Author: Sarah Hogle
Audiobook Version: 11 Hours
When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.
Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.
Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.
But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.
You Deserve Each Other is a new take on the enemies to lovers’ troupe. The couple featured in this story is already dating and fully together by the time they became enemies and stay this way for most of the novel before returning to lovers. Reading about an already established couple was an interesting take on the story, but I am not sure it was relatable or likeable. This one of the few that I almost DNF many times, but I forced myself to power through. I apologize to those that love, or even like this novel, but it just was not for me. I did not fully hate it, but I just did not expect the couple to be as toxic as they were. As I did the audiobook version, I do want to point out that I thought the narrator, Taylor Meskimen, was absolutely fabulous and I would listen to more of her narrations.
Naomi and Nicolas get engaged after eleven months of dating. They move into together and are planning to get married in January the following year. From the time they got engaged, they realized that there were a lot of issues in their relationship, but neither was open about it and they kept pretending to be a perfect couple to the outside world while hating each other behind closed doors. As the story is mainly told from Naomi’s point of view, we only get to experience her inner thoughts and she has some extreme thoughts when it comes to her relationship with Nicolas. It is very unbalanced as the readers experienced every negative thought going through Naomi’s mind and only see her perspective about what she either thinks Nicolas believes or what he actually reveals. It was interesting, to me, as the more Naomi tried to put Nicolas as the worst, I actually disliked Naomi more and was more indifferent to Nicolas, but I never thought he was that bad. He was no angel, but Naomi always seemed worse. It could be different if the story featured both points of view, but that is how I experienced their relationship through Naomi’s eyes.
Naomi bothered me on many levels outside of her thoughts on Nicolas. Naomi does not have a college degree, whereas Nicolas is a dentist and has one. She constantly is trying to present herself as being okay with it, but it is those around her, including Nicolas and her family that look down on her. I had a very difficult time to understand how this could still be an issue between her an Nicolas as her education would have come up a lot earlier on in her relationship while they were still dating, so I could not understand at all how this could still be something that Naomi is bothered with. I can understand how jokes could be made that could hurt and maybe Naomi did not speak up about how much those bothered her, but the issue is presented as if it was never spoken about between them for their entire relationship. There are many other examples that follow this type of thinking where a lot did not make sense as there had to have been a point in time where these two actually talked, at least enough to decide to get married, but many of their issues are presented as if they are complete strangers that just met.
The two of them do not want to break off the engagement for financial and pride issues, so both of them decide to continue on until the other speaks up to break up the relationship. Essentially, this is a novel that does not make sense to me as I could not wrap my head around a couple that would rather suffer than have a simple conversation with each other. I understand that communication is not a strong-suit for many people, but it seemed that unless they could fix the underlying reasons why they were not open with each other in the first place, they would never last even if they spoke more to each other in the future as the issue is not fixed and they could easily fall back into their toxic pattern.
Overall, if you take some moments alone, there were some many humorous times. However, when you place it in the context of the story, it just further perpetuated the fact that both Naomi and Nicolas were very manipulative and selfish. Nicolas showed more promise as a character as he may have been checked out of the relationship just like Naomi, but he at least tried more than she did. Neither even attempted open communication, but at least he did a tiny fraction more to help keep the relationship together than she did in the beginning. Although the book frustrated me a lot, it was not all terrible and actually got better in the second half. It never fully redeemed itself as I did not like the two main characters or think they would last as a couple. However, the writing itself and the flow were great. I may not have been a fan of the novel itself, but I absolutely loved Sarah Hogle’s writing style and word choices. It seemed contradictive in a way, but I found I want to read more from this author, but unfortunately I would not pick up this novel again.