doing the work. Her whole work situation ended with her getting a partial promotion after failing at a full one. She was basically given more work to do because she asked them to create a wellness plan to help promote work life balance and her boss is like sure, you do it and your old job. It was stupid.
Then there’s the whole wellness journey she goes on. At one point she’d been good enough at tennis to get a scholarship, but due to an accident and then her desire to kill herself by overwork she’d stopped exercising and gained weight. The first thing she does in her quest to get healthy is go on a leisurely 3-mile hike. That honestly struck me as ridiculous. Not the hiking, but how easy going on a 3-mile hike was for someone who was supposedly super out of shape. The whole wellness kick through the book was annoying. There were so many pages dedicated to tennis. Ugh.
Anyway. The romance. Savvy’s boyfriend dumps her and is a massive tool about the whole thing. She still spends a large portion of the book hung up on him because they’d been together so long. What starts her whole desire to shake things up is that he tells her he needs an upgrade, so she decides to get a revenge body. Which I thought was incredibly problematic and there should have been a lot more focus on her learning to love who she was then the sound of a tennis ball being hit.
Sorry. Anyway. The romance. A neighbor sets her up with a contractor to fix her kitchen. He’s hot but she wants to wait until they are no longer working on her kitchen, however her friends push things by getting her on Tinder and matching with him. Things seem to be going well, but he doesn’t stick around till the morning after the have sex which bothers her. She doesn’t say anything to him though and decides to go on another Tinder date as a sort of fuck you. When he sees her with the new date and then saves her from them trying to assault her, he’s completely understanding about her looking at the other fish available. However, when she sees him later with a woman, an ex he’s just driving to the airport, she gets furious at him. The double standard was strong.
If you removed the romance from Savvy Sheldon you’d still have a book. It’s not a romance. Be forewarned.