Review: Start Us Up by Lexi Blake
A new series from talented Ms. Blake immediately hooks me and I'm all in. What I love about Ms. Blake's stories continues to hold true in this new series. It is the sense of community and family. Sometimes the family is dysfunctional but there is always a chance for coming around and better understanding. I cried reading this book because it moved me to tears.
The journey starts as three friends bond over the mean girls picking on them in high school. This first book is about Ivy. Ivy is the STEM genius who goes on to create an amazing tech company only to be brought down low. As women in the industry know, we have to work harder for half the recognition and any mistakes are under a high lens microscope. I feel for Ivy and her situation. What I liked about Ivy as a character is how imperfect she is and how she has to grow in this book. It isn't that she has to mature more, it's more that she needs to learn how to accept herself and get rid of the big chip on her shoulder. There are times I want to shake Ivy to have her snap out of her downward spiral. I specifically want to smack her upside the head with her oblivious slights to her mother.
This story is more than Ivy rising out of the flames of her business. It is more than a romance with the hunky sexy Heath. It is also a story about mother daughter relationships. For me, it was clear from the start the issues Ivy and her mother have. Ms. Blake does not hide it. Nor does she explicitly make this a therapy session. Instead, we watch a relationship that is already derailed explode even more. Is there any hope for Ivy and her mother? Possibly and how Ms. Blake addresses it makes me so happy.
There are villains in this book and those are easy to spot. Whilst Ivy and her friends may have been a little naive and also blindsided, I saw their sly dealings from miles away. It is probably because I'm not the young wunderkid like Ivy. I'm a jaded stabbed in the back IT professional. Whilst there are some heinous backstabbing going on in this book, I am happy to say that it wasn't women begin catty with each other. Ivy and her friends may have their differences and spats, but they still support each other. For the most part, this is a female empowering story and I love that part. This is a contemporary romance recommended to females who want to see what happens in the business world and what it takes to survive.