Thursday, August 12, 2021

Book Review: The Apology Project

 I can't even tell you the last time I've had this many posts in one week, but here we are! I'm not going to get cocky and say I think this is going to be a trend because I'm learning how to say no and let things go. (I'm doing it really slowly, but just shut up, I'm making baby steps.)

The Apology Project - Jeanette Escudero

Life is about to get complicated for Amelia Montgomery, a prominent litigator in Chicago. She’s been fired for not compromising her principles in a high-profile case and then punching her partner in the nose for the misogynistic comment he made in retort (not her finest moment). Leaving a career that gave her purpose, Amelia can only ask, What next?

Let it be better than her epic failure of a fortieth birthday party: an open bar full of no-shows except for John Ellis, a total stranger and the new associate at her ex-firm. As it turns out, though, he’s very good company—and a wake-up call. With the help of John and a lot of champagne, Amelia considers the people she’s wronged, from old besties to former boyfriends to coworkers. Amelia resolves to make amends—to those who really deserve it.

One apology at a time, Amelia’s looking at the choices she’s made in the past, the new ones she’s making with John, and those she’s making for herself. What next? Maybe a second chance she never expected. 
I have seen this one all over Instagram and the title alone drew me in. I think the concept of people apologizing for being an absolute piece of garbage of a human is pretty out of most people's realm, and honestly? It happens so infrequently that when people do apologize, it immediately gets awkward. Right? Suddenly, neither of you know what to say so you're left nodding your head until someone breaks the pause to leave. You know how it is. Also, I think people feel like if they apologize they are somehow admitting that they as a person are terrible and forever unworthy, which isn't the case. That person just did something really awful/dumb/hurtful/rude/etc, it doesn't necessarily mean they should be tossed to the wind. 

I could speak a lot about apologies. I could even give you a list of people I think owe me an apology, and I can give you a list of people I really should apologize to. I think I will too, because this book kind of drives home the reason for an apology and how it's good for the other person but it is also good for you. I think we can all remember a time where we did something bad, or sad something terrible, and we've thought about it over the years. Apologizing lets that go, and what a weight lifted from you it would be, right? 

That's the journey Amelia goes through in this book. She "retires" from her job as a high powered lawyer because the job was threatening to violate her morals and choices were made. While it's hard to look at the situation as a positive, Amelia soon finds out that she has made no friends despite her professional accomplishments. Enter John, the new guy at her old law firm who suggests she apologize to the people she feels she's wronged in some way. Over time, the list evolves, Millie learns a few things, but with every new lesson learned another one pops up. Having to face some hard truths about herself as a person, this is Millie's journey into becoming a better person. 

Of course, we have some romance in there, for good measure. 

Overall? I liked this one, it would be a 3 star for me. I had a hard time sticking with it in the beginning because Amelia really is unlikeable. She actually is for most of the book and I can tell why nobody wanted to be around her. Unpleasant is an understatement. She's harsh, unforgiving, and no-nonsense, but she also doesn't take into consideration that people have lives and feelings outside of the bubble she's in. The fact John was able to see through a lot of that was honestly a true testament to his interest. Of course, is it even a romance if we don't have some drama that slowly brews and we can all see it coming, threatens to end them for good and then we have an ending? It definitely wouldn't be and this book doesn't short us on that. While the climax was something we could all see from a mile away, it almost felt like a relief when it just happened. 

It's definitely a timely book with the #metoo movement included as a theme throughout, with a nod to cancel culture, it was almost too much at times. I do think the book was very thoughtful in presenting the art of an apology, and why we do it, and if you aren't so sure yourself, you'll learn right along with Millie. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for sending me a copy for review! If you're looking for a fun little book about learning to be the bigger person and saying sorry when it's due, with a dash of romance, this is definitely your next read. 
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1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

It sounds like the overall theme of the power of apology is there, and it does it well, but that's a shame Millie is so dang unlikeable for pretty much all of the book!