Startup by Doree Shafrir

31423188Title: Startup

Author: Doree Shafrir

Pub Date: April 25th, 2017

My Rating: ★★★★☆

View on Goodreads

Buy on Book Depository | Wordery

Synopis from Goodreads:

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 dollar 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 dollar 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 work force 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 the 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.

It’s a near perfect contemporary novel showing us the curious and strange world of startups funded by twenty-somethings. World of morning raves, green smoothies, hot yoga, Snapchat. It’s also a novel of an amazing women alliance, feminism, work ethics, and changing world of employment.
Startup is presented from three different perspectives. We have Mack who is a founder of popular wellness at work app TakeOff, Sabrina who works in that company. She’s much older than the young crowd of twenty-somethings that work in the startup. She has two kids, and a husband who works in the same building as her, in a different startup TechScene. In TechScene works also Katya, journalist and daughter of Russian immigrants. The story also revolves around said husband Dan, and Isabel, an Engagement Ninja and Sabrina’s boss.
The author perfectly shows us how the modern employment world works. She contrasts older generations with the youth – we have Sabrina, a mother of two, who works for a girl then years or so younger than her in a startup founded by a guy much younger than her. We see how unusual this work environment looks for the older generations, how much has changed in the attitudes towards work friends, and work life balance.
What I liked the most, and what was the key reason I decided to give this book four stars is the alliance of three women from this book. Sabrina, Isabel and Katya, all from different backgrounds, all with different agendas, decided to have each other’s back and stick together. They helped each other, they didn’t take man’s word over women’s word. They tried to find the truth. It was great to read about women helping each other, even though they are not best friends, and they don’t have that much in common.
Startup is a fun book, that a lot will enjoy. Recommended read! Great observation of modern world.

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