Tash Skilton’s (writing duo Sarvenez Tash and Sarah Skilton) upcoming rom-com, Ghosting: A Love Story, is absolutely delightful, featuring all of the best elements of the genre without feeling too formulaic or tired. Ghosting will be out on May 26, 2020!
Ghosting follows Miles and Zoey, dating profile ghostwriters working for rival dating companies. While they’re both absolute pros at their job, able to write witty one-liners and craft perfect, alluring profiles for their clients, their own love lives are seriously lacking. Miles has just been dumped by his fiancée and Zoey has just been forced to move cross-country by her eccentric but lovable former boss. The only thing the two have in common—other than their job, albeit for different companies—is their daily fight over the best table at their favorite coffeeshop.
In real life, they hate each other. Online, they’ve got an undeniable connection. There’s only one (big) problem—they don’t actually know they’re talking to each other. Miles thinks he’s talking to Bree on behalf of his client, Jude. Zoey thinks she’s talking to Jude on behalf of her client, Bree.
My favorite rom-com of all time, without question, is Nora Ephron’s classic, You’ve Got Mail. In my opinion, there isn’t a more perfect or classic rom-com out there. I’ve seen it multiple times, I cry at the ending without fail, and I even wrote one of my undergraduate theses on it—that’s how much I love You’ve Got Mail. It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, that I will drop everything to read rom-coms that are based—even in small part—on You’ve Got Mail. Ghosting managed to capture all of my favorite elements of You’ve Got Mail but still remain its own, distinct story.
I love stories that feature enemies-to-lovers who have, unbeknownst to them, been chatting online. It’s the recipe for the perfect rom-com, in my book, because you not only get the tension and banter of enemies-to-lovers, but you also get tender moments of understanding and emotional expression. The use of this online space—whether it be through e-mail, instant messaging, texting—creates a perfect neutral zone in which both characters can operate outside of society and culture and be themselves. The anonymity allows the characters to exist in a vacuum where it’s just the two of them—and when done correctly, this can lead to some truly fantastic moments of connection.
Ghosting is an example of this done correctly. I enjoyed the pacing of the story and Miles and Zoey’s relationship—it never felt rushed to me; it felt like an organic progression. I loved watching the two, interacting in real life, obsess over the other, completely oblivious to the fact that their mutual obsession wasn’t hatred but rather, was tension and chemistry. Online, I loved reading their fast-paced banter and flirting.
Both Miles and Zoey were so lovable. This is really important to me in a rom-com—I need to love and be rooting for both characters to really enjoy a romance fully. Miles was earnest and sentimental without being too much so. Zoey’s conflict felt so real and relevant to the story. Both characters were done excellently and they brought out better versions of the other.
Most importantly, the two COMMUNICATED. Shocking, right? I absolutely hate when the sole conflict in a rom-com comes from the characters’ inability to communicate with each other. When it really mattered, that is, when one revealed to the other that they found out they’d been chatting online, the two had an actual conversation about it and I loved how it was handled.
My one criticism would be that the story seemed to focus on the dynamics of Miles’s and Zoey’s bosses too much and it felt unnecessary. The story was perfect as is and I don’t think it needed that storyline to make it feel complete. To be fair, I found that storyline funny and entertaining, but I think it was over-stuffing a book that, without it, would’ve been perfect.
Ghosting is an absolute delight from start to finish. With classic rom-com hijinks and fast-paced banter, Ghosting is a must-read summer rom-com and I can’t recommend this enough!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has not impacted or influenced my opinions.