A quirky rom-com with compelling characters
Cosplay is Paula Suarez’s superpower. It allows her to become someone else and to indulge in her passion for making and designing costumes. Making a fool of herself at a cosplay convention could have ruined it for her if not for Nita Funmaker, a quirky journalist who proved that random acts of kindness really can make someone’s day.
Among the many things I enjoyed in this rom-com are the fact that both main characters and most secondary characters are BIPOC, and everything about Paula being, in her own words, “pretty deaf”. Both Nita and Paula are compelling characters who face loss in one way or another and have to make decisions that will impact their lives going forward. Nita struggles with her huge sense of duty over what she really wants to do with her life after her dream was taken away from her, as well as finding her place as a white-passing and serious woman in a family that seems to be anything but. Paula’s challenge is her hearing loss, what it means for her, how she deals (or doesn’t deal at times) with it, Nita’s reaction. The author, who knows all these topics from personal experience, mixes moments of pure comedy with real feelings and it worked very well for me.
If you’ve read Love Where You Work, you may remember Paula being Julia’s best friend. This second book can be read as a standalone but Julia and Clare are important secondary characters in this story so, as usual, I recommend starting at the beginning. It’s not essential, however, and if you’d rather jump in with Nita and Paula, I’m sure they would both approve of the spontaneity. 4.5 stars.