From veteran online journalist and BuzzFeed writer Doree Shafrir comes a hilarious debut novel that proves there are some dilemmas that no app can solve.
Mack McAllister has a $600 million idea. His mindfulness app, TakeOff, is already the hottest thing in tech, and he's about to launch a new and improved version that promises to bring investors running and may turn his brainchild into a $1 billion business - in startup parlance, an elusive unicorn.
Katya Pasternack is hungry for a scoop that will drive traffic. An ambitious young journalist at a gossipy tech blog, Katya knows that she needs more than another PR-friendly puff piece to make her the go-to byline for industry news.
Sabrina Choe Blum just wants to stay afloat. The exhausted mother of two and failed creative writer is trying to escape from her credit card debt and an inattentive husband - who also happens to be Katya's boss - as she rejoins a workforce that has gotten younger, hipper, and much more computer literate since she's been away.
Before the ink on Mack's latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message hints that he may be working a bit too closely for comfort with a young social media manager in his office. When Mack's bad behavior collides with Katya's search for a salacious post, Sabrina gets caught in the middle as TakeOff goes viral for all the wrong reasons. As the fallout from Mack's scandal engulfs the lower Manhattan office building where all three work, it's up to Katya and Sabrina to write the story the men in their lives would prefer remain untold.
An assured, observant debut from veteran online journalist Doree Shafrir, Startup is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money, and technology's inability to hack human nature.
"Exacting, though not without empathy - Shafrir renders even the most infuriating of her characters with unexpected humanity - the novel is a page-turning pleasure that packs a punch. To call it expertly observed is an understatement." (Kirkus)
"[A] deliciously detailed satire." (Jenny Comita, W Magazine)
"Don't buy this book. Don't open. Don't start reading it. Because if you do, I can assure you, you won't be able to put it down. I was hooked from the first page and found myself lost in a beautifully-written fiction that so succinctly echoes today's bizarre reality." (Nick Bilton, special correspondent, Vanity Fair, and author of Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal)
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An okay read.
- j. lopez
The art of writing nothing, with no story line or purpose