I saw this on NPR’s best books from 2021 and checked it out of the library. I do peek and see how other Cannonballers liked a book before I post my review. In this case because this was on a best books list and I found You Deserve Each Other very meh. This story could have been catnip for me with the terrible interfering mother-in-law. Mine once told my husband before we got married that because I have a “high, flat forehead” I must be autistic. No kidding.
A lot of reviews point out that Naomi is a selfish brat (the scene where she buys a stick shift car from her coworker and just leaves it in the road stalled killed me), or that they didn’t feel like the constant bickering for three quarters of the book between Naomi and Nicholas worked for them. I will say the sudden shift from two people who seem to really dislike each other and have a dying relationship to everything being perfect did not really work for me.
The big issue I had with the book is with Nicholas. I just don’t buy that he’s perfect as he’s characterized. He’s just…not. He finally apologizes for belittling Naomi over not having a degree, but it sounds like this has been going on for a while. He has absolutely no friends, except one who is terrible to him with no real explanation as to why other than he works a lot. What bothers me the most about this perfect guy is the way he lets his parents treat him and his fiancé. They treat Naomi like something on the bottom of their shoe, and never once does he stick up for her, or the wedding that they want. It is only when Naomi tells them off that he FINALLY grows a pair and tells his parents he isn’t going to let them treat her badly. But then when they come to see him, he runs away! Is he going to avoid them forever? The final straw though, was the way he handled throwing out the wedding invitations. Instead of talking to her about why he throws the terrible invitations away, he just does it. And of course Naomi gets upset, because she thinks everything is going well. The scene made me angry, instead of being the romantic scene it was written as. Nicholas isn’t perfect, and no one, especially Naomi should see him that way.
I did enjoy the schemes that Naomi cooks up to make her mother-in-law to be angry and to take back some control over her own wedding. I liked that she had friends that were there for her. But so much of her is left unsaid, she has a terrible relationship with her family, but why? There’s one small scene to explain that. This relationship seems to have a power imbalance. I can’t really see why Nicholas is in love with Naomi, other than he thinks she’s beautiful. She’ll be fully reliant on him for so many things. He buys a house without asking her! I just don’t believe that they would find everlasting love.