Spoiler Alert- This review will contain some spoilers about the plot and characters of the story. Please continue reading at your own discretion.
In The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, Samiah Brooks finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with two other women after some live tweets go viral. Samiah and the two women, London and Taylor, become friends and make a pact to focus on themselves for the next six months before going into another relationship. Samiah takes this as the perfect opportunity to continue developing her app, but it is at this particular time that Daniel Collins begins working at her company, Trendsetters. Although neither of them are ready to begin a relationship, they feel an undeniable attraction to one another.
I loved that this story was about an African American woman in the tech industry because I don’t see this in many novels. There is a huge gender gap in the technology field and this book does bring up some of the difficulties women face, such as having to do more to prove their worth in the workplace and not being taken seriously. Samiah felt she had to work extra hard not only for herself, but to set a great example for other little girls who want to work in the industry. She hoped that by working hard, it would help pave the way for these girls and show that women are just as capable as men of being successful in technology. She proved to be a great role model by prioritizing community engagement despite having many other work responsibilities. I genuinely appreciated Samiah’s characterization because of how well-rounded, positive, and hardworking she was.
Samiah felt apprehensive about becoming friends with London and Taylor at first, but she recognized how much they had bonded and took that next step forward. In situations like these, it is not uncommon for the people involved to become angry at one another instead of just the person who lied to them. These women handled the situation with a lot of maturity. While they were not obligated to ever speak to each other again after that night, they instead decided to be supportive of one another and form a friendship. They shared many laughs, but were also there for each other at times when they felt discouraged. I enjoyed reading these simple moments of camaraderie and watching their friendship grow.
The synopsis for this book focuses on Samiah’s life, but Daniel has an interesting story of his own regarding why he is at Trendsetters in the first place. On his first day, he knew personal facts about coworkers he had never met before. I can understand doing research about a company before you start, but this was more research than what most people would do. The mention of his frequent job changes (12 jobs in 2 years) also made me suspicious of him and his reasons for being there. Ultimately, I thought he was a good guy and could understand why he kept his secret.
The Boyfriend Project had been on my book list for a long time and I’m very happy to have finally read it. Even though this book started off with a crazy situation, the characters in this story were not over the top and were vey normal. I found myself really rooting for them in their endeavors and could empathize with their struggles. I thought this was a great story of finding romance and friendship when you least expect it.