Review: Shipped by Angie Hockman

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

Shipped publishes January 19, 2021. 

Shipped started off pretty strongly for me. It had some fun banter and reminded me a lot The Hating Game. The characters were likable enough and the cruise setting was a nice change of pace. However, I felt like the story shifted focus towards the end and I started to lose interest. It ended up being just ok for me.

I did ship Henley and Graeme. The Hate-to-Love trope was more one-sided, with Henley not liking Graeme, but at least there’s a valid – if misguided – reason for it. I thought Graeme was really sweet and I liked watching how Henley’s view of him started to change.

Where the book started to lose me was when it shifted away from the romance and got kind of preachy about environmental issues. There’s even a kind of lengthy note from the author about it, along with a call for donations. There were also a few other blink-and-you’ll-miss-it social issues brought up that nothing really happens with. Homophobia. Immigration. Domestic abuse. It felt like halfway through the cute romance, the author suddenly remembered she wanted to write something with a little more substance. The things that happened with Henley’s work situation also played out in a really unrealistic and kind of cheesy manner.

Overall, Shipped started off strongly for me, but I started to lose interest by the end. While I don’t have a problem with Hocking trying to draw attention to environmental and social issues, they weren’t included as seamlessly as they needed to be and it made the latter half of the book a little jarring. However, if you like a dose of environmental activism with your Romance, Shipped might be for you.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 2020

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. Read November 12-15. 3 Stars. 

This sounded a lot more intriguing than it actually ended up being. I thought that the identity of the “bad guy” was so obvious from the beginning that it couldn’t possibly be that person because it was so obvious. So that made me suspect some of the other characters briefly, but it ended up being the super obvious person, which was kind of disappointing. I’m giving this three stars, just because this is the first book I finished in a couple weeks.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous – 3 Stars

Shipped by Angie Hockman – 3 Stars

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon – 3 Stars

WWW Wednesday: November 18, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. This was the first book I read in a couple weeks and it was just ok. I thought it had a lot of potential, but it was super predictable.

What are you currently reading?

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The Perfect Guests by Emma Rous. I don’t really have anything bad to say about this so far, except that it hasn’t fully captured my attention yet. I like it well enough when I’m reading it, but once I set it down, I don’t think about it again until I make myself pick it back up. This is probably just my extended book slump mood, though.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m not sure, but if I continue with my 2021 ARCs, Shipped by Angie Hockman is next up.

What are you reading?